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Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.
Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.
Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.
Philip is author of the Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa.
MalaMala is an independent private game reserve that shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park to the east and Sabi Sand Game Reserve on all other sides. Having pioneered the upmarket private game reserve experience in the 1960s, it offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa, with easy, quality sightings of the Big Five and leopard, in particular.
MalaMala offers some of the best wildlife viewing on the continent. The Big Five is usually checked off in two days, and leopard are easily spotted on most drives. All sightings are exclusive to MalaMala visitors because the reserve doesn’t give traversing rights to other properties, as is common practice in the neighboring Sabi Sand.
MalaMala is sandwiched between Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reserve with open borders on both sides. The vegetation consists of woodland savannah, dense riverine forest, acacia bushveld, open grassland and rocky outcrops. The Sand River flows north to south through the reserve for 20km/13mi and attracts abundant wildlife in the Dry season.
Weather & Climate
The Wet season in MalaMala runs from October to April, during summer, when stormy afternoons are not uncommon. The heat can be harsh during the daytime. Winter, from May to September, on the other hand, tends to be dry and mild. Temperatures can drop quite dramatically at night, however, and early mornings will feel quite cool.
The Dry season (May to September) months are recommended for getting the best out of a wildlife-viewing experience in MalaMala. Animals can be found milling around the few remaining water sources, and the views open up as the bush recedes. During the Wet season (October to April), the vegetation is green and lush and birding is at its prime, but afternoon storm activity can spoil the best-laid plans.
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
Simplicity in MalaMala
MalaMala is my favorite private reserve in South Africa. Wedged between Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, and with more than 20km of river frontage, MalaMala’s wildlife viewing is phenomenal. There are several factors that make me...
Top quality and intimate wildlife viewing - luxury done well without going over the top
Being one of the largest privately-owned game reserves in South Africa with an unfenced eastern border with Kruger National Park and the still flowing (late August) Sand River going through the length of the reserve, it should not have come...