MalaMala Rattray’s Camp – MalaMala Game Reserve – South Africa

Perhaps more than any other property in South Africa, MalaMala has been at the centre of pioneering the safari industry. Moreover, there is arguably no finer game viewing in South Africa than there is on MalaMala. From the early 1960’s the reserve changed from a hunting concession to one where guns were swapped for cameras, and in many ways the photographic safari was born.

Fast forward 40 years and the luxury MalaMala Rattray’s Camp was opened. Set under a canopy of towering riverine forest on the banks of Sand River the camp is the epitome of refined, classic luxury. For the lucky few who get to stay at MalaMala Rattray’s they can expect an intimate in camp experience coupled with an equally intimate and exceptional safari adventure.

This is the perfect choice for those seeking an unhurried, classic safari in one of the finest tracts of wilderness in Africa.

Classic Luxury

The 8 luxury suites or “khayas” at the camp offer every creature comfort and are decorated in a classically elegant style. Each suite offers 2 bathrooms as well as an outdoor shower. Every suite is positioned facing directly onto the Sand River, with large private deck and private plunge pool. Indoor and outdoor dining areas give clients the option of a completely private dining experience should they wish. For those looking for total relaxation in-room massages are available.

The luxury of the suites extends to the main camp building, which offers the same views out onto the active river below. As with the suites the main areas are designed in a classic style influenced with African touches, historic photographs of the reserve and camps and acclaimed works of art. Fine dining is served in the restaurant, on the deck or in the traditional reed “boma”. For the active sorts there is a small, but well-equipped fitness room.

Unless taking the camp on an exclusive use basis, no under 16s are permitted.

MalaMala Rattrays Suite


Since its inception MalaMala has placed the safari experience at the very centre of everything they offer. There is little wonder, as the MalaMala Game Reserve occupies the most sort after wildlife real estate in South Africa. The land is sandwiched between the Kruger National Park and the famous Sabi Sands Game Reserve, and blessed with some 13,220 ha of private land, and crucially 20km (13 miles) of Sand River frontage. This perennial river is a magnet for wildlife throughout the year.

When staying at MalaMala Rattray’s safari drives are restricted to a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle, offering as standard one of the most private experiences of any camp in the country.

The reserve is home to one of the widest varieties of animals in any reserve anywhere in Africa and has unparalleled statistics when it comes to wildlife sightings. Here the “Big 5” are almost “common”, and the area is regarded as offering some of the finest leopard viewing anywhere.

Lioness and cubs MalaMala

A little extra…

Given the superb game viewing on offer at MalaMala it is no wonder the reserve has hosted many of the world’s greatest wildlife photographers and film makers. If you would like to follow in their footsteps guests at MalaMala are able to reserve (at a supplement) a special photographic safari vehicle for private use.

The vehicle has sliding camera mounts at each row of seats, bean bags for stability, boxes for equipment storage, under-seat lighting and a specialist photographic guide.

MalaMala Photographic Vehicle


Contact us for the best rates for MalaMala Rattray’s Camp

What’s included:

  • Accommodation in luxury suites

  • All meals

  • Selection of hand picked local drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic

  • Twice daily safaris in open 4×4 vehicles with expert guides and a maximum of 4 people per vehicle

  • Return transfers to and from lodge airstrip

  • Select Laundry

What’s Excluded:

  • Travel to and from the lodge

  • Select premium beverages and champagnes

  • Transfers to and from Skukuza, Kruger Mpumalanga and Hoedspruit Airports.

  • Items of personal expense – i.e. spa treatments, curio purchases, telephone calls etc

  • Community Levy

Wildlife highlights:

  • Big Five

  • Cheetah

  • Wild Dog

  • Giraffe

When to visit:

  • January – April: Summer months, the bush is green and dense, temperatures can be very hot. Great time for birding and seeing newly born animals. Specially FREE night offer 04 January – 09 April 2020.

  • May – July: Winter months, with sunny skies and warm days but cold nights. Bush is less dense making it easier for viewing.

  • August – October: Late dry season, temperatures warming up, hot by October. Bush at its lowest meaning visibility at its best. Animals congregate around water sources including the lodge’s waterhole. Limited availability due to high demand.

  • November – December: Usually marks the arrival of summer rains with higher temperatures. The bush starts turning green, migratory birds return and many animals give birth to their young.

  • MalaMala is in an area that experiences malaria – please consult your doctor regarding anti-malaria prophylactics.


  • January – Average High 33ºC (91ºF) / Average Low 21ºC (70ºF) / Average days with rain 7

  • April – Average High 30ºC (86ºF) / Average Low 16ºC (61ºF) / Average days with rain 3

  • July – Average High 26ºC (79ºF) / Average Low 6ºC (43ºF) / Average days with rain 0

  • October – Average High 32ºC (89ºF) / Average Low 16ºC (61ºF) / Average days with rain 4