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.

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
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (373)
  • Very good (29)
  • Average (18)
  • Poor (3)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating MalaMala bliss

Oct 5, 2020 GeraldBriers

MalaMala has been on my bucket list for a long time and with the lockdown special we were able to take our children with us (10 & 8) we stayed for four nights. We had an amazing time, despite the early morning and late afternoon game drives the kids loved it! Lucky was our ranger and it was an absolute pleasure to spend hours in the bush with him,… Read more
MalaMala has been on my bucket list for a long time and with the lockdown special we were able to take our children with us (10 & 8) we stayed for four nights. We had an amazing time, despite the early morning and late afternoon game drives the kids loved it! Lucky was our ranger and it was an absolute pleasure to spend hours in the bush with him, he had a great ability to read a situation and ensure we were well placed for excellent wildlife viewing. The kids loved the chance to step out the vehicle with lucky and take advantage of all the bush lore Lucky has built up over his life, from making a tooth brush from a twig to which plants are poisonous or medicinal the stops were great fun! The staff at the main camp were excellent and any requests we made were dealt with quickly and with little fuss. I would highly recommend MalaMala main camp and Lucky for a great Safari experience for the whole family. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Exceptional territory and the best guide we ever had

Sep 14, 2020 N0hype Johannesburg, South Africa

We've been fortunate enough to go to a number of top game lodges in Southern Africa, but even after that our visit to MalaMala really stood out. Much of the lodge has recently been renovated and they gave us a nice, spacious room. But overall I would give the lodge facilities only 3-4 stars (style is a bit hit-or-miss and gym is very old) and the… Read more
We've been fortunate enough to go to a number of top game lodges in Southern Africa, but even after that our visit to MalaMala really stood out. Much of the lodge has recently been renovated and they gave us a nice, spacious room. But overall I would give the lodge facilities only 3-4 stars (style is a bit hit-or-miss and gym is very old) and the food was enjoyable but not great (3 stars). That said, MalaMala's traversing area is the best I have seen in South Africa and our guide, Marka, was hands-down the best we have ever experienced (6+ stars). As a result, we had phenomenal sightings on our 6 game drives. I would go back in a heartbeat! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Georgia Dental annual trip

Jun 7, 2020 spadr

I don't understand any of the negative reviews. The trip was amazing. The rangers were knowledgeable and personable. The facilities and food we're top notch. New year's in safari was memorable. Everyone said the trip would be life changing and they were right. I hated to leave.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating .

May 14, 2020 kevingray69 Norwich, United Kingdom

First of all I would like too thank the management and staff for my wonderfull birthday song and cake on the 6th of March even though it wasn't till the 8th and the bottle of bubbly and 2 glasses in our room when we got back to the room.we had a waterhole suite which was fantastic anything you wanted or needed was in there.Our guide was Ben's,he… Read more
First of all I would like too thank the management and staff for my wonderfull birthday song and cake on the 6th of March even though it wasn't till the 8th and the bottle of bubbly and 2 glasses in our room when we got back to the room.we had a waterhole suite which was fantastic anything you wanted or needed was in there.Our guide was Ben's,he looked after us from start too finish,at breakfast, on the safari and at the evening meal,Ben's gave us a great drive every day we saw the big 5 he was knowledgeable everthing safari always asked us what we wanted too see so thanks Ben's for a fantastic time.The camp was fantastic,the staff always willing too help and if there is a better safari in Africa they will have to go some,so again thanks too the management,staff,and of course Ben's for a brilliant 4 days thankyou Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing experience

Mar 18, 2020 philp645 Washington DC, District of Columbia

We absolutely loved our time at Mala Mala. They treated us like royalty our entire time there. The rooms were beautiful, great food, and every single staff member was so friendly and helpful. It really is a special place. We also want to give a special thank you to our wonderful safari guide Nick. He was so professional, patient, kind, and… Read more
We absolutely loved our time at Mala Mala. They treated us like royalty our entire time there. The rooms were beautiful, great food, and every single staff member was so friendly and helpful. It really is a special place. We also want to give a special thank you to our wonderful safari guide Nick. He was so professional, patient, kind, and knowledgeable, constantly trying to give us the best experience possible. He made sure we saw the “Big 5” and so much more. We hope to be able to come back some day. Read less