Mala Mala Private Game Reserve

Game Lodge, Kruger


The oldest accommodation in South Africa’s oldest private game reserve, MalaMala Main Camp has been greeting guests since 1930.  Thirty years later, it became the first camp to switch from hunting to photographic safaris.  Instantly recognisable for its signature pink bougainvillea, MalaMala still achieves a daydreamy, old-school air via venison dinners, lounges, shady trees and an expansive wooden deck overlooking the Sand River. 


The reserve’s largest camp, Malamala contains eight swanky suites, ten luxury rooms and one single room – with, unusually, no single supplement.  Also unusual is a fully-equipped disabled suite.  Spacious and cosy beneath their thatched roofs, the chambers are all found in ochre-coloured buildings dotted among MalaMala’s greenery, accessed via winding paths.  Each has two bathrooms.


Under a jackalberry tree, the sprawling deck faces a river spot where animals often congregate.  With MalaMala unfenced, elephants also sometimes wander the rolling lawns and bougainvillea blooms, with birdsong a constant soundtrack.  More river views are offered by the infinity pool, while there’s also a small gym and steam room, with massages on request.  Food – venison dishes, or classic bush dinners – is served under the stars in a reed-enclosed, fire-heated boma, in a formal dining room or within the Buffalo Lounge’s animal trophies and African artworks, close to a whiskey-filled bar.


Just six guests are allowed per vehicle on daily game drives, with itineraries tailored to your personal tastes.  Most guests see all of the Big 5 during their stay, with leopards especially populous.  MalaMala’s also one of the few reserves where vehicles are permitted off-road, so you’ll get extra close to the animals.

Child Policy

Children are very welcome, with family rooms available.  Those aged 4 and under aren’t permitted in the boma for dinner or on game drives (unless parents have sole use of the vehicle).  Babysitting’s available for a nominal fee.  The Junior Ranger programme includes lessons in survival skills and radio comms.


The Best of South Africa Travel map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.

Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.

When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.

Recent Blog entries