User Reviews – MalaMala GR

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Fascinating, friendly foreever-experience
Overall rating
5/5

The experience of Mala Mala Game Reserve stirs memories of beautiful and romantic lodges at the brink of a wonderful river with fascinating and plenty wildlife in a very engaged, informed and friendly athmosphere.

A Luxurious Bush Hotel
Overall rating
4/5

Mala Mala is obviously geared towards the high market, with most visitors arriving by plane. As such, it is important to review Mala Mala in this context.

Yes, the rooms are luxurious and contain everything you could need, but there are other lodges that just add that touch of style which give them an edge in the luxury department. More specifically, the rooms felt like a 5-star hotel rather than a bush lodge - there was little viewing to be done from the room which was in near proximity to other rooms and therefore wasnt as open as it could have been. The view from the balcony was less than spectacular, rather dull even, but the occasional animal did walk by. In short - very comfortable, but didnt integrate you into the bush, or even really 'Africa'.

The communal areas were much more succesful in this regard, tastefully decorated, also with large trophies and plenty of space. Eating is done on a large deck with a great view over the river Sands, where the occasional elephant of hippo walks. There were many stories of animals coming into the lodge, but I didnt witness any of this. Further, there is a large and beautiful pool, as well as gym and entertainment room for kids with DVDs. The food was fantastic.

All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. No complaints here. Especially the guides are extremely knowledgeable and willing to adjust to your wishes. They also eat every meal with you, providing great conversation.

The wildlife is what Mala Mala is famous for and there is no shortage of it. Within my first hour I had seen 2 cheetahs, a leopard and an attempted lion kill. We visited these animals repeatedly, and saw some more great interactions. The one thing I will add is that they are a little obsessed with the 'big five' and even provide a certificate at the end. Although the wildlife is great, and the game drives are lovely, the lodge lacks anything to really get you into the bush; the walk was 20min long and followed a road with the car trailing us, ready to pick us up. Further Ive heard some negative things about their conservation record, perhaps unfounded, but now with the fence to Kruger removed this should be fine.

In summary, a very comfortable and luxurious experience. You will see a lot of spectacular wildlife. Perfect if you want to visit Africa for a short time in comfort and tick your animal checklist. If you really want to explore Africa and experience the bush - go elsewhere.

Emiel de Lange

Overall rating
5/5

It's only by comparison to Mala Mala that I would rate the other game reserves I visited less than five stars across the board. I would guess that Mala Mala is the ultimate in luxurious, African Bush safaris. Not only are the accommodations luxurious and the meals terrific but Mala Mala has no fences. It's HUGE expanse of property runs right into Kruger park and other unfenced game preserves so the wildlife moves freely and you never know what you'll see on any given day. I spent three days at Mala Mala, I hated to leave and I wish I could be there right now.

Mala Mala offered complete luxury, a perfect escape from reality.
Overall rating
5/5

The accommodation and service were top notch, offering a personalized experience that went way above my expectation. Amenities were fine, but I was not there for the amenities as much as the wildlife. In two days we saw just about everything I had hoped, going out of our way to try and complete my list. The guides were knowledgeable and made sure that my experience was amazing. I would highly recommend a trip here in the future. I drove myself to Mala Mala, an option that was fine but I would not do this again. Too much time was spent on the road rather than at the camp.

Sheer luxury, straight Out of Africa.
Overall rating
5/5

We arrived at Mala Mala by Land Rover through the bush and left by airplane from the local airstrip, which is an interesting experience in itself. Once you arrive at the lodge, you feel like you're about to bump into Meryl Streep or Robert Redford right around the corner, or sipping a drink in the confortable bar. The accomodation is first class, with the possibility of having breakfast and dinner at your porch, watching herds of animals roam by just a stone's throw from where you're enjoying your wine.

The Wildlife, The Luxury, What More Can One Want?
Overall rating
5/5

Mala Mala is a game reserve located on the outskirts of the Kruger National Park, and the wildlife is able to travel freely between the two. When one travels to Mala Mala, a stay pretty much guarantees a Big 5 viewing, and lucky there is lots of game to view. The guides are extremely knowledgable, and the whole experience is incredible. The only downside to Mala Mala is that it isn't a place for anyone who is looking for a true bush experience, because it is so luxury. The food is amazing, and eating outside in a true-African boma is a great experience. Truly a treat for anyone looking for a luxury bush experience.

The ultimate safari experience in South Africa
Overall rating
5/5

4 times I've been to Mala Mala (stayed in 3 of their 4 camps) and I've yet to find a flaw. The camps are luxurious to extremely luxurious; the food and wines are excellent. Rooms (and in Rattrays 'khayas', bungalows) are outstanding.

The wildlife viewing is among the best in Africa, the rangers are knowledgeable and pleasant company. Best thing is that they wear ear-pieces so no crackling radios while watching wildlife.

But the best about Mala Mala Game Reserve is that the wildlife comes first, always. The game viewing is done with ultimate respect for the animals' wellbeing.

Very Special Experience
Overall rating
5/5

This was my first Safari experience and a colleague recommended that I should go to Mala Mala and it didn't disappoint. The excellent, knowledgeable guides and spotters, great wildlife viewing opportunities at the end of winter (September, dry season) fantastic accommodation and the fact that you could fly directly there from Johannesburg all were big positive points.

Put your camera down for a while and let your senses soak it in!
Overall rating
4/5

We enjoyed a very informative guide who was very accommodating of guest's preferences. The animals were awesome and provided great photo opportunities. The accommodations, food and service were fabulous. I highly recommend that you make the trip.

Once in a Lifetime
Overall rating
5/5

I think this is the best trip I've had because I got experience things I had never seen before. Besides, how many people do you think have been on an African safari? Not many, I can tell you that. Basically, what happens is that your ranger does everything for you. He is your waiter, driver, bar tender, etc. You are always in good hands and I highly recommend going to Mala Mala. Here is an awesome video if you want to learn more about the lions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1AqV-lwSfA

Average User Rating

  • 4.9/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 29
  • 4 star 4
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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