MalaMala Rattray's Camp

MalaMala Rattray's Camp

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About

5.0
#3 of 5 lodges in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
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)
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Pool
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Gift shop
Butler service
Wifi
Outdoor pool
Private pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Room service
Safe
Minibar
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Modern
Great View
Languages Spoken
Afrikaans

Location

Unnamed Road, Kruger National Park 1353 South Africa
249Reviews5Q+A76Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Patricia E wrote a review Feb 2020
Sheffield, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
j mcdan wrote a review Oct 2022
Seattle, Washington
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The accommodations were excellent and beyond what we anticipated. We had a "home" to ourselves. The MalaMala team made us feel like family and we enjoyed every moment at their safari camp! We were assigned the same Ranger, Peter, for the entire week and we shared the jeep with one other couple during our safari game drives- this was the perfect size group. Their jeeps can only seat a maximum of 6 people, so you can always have a small intimate group. The jeeps are open air with tiered style seating, so our views were never restricted. This was our first safari and it was an unbelievable experience! The MalaMala Rattray's safari camp rangers pride themselves on using their knowledge of the animal's behaviors to truly tracking the location of the game. Ranger Peter listened to the sounds of the animals and looked at the patterns of their tracks to locate the game. They do not "bait" or interfere with the animals. They allow their natural behaviors to guide them along with communicating with other MalaMala rangers via radio to track the animal's locations. This allowed us to really observe the animals and to allow our Ranger the freedom to locate them, even if that meant venturing off of the normal paths created for driving. This was a true adventure and we enjoyed every moment!
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Every room is excellent! They all have a view of the river
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wayne P wrote a review Jul 2022
Sydney, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our fifth visit to MalaMala, but our first staying at Rattray’s Camp. Each villa at Rattray’s is essentially a colonial-style house. Dark wood elegant furnishings; comfortable bed; large deck with private plunge pool (not heated) and outdoor shower. Food is all good. Service is friendly and attentive. While we were glad we tried Rattray’s (and very much enjoyed our stay), our personal preference for the MalaMala accommodation remains Main Camp (particularly given the price differential). Of course, the main reason to stay at any of the three MalaMala camps is to enjoy the best ‘Big 5+’ game viewing in Africa on this incredible property and with always outstanding guides. MalaMala never disappoints.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Audio212 wrote a review Feb 2020
New York City, New York
+1
3.0 of 5 bubbles
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
realproperty wrote a review Feb 2020
Toronto, Canada
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WellTraveled99 wrote a review 02 Jul
Chicago, Illinois
5.0 of 5 bubbles
OK, simply THE BEST...ever. We spent 3 days here on safari before heading to Botswana for a second safari. Rattray Camp is a small enclave of 8 cottages (houses) that are absolutely luxurious, private and spacious, over looking the river. Monkeys on our roof in the morning and playing on the back deck. Water buffalo wandering the river below during the warm afternoons. Overwhelming assortment of snacks in the rooms and all of the amazing food and high end beverages are included. Each cottage has a small pool and there is a gym and mid size pool for the resort. Not that you would have time to use them given the schedule. But nice to have available and unique in the bush. This is emersion in the bush, not some far off 5 star mega hotel that ships you out to safari every day. This is the way to do it. And they do your laundry.

This is Class at its best, with curated twice daily game drives in Rovers (not pickup trucks) of 2-6 people with highly educated guides. In Malamala you are "up close and personal" to all of the wild life, and we saw it all. Literally 3-5 feet away from our vehicles.

