Time flies… we are already 25 episodes into the 'Rangers in Isolation' series and it feels like we started yesterday. From the pristine bushveld of South Africa’s original private game reserve to the comfort of your living room, we have been able to share amazing sightings of the incredible wildlife at MalaMala!
MalaMala Game Reserve prides itself on offering some of the best game viewing in the world. Many years were spent ‘acclimatising’ wildlife, particularly large predators, to the presence of our Land Rovers. As a result, our guests can now enjoy up-close-and-personal encounters with wild animals in their natural habitat.
Placing offspring in foster care is not limited to human society. Certain bird species, like cuckoos, have evolved to put their chicks up for adoption. The only difference being that the adoptive parents have no consent or knowledge about the agreement. This phenomenon is known as brood parasitism and several of these ‘free-loaders’ can be viewed on MalaMala Game Reserve.
While out on your next safari, take a closer look at the eyes of the animals you are viewing. Take note of the shape of the pupils. You may notice that lions have very different eyes to those of your cat at home. You’ll see that the pupils of a zebra are quite different to those of a crocodile. So, why the variation?
MalaMala Game Reserve is one of the few reserves on the continent that not only records what our guests are seeing on safari but also publishes those records. These numbers truly are remarkable yet MalaMala delivers them year after year. It’s all about the wildlife.
They say Africa is not a place, it is a feeling. As we sit here on the pristine banks of the Sand River, a place riddled with some of the best wildlife on the continent, it is hard not to embrace the ‘feeling of Africa’. What is meant by this? What is it about this special place that often moves visitors to tears…
The Kruger National Park (KNP) is one of the largest and best-known national parks in Africa. It is famous for many reasons, chiefly, the abundance and variety of mega-fauna and flora is what makes it stand out from the plethora of other national parks. The KNP boasts 35 species of amphibians, 53 species of fishes, 118 species of reptiles, 148 species of mammals, 505 species of birds and 1990 species of plants.
Speak to any ranger that has worked at MalaMala Game Reserve, past or present, and ask what keeps them here and, in many cases, what brings them back. You will get one simple answer: “It’s all about the wildlife…” So, one has to ask what makes the game viewing so special at MalaMala? There is no single reason but rather the culmination of a number of factors which result in the ‘Magic of MalaMala’ that so many have revelled in over the decades.
Seasonal changes in the bush are drastic and made even more noticeable if one isn’t present to watch the change take place. It so happened that my last 14-day leave started the day before the first significant rains of the 2019/20 wet season. Upon returning to MalaMala I found a completely altered and beautiful environment ready to welcome me.