MalaMala promises the finest game viewing on the African sub-continent and regularly provides the subject matter for a veritable collection of international and local wildlife documentaries (including National Geographic). Many of these documentaries have won international accolades amidst critical acclaim. Several publications are available, showcasing the treasures that make the property one of the most sought-after on any traveller's itinerary.
No other destination can compete with the Lowveld's pristine wilderness locations, which are legally protected from human interference. The region, larger than many independent countries, is home to the largest concentrations of free roaming elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, and literally hundreds of other species of wild mammal. Today this area is known to have the greatest diversification of animal species on the African continent. Over two hundred different species occur in abundance, whilst the ever changing bird life provides even the most experienced ornithologist with rare finds.
It is a near-impossible task to bring to life a MalaMala safari through the written word, but the wildlife statistics published by the property serve to prove the frequency and consistency of Big 5 sightings experienced by visitors.
Why such phenomenal viewing success? Simply put, it’s due to:
Size and human habitation: 33000 acres (13 500 hectares) lie undisturbed, but for two safaris which meander through the wild with no more than 6 silent observers per vehicle each day. Human densities which have a direct impact on the environment have been kept to an absolute minimum. Only guests accommodated at one of the MalaMala camps enjoy this privately-owned game land.
All camps and human habitation are kept to the small section of land on the western bank of the Sand River. On the eastern side there are no camps, no power or telephone lines, no access roads for deliveries and transfer vehicles, no lights save the game viewing vehicles and no airstrips. All that lies between the Sand River and the Kruger National Park is a tract of wilderness land which, for almost 16 hours a day when game drives vehicles are not operating, is the domain of the wildlife – uninterrupted and pristine.
Game viewing on MalaMala Game Reserve is exclusive to the camps on MalaMala and we do not share traversing with adjacent reserves. As a result the human impact is kept to a minimum and guests are able to enjoy wildlife sightings for longer periods thus increasing their photographic opportunities.
The perennial Sand River runs north to south through the reserve proving a plentiful supply of water especially during the dry winter months. The river provides water for wildlife from as far away as the Kruger National Park during this time.
MalaMala has practiced sound environmental management policies for years, well before “responsible tourism" became the contemporary catch phrase.
The vast area of MalaMala supports a variety of habitat types; dense riverine forest, acacia-combretum bushveld, open grassland and rocky outcrops, each sustaining different plant and animal species. The diversity of game on the MalaMala Game Reserve is therefore enhanced and territorial animals remain in a area’s for many years.
Photographic safaris are conducted in open 4-wheel drive vehicles, allowing for total freedom of movement and the ability to leave the road and track down Africa's unique animals including the legendary Big Five - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.