You might be visiting in hopes of encountering the Big 5, something that is sure to be on many people’s South African bucket lists, but there is much more to a safari experience than just the morning and afternoon game drives.
From the moment you arrive at MalaMala Game Reserve til the time you leave, you will be paired up with an experienced ranger who will assist you with all aspects of your stay, from the wake up call before morning game drive, to escorting you back to your room each evenings; arranging guided walks around the property, as well as act as your driver and animal tracker on game drives.
Accommodation at MalaMala Main Camp
Called khayas, the accommodation at MalaMala’s main camp is spacious and caters to a variety of group styles, including some with adjoining rooms.
There’s a touch of British Empire in the design – with wicker lounges, a grand desks furnished with a leather directors chair, and little touches like his and her bathrooms – one with a bath and one with a shower, his and her walk in wardrobes and a corner with a day lounge, perfect for curling up to with a good book between game drives.
Rooms come with a refrigerator but it isn’t stocked. Except for water, I found there to be no need for extra food as camp offers three meals, snacks before morning game drive, afternoon tea and bar nibbles if you’re enjoying a drink in the bar.
I was in khayas number 5 and had a small patio overlooking the grounds and river where the animals drink from. You never know what you’ll see when you sit watching the landscape as giraffes casually walked along the embankment one day and elephants another.
Also available for guests is the Monkey Club where you can access the air-conditioned library with satellite television, (limited) internet connectivity and DVD player during the day. There’s also an infinity pool with views across the river, a small gym, massage services (available upon request), daily guided walks (for fitness and learning about the land), and the historic bar where guests meet nightly to enjoy a sundowner and talk about the days safaris.
Our ranger, Bens, a fantastic animal tracker on safari, he was full of plenty of knowledge about the bush, life of the local tribes, was always up for a laugh and was attentive to even the smallest of our needs.
The accommodation was spacious and comfortable, but if you’re looking for a more luxurious product Rattray’s at MalaMala offers an even higher level of sophistication. If you want to go on a South African safari I highly recommend adding MalaMala Game Reserve to your must-do list.
Now it’s over to you
Is going on a African safari on your bucket list?
Read my other posts from going on safari at MalaMala Game Reserve:
On Safari at MalaMala Game Reserve, South Africa
Your Questions Answered: Going on Safari in South Africa [Coming soon!]
What to Pack When Going on Safari [Coming soon!]
MalaMala Game Reserve
Ehlanzeni, South Africa
Prices for MalaMala Main Camp:
Luxury Rooms US$740 p/person.
Luxury Suites US$800 p/person.
Children under 12 years, sharing with full paying adults AU$440.
All prices can be found here.
Rate includes accommodation, all meals and snacks, two game drives per day, nature walks, transfers to and from the MalaMala Game Reserve airstrip (not from Nelspruit!), and laundry.
Rates excludes: bar purchases, use of phones, transfers to/from other camp or airports other than MalaMala airstrip, US$12.50 p/person community levy (only applicable from 01 February 2015.)
How to get to MalaMala:
- Daily 1 hour Federal Air flight directly into MalaMala from Johannesburg – O.R Tambo International Airport (ORT)
- Daily 1 hour SA Airlink flight from Johannesburg to Skukuza and a 10 minute charter flight or a 1 hour road transfer to MalaMala.
- Daily 1 hour SA Airlink flight from Joannesburg to Nelspruit and a 20 minute charter flight or 2 hour road transfer to MalaMala.
- Via road – 5 ½ hour drive from Johannesburg
- Private charter flight
My trip to MalaMala Game Reserve was arranged by South Africa Tourism.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.