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“Beautiful Rattray's”

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Rattray's on MalaMala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 September 2017

Our 3 night stay at Rattray's was perfect from beginning to end. Our rooms were beautiful inside and out and very large. The dining areas, bar and library are beautiful as well. All our meals were delicious with very nice choices. You won't go hungry, as they offer food all day long. What really made our stay special was the staff. Everyone is so friendly, helpful and fun. Especially our guide, Joe. Spending 3 days and 5 game drives with Joe was so much fun. His knowledge of the animals, MalaMala preserve and photography really enhanced our experience. We were sad to leave and can't wait to return some day.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Leslie 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 27 September 2017

Many thanks for a lovely review on your stay with us at Rattray's on Malamala. We will definitely pass on your glowing compliments to the staff that made your entire stay special and beautiful with special mention to your ranger Joe.

We do hope to welcome you back once again in the near future .

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13 - 17 of 186 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2017 via mobile

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!

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank MickChT
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 18 August 2017

Dear Guest,

Many thanks for the amazing review on your stay with us at Rattray's on MalaMala . W e are thrilled to hear you enjoyed every aspect of your stay from the game viewing to the amazing staff and food . We will definitely pass on your glowing compliments to your ranger to Jacques and surely hope to welcoming you back in the near future

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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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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
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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Additional Information about Rattray's on MalaMala

Address: P.O. MalaMala, Skukuza, 1353, Kruger National Park 1353, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 8
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

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