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Rattray's on MalaMala
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Reviews (191)
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All reviewsmala malasand rivermain campplunge poolheated floorsgame viewingseparate bathroomsover the toplarge verandavisiting wildlifethe reservekruger national parkwill stay with me forevera special tripcape buffalositting areahunting dogs
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18 - 23 of 191 reviews
Reviewed 8 August 2017

From camp managers, Alex and Nerine, ranger Joe, down to all staff, thank you for a wonderful stay. From the warm greeting to the tearful goodbye, Rattray's will remain as a great memory.
The hospitality and service in such a luxurious setting amongst the best of African wildlife astounded us each day.
Game drives with Joe had us in close proximity to so many animals, especially leopards, rhinos, elephants and lions. You will not be disappointed with the game viewing on offer.
Accommodation was unbelievable with his and hers bathroom, huge dressing rooms, your own plunge pool and deck to enjoy the visiting wildlife to the beautiful river below.
And there is still time to enjoy reminiscing about your day at the bar each night, genuine happiness and plenty of laughter !!
What a package. Bundle all this up and be prepared to be blown away.
Thanks to all involved in our perfect stay,
Allan and Robyn
Australia

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AllanMarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Manager at Rattray's on MalaMala, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2017

Dear Allan & Robyn

Thank you so much for the great feedback! We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your time with us, as we truly enjoyed sharing the magic of Rattray’s on MalaMala with you. We have passed your compliments on to Joe and the rest of the team, and we hope you have the opportunity to return in the very near future. Until then, please stay in touch with Facebook and Instagram, where you can still get up close with the animals.

Warmest regards
Alex & Nerine

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2017

I need a new dictionary. My wife and I went to Rattray's at Mala Mala with six lifetime friends. They kidded me about "running out of superlatives" (I must have said it 100 times) but that is what happens when you spend time there.
The staff is superb in every way, with a special nod to Trevor. The lodges (really a mini-home) are so wonderful that you could spend days lounging around without leaving. Except you will not because the elephants roaming in the river bed below Rattray's beckoned us to begin exploring right away. Our guides--Jacques and Gary--were world class. We saw everything up close in this conservation jewel--lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, giraffe, hippo, zebra, Cape buffalo and much more. Oh, and the stargazing is as special as any place you will ever visit. Moreover, we were deeply impressed with both the knowledge and care Jacques and Gary showed every day around the wildlife. We were in their world and these gentlemen showed that respect to our natural heritage in every action and word. What a blessing and I only hope future generations will have the same opportunity.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SouthernCross0017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Marketing at Rattray's on MalaMala, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2017

Many thanks for a such a lovely review on your stay at MalaMala Game Reserve. It gives us pleasure when our guests only have positive things to say about their safari experience with us and it looks like we also need to have a new dictionary to describe your dream experience!We will definitely pass on your glowing compliments to all the staff.

We really look forward to welcoming you once again for another dream photo safari.

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Reviewed 26 July 2017

It has been just five days since we left Rattray's at Mala Mala and already I am longing to return. Where to begin? Our group of eight dear friends spent five days and four nights there, in what was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had (and I am fairly well traveled). Mala Mala was the culmination of an extraordinary trip to South Africa. Our group occupied four of the eight Khayas at Rattrays, and because occupancy is limited to 16 guests at one time (adults only), the experience was intimate and the personal service was stellar.

Each Khaya is a separate elegant, spacious cottage with a beautifully appointed living area, bedroom and his & her bath/dressing suites - his with an enormous shower, hers with a beautiful free standing claw foot tub. Think upscale "Out of Africa." Each Khaya also has its own plunge pool, an outdoor shower and a large veranda with lounge chairs overlooking the Sand River, where you can watch all kinds of game come to the river to drink. The food is excellent, and the communal cocktail gathering in the bar before the sumptuous dinner offered a lovely opportunity to chat with other guests from around the world and share experiences from the day's game drives.

The Mala Mala reserve itself is enormous - the largest private game reserve in South Africa. With the Sand River running through it, a 12 mile shared (unfenced) border with Kruger National Park to the east, and the Sabi Sand reserve to the west, Mala Mala offers extraordinary game viewing. Each of our (many) game drives seemed to surpass the one before it, to the point where we joked that the animals must have been released from cages on cue. They weren't, of course, but that's how abundant the wildlife is at Mala Mala.

