Tucked away in a forest of green, on the banks of the world-renowned Sand River, lies a special place. MalaMala Rattray’s Camp offers an intimate glimpse into an era long lost, when travellers from afar married the magic of the African bush with elegance and refinement.
MalaMala Game Reserve is the safari industry’s blueprint for the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive, thriving tract of land offers the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is one of the largest private Big Five game reserves in South Africa. It covers 13 300ha (33 000 acres), shares a 19km (12 mile) unfenced boundary with the world-renowned Kruger National Park and lies strategically sandwiched between the Kruger and the Sabi Sand Reserve.
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From our blog
On the 14th of December, we posted a blog detailing the end of the Gowrie male’s era on MalaMala. With time, our conjectures became accepted; the older Gowrie male had passed away, and the younger one was coming under pressure from the likes of the Ndhzenga males.
At MalaMala our leopard statistics speak for themselves. In April alone, we viewed 34 leopards in 117 sightings. Naturally, when one spends the amount of time that we do with the same leopards, one becomes invested. The Island female is one such individual.
This morning, just as the sun greeted the savanna, an unknown coalition, seemingly hailing from Kruger, brought an insurrection against the Ndhzenga males. Before we give an account of what unfolded, we wish to set a disclaimer: this is a dynamic that is currently unfolding, and as a result, what we report is what we have observed and pieced together.
Interactions between species make for some of the most thrilling game viewing. When prey species ingeniously evade predation, one is left marvelling at the distinctive adaptions to each animal that make survival possible. Let me share one such sighting with you - a sighting that has gone viral on almost every social media platform! View the video at the end of this blog.
The Emsagweni female leopard is one of MalaMala’s most iconic cats. Sporting one eye and frayed ears, this battle-axe of the bush holds a large territory in some of the more rocky and wooded parts of the reserve. Although sightings of her are not as frequent as some of our other beloved leopards, she remains a guest favourite because of her scrappy appearance and hardcore demeanour.
The Gowrie males are arguably one of, if not the, most successful coalition MalaMala and the Sabi Sands have seen in recent history. They have reigned supreme for more than half a decade; in which time they have successfully sired the next generations from five different prides.