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.
It is that time of year again when birds of a feather flock together and migrate. Indeed, some of our avian summer visitors have already arrived on MalaMala Game Reserve and many more are on their way. It would be a shame not to take a moment to research and appreciate the awe-inspiring journeys that many of these birds have undergone to get into your viewfinder.
For as long as I can remember I have been enraptured by nature. The fascination of how an ant colony selects a new queen, how trees create food, why a zebra has stripes or how a bat can pinpoint a mosquito in the dark. My journey into conservation although inevitable in retrospect, was neither simple nor easy.
MalaMala Game Reserve presents the discerning traveller with an option of three very different yet equally special camps; MalaMala Camp, Sable Camp and Rattray’s Camp. The latter is the smallest and offers unrivalled exclusivity and intimacy.
Behind the smiling faces that helpfully engage with guests in Main Camp’s reception area is a frequently used door. Behind said door are several offices and a boardroom, mostly occupied by senior management; it’s the proverbial ‘belly of the beast’.
“What does it take to become a ranger?” A question that’s often asked. Last month we spoke about the initial steps one has to take on the journey to becoming a ranger.