Tucked away in a forest of green, on the banks of the world-renowned Sand River, lies a special place. MalaMala Rattray’s Camp offers an intimate glimpse into an era long lost, when travellers from afar married the magic of the African bush with elegance and refinement.
MalaMala Game Reserve is the safari industry’s blueprint for the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive, thriving tract of land offers the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is one of the largest private Big Five game reserves in South Africa. It covers 13 300ha (33 000 acres), shares a 19km (12 mile) unfenced boundary with the world-renowned Kruger National Park and lies strategically sandwiched between the Kruger and the Sabi Sand Reserve.
View our camps at MalaMala
From our blog
The giraffe, an animal so unique to Africa, is silently going extinct. Many of us have been blissfully unaware of the dire predicament in which these ungainly beasts find themselves.
"These gentle giants have been overlooked and have already become extinct in seven countries" - Sir David Attenborough
Often, when we ask our guests which animals they’re most hoping to see, we hear the usual ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo) and then, almost always, this is followed by the giraffe.
West Street has a new guardian. It is no secret that MalaMala has some of the best river frontage of any reserve in the country, with around 24km of prime game viewing habitat on the banks of the Sand River. The vast majority of our reserve sits east of the river while all three of our camps are on the western bank. It is therefore inevitable that we need several crossings to gain access into the east.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – This quote is attributed to Roman philosopher, Seneca, and its essence is something that we as photographic safari rangers understand and deal with on a day to day basis. The challenge with wildlife photography is that we can’t tell the ‘models’ what to do and we don’t get any retakes. To make up for this we try to anticipate their next move and position ourselves accordingly.
Out of all the animals in the animal kingdom, there are very few that fascinate me as much as the leopard. Their secretive nature, elusive behaviour and tremendous adaptability has resulted in many gaps in scientific literature. They have the uncanny ability to continually surprise the observer.
The Impala Aepyceros melampus
The month of April has brought with it the impala rutting season. It is the time of year, signalled by the shorter days and longer nights of Autumn, where we see the adult male impalas being completely intolerant of one another, especially in the presence of females in oestrus.
As a ranger in South Africa, you often hear of this mystical place called MalaMala Game Reserve (aka "The Promised Land"). Stories, as we all know, can sometimes sound too good to be true and so I found myself wondering if these unconfirmed reports were fact, or simply fiction, hyped up by the ‘bush telephone’. I decided to find out for myself…