MalaMala Game Reserve

An exciting new chapter

We trust you saw the recent media statement regarding the conclusion of a 20 year lease agreement for MalaMala Game Reserve and the forming of a partnership between Michael Rattray of MalaMala, Stephen Saad of Kirkman’s Kamp and the N’wandlamhari Community Property Association. This heralds an exciting new chapter for MalaMala and most importantly, secures the long term future of our beloved game reserve.
The conclusion of the agreement has not only re-energised the MalaMala team but it has given us the confidence to invest in the product and the property. Such investment will see the building of a new camp(s) on the under-utilised, southern portion of the game reserve and will also involve the “re-imagination” of MalaMala Main and Sable Camps.
While we undertake these exciting new projects, we will always be mindful of MalaMala’s rich, 50 year history and its real, honest and authentically African feel. In short, MalaMala has a “soul” which we intend to preserve.
Importantly, there will be no material change to the modus operandi or the personnel at MalaMala.  All the camp staff will remain as employees of MalaMala Game Reserve and there will be no change to the central sales, marketing and reservations office. The camps will continue to be operated by the current management team with assistance from our new partners.
Most importantly, there will be no change to the exceptional levels of service and hospitality associated with MalaMala and the world class wildlife experience synonymous with this unique and special property..
Finally, thank you for your support throughout this period – it is sincerely appreciated! MalaMala is embarking on an exciting new journey and we look forward to sharing it with our valued partners. 
3 December: A magnificent sight. A herd of rare Sable Antelope in the Sand River opposite Rattray's Camp. Image by ranger Mike Kirkman.

MalaMala – what’s in a name

We often get asked the question: “Where did the name MalaMala originate?" Legend has it that in 1869, a property surveyor was marking out the farms in the region and naming title deeds. On seeing a large herd of antelope, he asked his Shangaan assistant the name of these beautiful animals. The assistant’s response was: "Ximpalampala"– the Shangaan word for Sable Antelope. The surveyor wrote down “MalaMala” and the rest is history! 

Interestingly, most of the surrounding farms in the Sabi Sands were named after places in the US, UK, Canada, France and Greece. Although the names are not used commercially, farm names such as Wallingford, Flockfield, Toulon, Kingstown, Charleston and Sparta are listed on the title deeds. MalaMala remains the only property named after wildlife seen on the reserve.

Two little balls of fluff

A story from ranger James Moodie

For ten long minutes all rangers in the reserve waited for Bens to give the call that a lioness was found, sadly that call didn’t come. Instead he called in something far more exciting, the moment all have been waiting for quite some time... Read more

Ranger photographs of the month

MalaMala Facebook and Instagram highlights of the month

1 December: Three kills were witnessed here today! Lions: The 3 Eyrefield lionesses were laying on some rocks in the Sand River when a herd of impala came down to drink. The lionesses ran in an brought down two impala! The Matshapiri pride were also seen today not too far north of West Street. Leopards: the Emsagweni female had an impala lamb kill up a tree when we found her. Later she descended the tree and went for a drink before running in on duiker and killing a youngster. The Tamboti female was seen and so was one of the daughters of the Kikilezi female. Many elephant sightings as well as buffalo. Photo of the Emsagweni female letter by ranger Pieter van Wyk @pcfvanwyk.
19 November: The MalaMala 7 was recorded again today with the highlight being the discovery of new lion cubs! 3 lion sightings: the Eyrefield lioness and her 2 small cubs were at their den in the very southern parts of the Matshapiri River. The other 2 Eyrefield lionesses were on the Airstrip. 5 Gowrie males are on a buffalo kill in the north east. One of the daughters of the Kililezi female was the only leopard seen today. 2 male cheetah were viewed at Clarendon and there was a pack of cape hunting dogs down south. As usual there were many elephant and buffalo sightings. Photo by ranger James Moodie @rangerjamtin.
MalaMala video of the month: Eyrefield lioness kills buffalo.
Video taken by ranger Michael Kirkman.

2015 Guest Photographic Competition

MalaMala Game Reserve
Telephone: +27 – 11 – 442 2267