Mala Mala Game Reserve

Mala Mala Game Reserve

Located in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province is Mala Mala, an extensive game reserve that’s among the best known in the country. Spanning some 15,000 hectares of land, it was the very first private Big Five reserve in the country and remains the largest such reserve to this day. It’s one of several areas of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and borders Kruger National Park, one of the largest and most diverse reserves on the continent.

There are three camps to be found within the reserve, all of which are on the western side of the Sand River. The eastern side of the river, which encompasses some 95% of the reserve’s land, is therefore completely free from human habitation of any kind. The camps all offer luxury suites and can accommodate children; they have plenty of amenities and facilities, and are well placed for offering authentic safari experiences.

The reserve’s 12-mile eastern border with Kruger National Park is entirely unfenced, enabling wildlife to roam freely between the two protected areas. Many come here from afar to view and photograph the Big Five (the Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros). In fact, it’s not uncommon for all five to be spotted on the same day. Many other animals can frequently be seen throughout the reserve, from the giraffe and the wildebeest, to the cheetah and the zebra. For the safari drives, which take place both in the morning and evening, there’s a particularly low number of vehicles out at any given time. Rangers are able to impose a limit of three vehicles per sighting, with no time limit on the sightings.

Climate: The area’s climate is generally quite favourable. The dry season lasts from May to September, during which temperatures are cooler and there’s practically no rainfall at all. From October to April, the area’s wet season, it’s considerably warmer, with much more humidity and rainfall. January and February tend to be the wettest months of the year, as well as the warmest. June and July, on the other hand, are both the driest and the coolest.


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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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