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Unnamed Road, Kruger National Park 1353 South Africa
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#1 of 4 Specialty lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
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MalaMala Game Reserve is the Safari Industry's blueprint to the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive thriving tract of land produces the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13 300 ha (33 000 acres), MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. For over four decades, Michael Rattray has remained focused on his objective to preserve and protect the land over which he is custodian. Allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience today what the forefathers of the African Safari would have experienced at the turn of the century. This philosophy has paid off, as experienced by a veritable collection of photojournalists and film-makers who have made MalaMala their destination of choice to capture footage of wildlife viewing that would rival any Hollywood production for thrilling and breathtaking animal encounters. MalaMala's Camps (MalaMala Main Camp, Sable Camp and Rattray's on MalaMala) are the embodiment of an authentic safari experience pioneered at a time when the safari was simple - unassuming camps, vast sweeping plains, the African sky and the bush in all its splendour. Wellness was the feeling after a long day in the wild. Cigars were shared without pomp and ceremony. Guests to MalaMala will still spend hours beneath an inky sky in the traditional boma exchanging stories from the wild - a sumptuous meal, good company and relaxed faces warmed by the crackling fire, accompanied by the nocturnal symphony of sound.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Gift shop
Butler service
Wifi
Outdoor pool
Private pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Laundry service
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Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Room service
Safe
Minibar
Flatscreen TV
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HOTEL STYLE
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235Reviews3Q+A68Room tips
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Christina M wrote a review Nov 2021
Fort Lauderdale, Florida1 contribution
First I would like to preface that this my third safari, therefore I have experience and I can honestly say Rattrays camp has some of the best game viewing in the bush. The rooms are exceptional, but the staff is really is what makes this camp number one on my list. I lost some of my medication (fell down the drain) and Karin worked tiresly to get my medication. This is no easy task when in the bush because every town is at least 1 and half away. She contacted a doctor who prescribed me my meds. (Thank you Dr. Simon!). Both he and Karin were able to locate my meds and send a car 2.5 hours away to acquire it. It was so invaluable because I have epilepsy and without the meds my entire safari would have been impossible. Another employee, Zweli, deserves kudos as well. I never had to ask for anything as it was already in front of me! He has an award winning attitude and smile. Eager to help in any way possible. The cleaning ladies were excellent as they moved all furniture to locate a spider that terrorized my mother's room. Finally Nic, our guide, was amazing. He brought us right to where the best sightings were. He even found the dogs! He was professional and a pleasure to eat with nightly. We invited him to eat with us because of his personality. Goodness also was great and as was all the service staff. Our waitron/butler, Mary I believe, but her name escapes me. I will amend when I remember it.( She was amazing as she always put us in the perfect dining room and was so very attentive) She always knew exactly what I wanted for breakfast and the chef packed us sandwiches (which were brought to us during the morning game drive) becauseI need food with my meds. All in all I would highly suggest this camp. Oh they all wore masks for the entirety of the day even know everyone is vaccinated!! I truly came away from the camp feeling I had made lifelong friends. We are definitely going to return!
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Date of stay: November 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
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TallSasha wrote a review Sep 2021
Houston, Texas70 contributions86 helpful votes
+1
Worth every penny South Africa has been on my bucket list for over 20 years. In those years, everyone would tell me to go to Kruger National Park. So that was my one request which my travel agent pushed me away from. I didn’t fully understand why until I experienced Mala Mala. It is worth the extra money if you can afford it. Kruger is more like a ride at Disney World. You are in an enclosed vehicle and you drive along a paved path. Mala Mala has open topped vehicles and you off road to get close to see the animals in their natural habitat doing their normal things (like playing, fighting with one another, eating a fresh killed animal, dragging food to their young, etc). We had multiple encounters where the animals were 3 to 10 feet away. (The tracker understands the animals to know if we need to back up or leave the area. While watching the male lions, he could tell one wasn’t settled so we left until he was more relaxed). Safari at Mala Mala starts with the same guide/tracker who gets to know you and what you want to see. Marka was absolutely amazing. I can not say enough wonderful things about him. His love for his job and the animals comes through. He was as excited as we were each time we saw an animal. He will be the reason we return. He could track the animal, pause, listen and read Mother Nature as if he was casting a movie. One morning, he stopped the Land Rover, pointed to a noisy squirrel and explained that it meant a cat and recently been there within the last 10 min. He listened, looked