Why MalaMala

MalaMala Game Reserve is the benchmark for the luxury safari industry in Southern Africa. It is one of the largest private Big Five game reserves in South Africa and is world-renowned for offering the finest and most consistent Big Five game viewing this side of the equator.

Location, Location, Location.

Comprising 13 200 ha (33 000 acres), MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced boundary with the world-famous Kruger National Park (KNP) and lies strategically sandwiched between the KNP and the Sabi Sand Reserve. Importantly, MalaMala has 20 kms (13 miles) of Sand River frontage. This perennial river acts as a magnet for animals in this pristine wildlife area and is the foundation of MalaMala’s unrivalled game viewing and wildlife experience.

Preserving and protecting the environmental integrity of this special piece of Africa has always been at the core of MalaMala’s existence. This philosophy has paid off and international photojournalists and film-makers have made MalaMala their wildlife destination of choice.

The MalaMala Game Reserve

Game reserve map

MalaMala Game Reserve was the first privately owned and commercially operated game reserve in South Africa and is the model on which all other private game reserves now operate.


  • A map of the reserve demonstrates the significance of MalaMala’s size and location in relation to the Kruger National Park. The unfenced eastern boundary with the Kruger National Park allows wildlife to move freely onto MalaMala and many of the territorial animals such as leopard, lion and rhino will have territories overlapping on both reserves.
  • MalaMala’s river frontage, running north to south, is the lifeblood of the reserve and acts as a natural drawcard for animals, especially in the dry winter months. The wildlife moves from the Kruger National Park, across MalaMala, to the river and back again, resulting in two-way traffic across the reserve where we conduct our safaris
  • The land to the east of the river has no human habitation, no access roads, no electricity pylons and no telephone poles and this area is left exclusively to the wildlife for upwards of 16 hours a day.
  • There is no shared traversing on 70% of the MalaMala property allowing guests to enjoy exclusive, uninterrupted game drives. There is no time limit on sightings and no “queue-to-view” on this enormous tract of land.
  • Due to the superior environmental policies of MalaMala over a long period of time, the land has remained in pristine condition resulting in a prolific abundance of tertiary grasses. This attracts the herbivores which in turn attracts the predators.

A special piece of Africa

Rangers and game viewing rules:

  • MalaMala has over 55 years of game viewing experience and was the first game reserve to transition from hunting safaris to photographic safaris. This not only gives us many generations of animals which are accustomed to the game drive vehicles, but also superior knowledge on how to manage sightings with the utmost respect for the animals.
  • Our rangers are expertly trained and all have accredited field guide qualifications. Most of the rangers studied the natural sciences at university and as a result we have specialists in many different scientific fields e.g. Ornithology, Entomology and Zoology.
  • The strictest protocols are followed when viewing animals to ensure they are relaxed and behave naturally.
  • Our rangers use headsets so that there are no radio interruptions to disrupt the game drives.

We allow a maximum of 3 vehicles per sighting.

Travelling to MalaMala