But as beautiful as the place is, it is the wonderful staff that sets Rattray's apart and the two rangers for our group, Jacques and Gary, were outstanding! Both were skilled at tracking and very knowledgeable about all of the animals, not just the Big 5 (which we saw within the first 24 hours), including birds, reptiles and even insects. They also knew the area's trees and plants, and could even point out constellations and stars in the Southern Hemisphere sky during night game drives. There was a great camaraderie between them as well, and both were witty and charming - great dinner companions! With several avid photographers in our group (and one professional), Jacques and Gary both worked to get the best positioning for photographs when we came across a subject, and yet were always mindful of the animal's behavior and were careful never to intrude in a way that caused the animals stress, which was very important to all in our group and is an important concept at Mala Mala.

The rest of the staff was wonderful as well. Everyone -- from the bar staff (Trevor was fabulous, and was spot on with our favorite adult beverages), to the kitchen staff and servers (all of whom have amazing voices and often sang and danced at dinner in the Boma), to the lovely ladies who delivered coffee to our rooms with a smile at 6:00 a.m. so we could start our game drives before sunrise -- was warm and friendly, and made our experience at Rattray's unforgettable. Jacques, Gary, Trevor, Alex and the rest of the staff - thank you!! I will return some day, and until then will carry cherished memories from Rattray's close to my heart.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Tamara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Marketing at Rattray's on MalaMala, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2017

Dear Guest ,

Thank you for such a glowing review on your stay at MalaMala Game Reserve. We are pleased the entire Rattray's team went above and beyond to make your safari experience very memorable and special. We will definitely pass your compliments to all of them.

Please do return in the near future for another unforgettable experience with your newly found MalaMala family.

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Reviewed 26 July 2017 via mobile

I can't imagine a more tailored, unique and luxury experience. Alex, Jacques, Judith and so many other staff members made it a perfect safari....an experience that will stay with me forever. The food was amazing! Presentation, music, different menu items every day with a substantial wine selection added to the wonder of it all. The rooms have his and her bathrooms. I took a relaxing bath everyday as the view and experience practically demanded it. The photo drives never disappointed and I've never seen so many animals this close up. It is a testimony to the guides and rangers that the animals do not even flinch, stop eating a kill or bolt when we drove up within 15 feet of them. They are so used to the vehicles because of the respectful and peaceful approach the camp has encouraged guests to show at all times. Our group of four had lots of laughs and looked forward to the drives twice a day. The heated floors in the bath were an extra nice touch along with huge closet space and amenities. I was sick the last day of camp and the staff went out of their way to check on me and bring me meals. The private view from each cottage ensured constant entertainment -elephants charging, mom and baby hippo grazing, antelope jumping in huge herds through the tall grass. It is Nat Geo on steroids and you are in the middle of it. I only have GREAT things to say about our time there and would highly recommend this be your choice if you truly want the luxury experience with incredibly knowledgeable and fun guides who never failed to find animals each day for us to see and photograph.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank BlueCupcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Marketing at Rattray's on MalaMala, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time to write a review on your stay at Rattray's on MalaMala. We are delighted to hear you had a wonderful experience in both wildlife, food and accommodations. Thank you for endorsing us as an extraordinary luxury safari reserve, we sure do hope to welcome you back in the near future .

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Reviewed 22 July 2017

A simply magical experience. The food, wine, service and was spectacular! The rangers are intent on finding you the big 5. we found them several times in a small area. I simply could not believe the amount of game in one small area and how diverse the topography was. Dinner in the Boma is the best with great food. If you go say hi to mt two favorite rangers Jaques and Gary. Oh and Trevor is the best bartender in the world. Ask for a drink and he will say Ok boss and with a wink double time meaning quick and a double. This was phenomenal!

Room Tip: if with family stay at the main lodge but if a couple you MUST stay at Rattrays
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Todd T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Marketing at Rattray's on MalaMala, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2017

Dear Guest,

Many thanks for such a wonderful review , we are ecstatic that we managed to make your safari experience magical and phenomenal . We will definitely pass your raving compliments to Jacques, Gary and Trevor . Please do visit us once again in the near future for another best safari experience .

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