and pointed out a female leopard. Then he found the baby she was about to drag the kill to. We had two safaris a day. Each had a break with a picnic of snacks and every beverage you might want. Cocktails under the stars, while hyenas ran by us, was another amazing memory. The staff: is 5 Star service. Whatever you preferred or needed, you simply asked (if it wasn’t already anticipated which it was for us). Karin greeted us before and after each Safari and touched base to ensure everything was excellent. The Food: delicious. You had choices and could also request something specific. Everything we ate was amazing. The Bar : was stocked and a wonderful happy place to have a drink in the evening. The Accommodations: gorgeous, clean, extremely large. You basically have a small house equipped with two bathrooms, one shower, one bathtub and even. Private plunge pool outside. Advice: stay at least 3 days. We originally were going to stay only 2 because a friend said that would be more than enough time doing safari. Due to COVID causing changes to our trip (and reducing the number of countries we are going to), we added a night. Two would NOT have been enough, (unless you must). This allowed our guide to ensure we saw what we wanted , without having to rush around on an agenda. We came across male lions, and we were able to follow them into bush. I think we could easily have stayed here 4 nights, but will not recommend less than 3. We saw the Big Five, and everything in between. Safety: you and you’re belongings are completely safe. We stayed at the Rattrays camp at Mala Mala.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Sept allowed us to see the animals easily. April/May which is mating season. Stay min 3 nights.
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GBubrick wrote a review Jul 2021
Fort Lauderdale, Florida25 contributions19 helpful votes
Spent 4 nights. 7 drives. This is the best camp we visited among 6 overall. Big fives. Two kills. Wild dogs. Accommodations are 5*. Food and service commensurate. Guide, Michael Botes, was terrific. Full stop. When we return to SA for safari, this is the only place we will stay.
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Ken M wrote a review Jul 2021
San Antonio, Texas74 contributions44 helpful votes
If you are looking for a special kind of adventure, where one can see the amazing world of African wildlife up close while experiencing top level service and amenities, look no further. This was 8th safari camp experience, and it was by far the best of a great group of stays. I felt as though a very rich friend had invited us to use his home, and told his staff to take extra special care of us. The physical location is beautiful and beyond comfortable, the food and drinks excellent, the wildlife experience was jaw-dropping, and the service was just right. We were making plans for our next trip before we had been there a full day. Why go on safari and miss this, the very best?
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Do not scrimp on your time here. We were there 3days, and wished it were 4 or 5.
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claudiodare wrote a review May 2021
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa3 contributions
We travel extensively to Game lodges in Southern Africa including the top Luxury lodges in Botswana and have recently been to Mala Mala again for the second time. We had the best experience at Mala Mala that we have ever had so far. Game was plentiful including the Big 5, in the 4 days we stayed, we saw all the big 5 on 2 of the 4 days, and the other 2 days we saw 4 of the Big 5. This was all viewed a Close quarters as they are able to drive Off road right up to the animals. This is a must if you would like to have great sightings. I must mention that the exceptional services of our Game Ranger Michael Botes was the utmost delight and very important if you want a great experience. Not having an exceptional game ranger is like having a great car and not being able to drive it. The tracking ability of the ranger was exceptional and he was able to find the sightings to our perfection. The Experience well worth the money spent and you will not be disillusioned.
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Date of stay: May 2021
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Room Tip: Rattray's Camp - all are great rooms
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Kenneth U wrote a review Mar 2020
Los Angeles, California36 contributions27 helpful votes
+1
The staff and management are welcoming and bent over backward to please. The bungalows are huge and luxurious. The wildlife viewing was spectacular. Our guide, Michael, was extremely knowledgeable and I was particularly impressed by this tracking skills. We went to see the Big 5, and we did, but the bird life was spectacular (I'm running out of superlatives) and Michael turned out to be an experienced birder and was able to share his information with us.
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Date of stay: February 2020
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realproperty wrote a review Feb 2020
Toronto, Canada77 contributions60 helpful votes
You don't get a room, you get your own luxury house. That is just for starters. The game drives, even with the winter grasses did not disappoint. We saw the big 5 plus so many more. What makes the place special is the people. Bruce, Amy, Trevor are friendly, outgoing, personable and personal and make you feel special, that you belong. Only 8 rooms, 16 people at a time here so it really is yours to enjoy. The staff are all very friendly and happy that you are there. Gordon was our tracker and a finer fellow and guide you will never meet. He knows every species of animal, bird, turtle, grasshopper and clearly loves what he does. He lets you get to know him personally and that makes it all the more fun. The food is exceptional. There is nothing to complain about at all. Splurge if you have to to stay at Rattrays.