A shout out to Rebecca, the lodge manager, who truly gets what high end hospitality is about and is all over everything. The entire staff was also amazing, but too many names to remember. And our beloved Guide Lauren, who knows more about the wild life and eco system than most people can even imagine. Rattray Camp is pricey, but if you are willing and/or can afford to make this happen, there is no reason to look at anything else. Well done team!!
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Date of stay: May 2024
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Susan A wrote a review Oct 2022
Toms River, New Jersey
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This game reserve is top of the line. So beautiful and well appointed. The staff was wonderful. The food was beyond delicious. Their chef is incredibly talented. I can't imagine a guide being better than David (although all the guides seem terrific). He was truly passionate about what he was doing, a real enthusiast. There's nothing better than to spend time with someone so enthusiastic about what they're doing. It was a true adventure everyday. Just when I thought we'd seen it all the next drive would be even more exciting and different. We saw many leopards, lions, painted wolves in their natural environment. A leopard being chased up the tree by a lioness! painted wolves sharing a kill! A mother and son leopard out hunting! So exciting. Not to mention the elephants, cape buffalo, giraffes and monkeys.
The rooms were luxurious. So large and comfortable. 2 bathrooms! and a beautiful deck and plunge pool.

There were not many guests so it was very quiet. Maybe it's off season. I would have liked more of a chance to socialize with the other guests but it really doesn't seem to be encouraged which is kind of strange. But after all you are there for the game drives I guess.

So you get up at 5am and are off by 5:30 am, back 9-9:30 for breakfast. You have the day to yourself. We had massages one day that were wonderful. Then you meet again at 4pm for a lemonade or iced tea and are off again at 4:30 til after dark. Sundowners on the drive!!!

I think if would be nice to have a cocktail hour after the drive and before dinner to talk to other guests. One night we were chatting in the bar with the other guests but after a short time is was clear we were expected to go to our tables for dinner. So their schedule is pretty tight.

But all in all it was a 5 star experience.
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Date of stay: October 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
claudiodare wrote a review May 2021
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Rattray's Camp - all are great rooms
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ken M wrote a review Jul 2021
San Antonio, Texas
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Natandjaan wrote a review Jan 2020
Miami, Florida
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We don't regret splurging on Rattray's camp. It was a wonderful experience and the wildlife was amazing. The rooms are huge, we could have moved in with our wardrobe and still had room left over. His and hers bathrooms and a huge living area. Luxury.

The meals and the staff were great. We were lucky to have a wonderful couple share our jeep with us one day, and we had a jeep to ourselves the next few days. Luck of the draw. Our guide (Gordon) was amazing, and we could tell someone that truly loved the animals and eyes like an eagle. He stopped the jeep once to stop from running over a tiny Chameleon which he later brought us to see.us a
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Date of stay: June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MsDeboo asked a question Sept 2021
ex pat in Ct112 contributions80 helpful votes
Is it possible to get covid testing for return to the US done while staying at Rattray's?
Johannesburg, South Africa
Yes it is possible.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Thank you for your question. MalaMala is in the very fortunate position not to need to use trackers as we have the greatest density of wildlife on the property in the area. We have not used trackers for approximately 12 years. Please check out our daily "Rangers in Isolation" series on Instagram!
Johannesburg, South Africa
Hi there For information on the weather at MalaMala please visit the weather page, under useful information on our website. As far as wildlife goes there is not much difference in the viewing - it is spectacular all year round. Please shout if you have any more questions. The MalaMala team
nic&lisa asked a question Feb 2024
Milan, Italy15 contributions1 helpful vote
HI, sevizio all inclusive?
Johannesburg, South Africa
Yes. Inclusive of all meals, drinks, game drives (safaris), wifi, laundry.
nic&lisa asked a question Feb 2024
Milan, Italy15 contributions1 helpful vote
buongiorno la struttura prevede all inclusive?
Mariela A wrote a tip May 2024
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Go in May and June for best animal sightings. Don’t over pack as they do your laundry."
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LoveToTravel203 wrote a tip May 2024
Melbourne, Australia81 contributions79 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Dress in layers is can be quite cold on the drives"
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Noreen S wrote a tip May 2024
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Stay several days here. No need to stay anywhere else."
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Craig I wrote a tip Jul 2023
San Antonio, Texas34 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Go in June thru August when it’s chilly in the am and warm in the afternoon. It’s a private reserve so you can go off trail"
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carefree Traveler wrote a tip Jan 2023
Carefree, Arizona79 contributions48 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"some rooms can be a long walk from the lodge"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Mala Mala Private Game Reserve area.
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
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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MALAMALA RATTRAY'S CAMP - Lodge Reviews (Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, South Africa)

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.
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