Mala Mala Game Reserve

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

The hotel

The original safari destination, the iconic MalaMala Game Reserve has been the flagship wildlife retreat all others try to emulate since 1964 (although its dream location wedged between The Kruger and Sabi Sand Reserve makes it unbeatable). It isn’t just South Africa’s oldest private reserve, it was also the first to introduce photographic safaris – and you’ll wear your camera out with the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and cape buffalo roaming free here. To cap it off, MalaMala Camp and Sable Camp have undergone extensive and breath-taking renovations. The new interiors and guest areas beautifully blend old and new, classic and contemporary – whilst preserving their heritage and authentic African character. The stats keep coming, as it’s also South Africa’s biggest private 'Big Five' game reserve. Its ‘private’ status brings extra experiences like night safaris, but all its game-drives are special, with just 4-6 guests per vehicle and its unfenced border with Kruger National Park making this a wildlife haven. It’s a haven for you too, with its luxury lodges including secluded Rattray’s Camp and historic MalaMala Camp, with their infinity river-view pools, and more intimate Sable Camp.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Swimming Pool
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Internet Access

Where is it

The MalaMala Game Reserve is on the largest concession within the Sabi Sands Reserve, a 6-hour drive from Johannesburg. A 1-hour flight from Johannesburg to Skukuza Airport and then a 1-hour transfer through the game reserve. Private charters to their own airstrip available.

Hotel information

MalaMala Camp offers 14 luxury suites, 4 luxury rooms, and 1 single room. Rooms have undergone a stunning refurbishment including beautifully appointed bathrooms, tea/coffee-making facilities, mini-bar and safe, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 1 child.

All Inclusive includes: all meals, snacks and drinks (excluding premium brands). Game-drives, nature walks and laundry service.

Sable Camp is located at the southern end of the MalaMala Camp and comprises just 5 Luxury Suites plus Lion’s Den which is a double suite, ideal for families, with 2 ensuite bedrooms leading off a central lounge.

Rattray’s Camp offers 8 luxury suites accommodating 16 guests only. All luxury suites have river views from a private verandah, plunge pool, "his” and “hers” bathrooms, outdoor shower, tea/coffee-making facilities, mini-bar and safe.

  • Free nights: stay 4, pay 3 for stays completed between 4 Jan-9 Apr '20. Terms and conditions apply. 

Each camp features an air-conditioned dining room and boma area for dinner. Lounge and historic bar. Infinity swimming pool. Fitness facility. Massage service*. Wooden safari deck overlooking the Sand River for sightseeing. Library. Safari boutique. Complimentary WiFi.

2 nights.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (368)
  • Very good (29)
  • Average (18)
  • Poor (3)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Just everything was amazing!

Dec 3, 2019 SanC65 Cape Town, South Africa

We have just completed a magical 4 nights at Mala Mala. What a treat in every way. We had Cameron Inggs as our ranger. He certainly made sure we saw as many animals as possible but it was much more about the experiences we had with the animals that we have never experienced before at other camps. He was able to understand and predict the movements… Read more
We have just completed a magical 4 nights at Mala Mala. What a treat in every way. We had Cameron Inggs as our ranger. He certainly made sure we saw as many animals as possible but it was much more about the experiences we had with the animals that we have never experienced before at other camps. He was able to understand and predict the movements of the animals and this made the photo opportunities perfect. I do not think we will ever be able to see some of the sightings we had again. The rooms are beautifully decorated and a pleasure to spend time in between drives. The food is really great, it is not over the top fancy food which is welcome but all perfectly cooked and always a great selection. Actually too much unless you are disciplined to say no thanks. We will definitely be back and rather forfeit an overseas holiday to spend another four days there. Thank you to the whole team that made our stay so memorable. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Beyond all expectations!

Nov 5, 2019 Dave C

Incredible experience. We spent 4 days at Mala Mala and couldn't have been happier with the accommodations, safaris, rangers or hotel staff. Our ranger/guide was extremely knowledgeable about both fauna and flora. All were very conservation conscious, respectful of the animals, and aware that we were in the animals' kingdom rather than them in… Read more
Incredible experience. We spent 4 days at Mala Mala and couldn't have been happier with the accommodations, safaris, rangers or hotel staff. Our ranger/guide was extremely knowledgeable about both fauna and flora. All were very conservation conscious, respectful of the animals, and aware that we were in the animals' kingdom rather than them in ours. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Best possible game camp experience!

Nov 3, 2019 589kenf Gonzales, Texas

My wife and I spent three nights at Malamala Main Camp in October 2019. I can not imagine a better photo safari experience. We took six game drives and had scored the "Big Five" by the end of our second drive. We witnessed a battle between a pride of lions and a herd of buffalo. We saw a lion/warthog kill. We saw many beautiful bird species. … Read more
My wife and I spent three nights at Malamala Main Camp in October 2019. I can not imagine a better photo safari experience. We took six game drives and had scored the "Big Five" by the end of our second drive. We witnessed a battle between a pride of lions and a herd of buffalo. We saw a lion/warthog kill. We saw many beautiful bird species. We saw the relatively rare African wild dogs and the sable antelope. All these sightings were "up close and personal" due to the driving and spotting skills of our ranger. The camp itself is excellent. The staff are all very friendly and helpful. The condition of the camp could not be better. The food is great and plentiful. Everything you could possibly want in a South African photo safari experience. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Love South Africa!

Oct 31, 2019 doylefamily2018 Dallas, Texas

Beautiful property. Lovely and comfortable rooms. Fabulous artwork and decor! Lots of game to be seen even from your lounge chair at the pool. Gareth was a wonderful and knowledgable guide. He takes his job seriously! We had some incredible wildlife viewing. Food and hospitality was a 10.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Best Wildlife Photography in South Africa

Oct 29, 2019 haroldvanderschmidt Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I have had an incredible Safari in MalaMala last year and I came back with my son in October. We have spend three days in MalaMala and have had amazing sightings. Our Guide Craig was very good. The NatGeoWild Team was present also and we have been next to this Team a few times. We have seen the MalaMala Seven, that means Cheetah and Wild Dog next… Read more
I have had an incredible Safari in MalaMala last year and I came back with my son in October. We have spend three days in MalaMala and have had amazing sightings. Our Guide Craig was very good. The NatGeoWild Team was present also and we have been next to this Team a few times. We have seen the MalaMala Seven, that means Cheetah and Wild Dog next to the big Five and many Leopards. The Accommotion is excellent and the food is five Star. When I want to photograph Wildlife in South Africa again I will definetely come back to MalaMala. Read less