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Date of stay: February 2020
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Patricia E wrote a review Feb 2020
Sheffield, United Kingdom84 contributions69 helpful votes
Rattrays has to have 5 stars for the wonderful wildlife viewing, the luxurious rooms and the caring attentive staff. I do have a few constructive comments though. It is more of a hotel than camp and as such you do not get the feeling of staying in the African Bush but you do have a TV, air con. and wi-fi. The safari drives are wonderful, our ranger Michael is one of the best we have met after going to 7 different camps across the Continent. We saw the animals and wildlife at close range with exciting off road driving and some sightings we had only dreamt of, thank you. The level of luxury was as described by others and we were looked after royally by the friendly staff. The food was good but too heavy on the sauces for one of our party, this seemed a common trait in South Africa. I have some mobillty difficulties and the staff provided steps to use to get in and out of the cars and a golf buggy to move around the camp. It was obvious that they had catered for others this way. A shame that the designers of the building had not thought of this problem as the toilets are all rather low and access to the plunge pools and main swimming pool had sttep steps and no hand rail. In spite of this we had a wonderful holiday thank you Shadrack, Trevor and of course Michael for looking after us.
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Date of stay: January 2020
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Mary Lee Gannon wrote a review Feb 2020
33 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
We've traveled the world, been to beautiful places and done many exciting things. Nothing compares to the experience we had at Rattray's Camp in Mala Mala, South Africa. It's a small camp so you feel as if you are a guest at someone's private estate - 8 rooms that are private bungalows. Each one had its own private wading pool, separate bathrooms and dressing rooms, couches, eating area and a wraparound porch with a full view of the Sands River and wildlife. Our guide, Reggie, was outstanding. He went out of his way to present us with the most breathtaking experiences of our lives. The experience of being with these animals – just a few feet away in the wild - took our breath away – rhinos rolling around in the mud and being chased away by a heard of elephants throwing mud all over themselves with their trunks, two sightings of a leopard leaping across the Sands River, zebras flighting in a circle, giraffes chomping on the trees next to us, Baboons mating in the wild, a lion cub rubbing up against his father just like Simba and Mufassa, a pride of 13 lions and cubs resting 15 feet away, a male lion brushing right past the Land-rover and a leopard doing the same. Because it was summer we got to see all the babies – zebra, rhinos, elephants, baboons, wild wolves, Nala, Gnus and many more. The most exciting moment for me was tracking a pride of lions at twilight with Reggie knowing just where they’d go and having them come out of the bush and brush right past our vehicle one after another – eye contact and all. Priceless. I remember the feeling everyday and follow the Mala Mala Game Reserve just to keep in touch with it.
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Date of stay: January 2020
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Audio212 wrote a review Feb 2020
New York City, New York114 contributions38 helpful votes
+1
So let me start by saying - the game is incredible and you don’t have to go far to find it. The accommodations are lovely . But for us, the place just wasn’t our style. It’s a VERY small camp, which I thought we’d love but it was too small. Your guide also brings your luggage to your room, eats your meals with you, and doubles and triples for everything. There’s a bar but you are designated to eat at a particular hour, and everyone knows of every coming and going you have. I also felt like all the people higher up were white and all the people in serving positions were people of color. It also has a very colonial feel - this just wasn’t our jam. I felt out of place and while everyone was very nice - you should know what kind of camp your headed to. Just make sure you want it this small and it offers no kind of festivities. It’s not a particularly fun place. It’s a bit stiff and stodgy for our tastes. But it seems right for others. Just sharing our experience.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
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ALSO KNOWN AS
mala mala rattray`s camp hotel mala mala private game reserve
LOCATION
South AfricaKruger National ParkSabi Sand Game ReserveMala Mala Private Game Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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Frequently Asked Questions about MalaMala Rattray's Camp
What are some of the property amenities at MalaMala Rattray's Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
Which room amenities are available at MalaMala Rattray's Camp?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at MalaMala Rattray's Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at MalaMala Rattray's Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at MalaMala Rattray's Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does MalaMala Rattray's Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, MalaMala Rattray's Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does MalaMala Rattray's Camp have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.