MalaMala is a large privately owned game reserve neighbouring the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and shares a common border with the famed Kruger National Park. Internationally renowned and award-winning MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa is a sprawling 13 300 hectares and lies on the Sand River. It is one of the oldest and more established private reserves in the greater Kruger Park region.
Major Attraction: Mala Mala’s main attraction is the habituated leopard. Being able to follow these normally elusive cats provides fantastic opportunities to see very rarely witnessed behaviour. There are currently four packs of wild dog that travel in and out of the reserve, but tend to give good sightings when they are around.
Wildlife: Mala Mala offers superb wildlife viewing of all large safari animals, especially the Big Five. Lion, cheetah and leopard are easily seen, and off-road driving in open vehicles assures that sightings are of the highest quality. Buffalo and elephant are common as they are attracted to the Sand River. The white rhino is often spotted, but black rhino sightings are very rare. Mala Mala is part of the Greater Kruger ecosystem, which makes for a very authentic wildlife experience.
Getting there: Tambo International Airport (JNB) near Johannesburg is the initial destination for most people on their way to Mala Mala, arriving from abroad. From here, you can take a connecting flight to Nelspruit Airport/Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP). A transfer from Nelspruit to your lodge can be arranged and takes about 2 hours (170km/105mi).
It is also possible to take a connecting flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Skukuza Airport (SZK) in Kruger National Park. Mala offers a 1-hour road transfer from the airstrip to the lodge.
Driving to the reserve by way of the hire car from Johannesburg is also an option. The distance is about 540km/335mi, and the drive takes around 5½ hours.
Where To Stay: Offering unparalleled luxury in an unspoilt environment, Simbambili Game Lodge is situated among dense stands of knobthorn and jackalberry trees.
Tydon Bush Camp is situated in one of the best game viewing areas within the beautiful Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which shares unfenced borders