The Community Partnership

MalaMala is one of the few genuine black economic empowered eco-tourism businesses in South Africa and we are committed to the delivery of long-term, tangible benefits to our local Community. MalaMala operates in partnership with the N’wandlamhari Community – they are shareholders in the business and over half of MalaMala’s employees are community-based.


The Community derives significant income from MalaMala through multiple revenue streams, each applied to different aspects of the Community’s social and economic development:

  • dividends are used to fund community-based Small, Medium, and Micro-enterprises (SMME’s) and other infrastructure projects,
  • lease fees are distributed to community-based households by way of a ‘stipend’, and
  • the Community Tourism Levy is applied to the education and training of community members in all fields of hospitality and eco-tourism.

Education and training is one of the cornerstones of the MalaMala/Community partnership and the ‘Mintirho Community Development Trust’ was established specifically to support the education and training of the local community. The Trust was started in 2017 and is funded by the Community Tourism Levy paid by each guest staying at MalaMala. The Trust has been instrumental in providing education opportunities and improving learning facilities in the Community and projects include:

Bursary Programme:

The Trust has a comprehensive bursary programme to provide funding for community-based students to attend a wide range of academic and training institutions. These include hospitality and tourism academies, technical colleges, cooking schools and conservation academies, to name a few. The qualifications gained at these institutions are essential for community-based students looking to forge a career in eco-tourism.

Internship Programme

For many qualified students, finding a job is very difficult without work experience. As a result, MalaMala established an ‘internship programme’ at the camp whereby students develop their practical skills in key departments of the business, including waitressing, housekeeping, and reception. The on-the-job training and experience gained on the internship programme is invaluable in securing employment either at MalaMala or at other eco-tourism and hospitality businesses.

School building projects:

A significant portion of the Mintirho Trust’s funds are allocated to improving the infrastructure and facilities at schools in the community.

An example of the significant contribution to these schools was the building of a new kitchen facility at the Mabida High School. Hygiene and nourishment are essential in the rural areas and this kitchen has completely transformed the landscape of the school, benefitting over 500 learners and staff.

The Gift of Water

As 2022 drew to a close, we were fortunate enough to end the year on a giving note. The MalaMala team headed into the surrounding communities to gift our senior citizens, as well as child- headed and disabled-headed households, with water transportation devices known as ‘Hippo Water Rollers’ . 

Water is taken for granted in most countries around the world but in many rural areas of South Africa, water is a very scarce and precious resource. In light of this, the Trust facilitated the installation of a borehole at the Babati Primary School. This has increased the water supply to over 500 learners and will enable the school to effectively practice better hygiene.

MalaMala’s communities are based in very remote areas, with limited service delivery, and characterised by high levels of poverty & unemployment. The upliftment of these communities is dependent on the success and sustainability of the MalaMala/Community partnership and your help in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Should you wish to support the Trust and sustain the good work being done in the Community, then please use the Donate button at the top of the page

Travelling to MalaMala