My wife and I stayed here as part of a luxury safari trip, for 3 nights, and 5 drives.
The rooms are very well appointed and extremely comfortable. The veranda off the main room offers views of the Sand River with the occasional lion or elephant wandering by. Ours came with a dip pool which we were too busy on drives to use, but it looked comfortable! The breakfast was great, with their chef willing to make whatever was requested, but we actually skipped breakfast to start our morning game drive earlier and would then have a morning picnic instead. Although a lighter option, it was perfect eating wraps, fruit, etc with a coffee in the bush. The evening drive also had the option of a sunset stop to have cocktails while viewing, but we were too busy seeing game to do it! Dinner back at the camp was only adequate however - there were always three options (including a veggie one), and while the food was good, it wouldn't be considered 5 star.
The staff was amazing. Alex and Nerine, the managers of the camp, were exceptionally welcoming, friendly, and helpful. The wait staff and bartenders (Trevor) were also extremely friendly and willing to accommodate any request. Even the grounds staff were always ready with a smile and "good morning".
The guides all seemed great, but ours, Jacques, was spectacular. He was knowledgeable about all the game ( which we expected), but also about any aspect of the MalaMala preserve we could think of. An exceptional photographer himself, he excelled at getting us into the best position to take memorable pictures, as well as positions to experience the game in the best possible way (for example, anticipating a leopards next move and driving us around so it would walk right by us). He was friendly, likeable, professional, and made the experience unforgettable.
The experience we had at Rattray's was everything we could have wanted, and we're already planning another Africa trip which will include a stay there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- MalaMala Game Reserve is the Safari Industry's blueprint to the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive thriving tract of land produces the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13 300 ha (33 000 acres), MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. For over four decades, Michael Rattray has remained focused on his objective to preserve and protect the land over which he is custodian. Allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience today what the forefathers of the African Safari would have experienced at the turn of the century. This philosophy has paid off, as experienced by a veritable collection of photojournalists and film-makers who have made MalaMala their destination of choice to capture footage of wildlife viewing that would rival any Hollywood production for thrilling and breathtaking animal encounters. MalaMala's Camps (MalaMala Main Camp, Sable Camp and Rattray's on MalaMala) are the embodiment of an authentic safari experience pioneered at a time when the safari was simple - unassuming camps, vast sweeping plains, the African sky and the bush in all its splendour. Wellness was the feeling after a long day in the wild. Cigars were shared without pomp and ceremony. Guests to MalaMala will still spend hours beneath an inky sky in the traditional boma exchanging stories from the wild - a sumptuous meal, good company and relaxed faces warmed by the crackling fire, accompanied by the nocturnal symphony of sound. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mala Mala Rattray`s Camp Hotel Mala Mala Private Game Reserve