MalaMala Game Reserve is situated in the eastern part of South Africa in the province of Mpumalanga and shares a common border with the Kruger National Park. A family owned operation, MalaMala prides itself on being South Africa’s largest private Big Five game reserve and providing its guests with the quintessential Africa safari of yesteryear through one of three luxury lodgings, of which Rattray’s on MalaMala is the most exclusive.

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Rattray’s on MalaMala is a luxury safari lodge that recreates the classic colonial African safari experience. The culmination of 50 years of fine-tuning by the Rattray family, its storied history is alive in every facet of its execution. Eight luxurious and extremely private suites act as their own inclusive khaya, or home, providing the utmost in style and tranquility. Each suite at Rattray’s on MalaMala is a showpiece of hand-selected furnishings, private gardens, and private verandahs where tasteful loungers and personal heated plunge pools offer up stunning views over the Sable River. The lavish his-and-hers bathrooms are outfitted with claw foot bathtubs as well as indoor and outdoor showers.

Shared facilities within the main building at Rattray’s on MalaMala incorporate a viewing deck, an air-conditioned library providing a refuge for the literary devotee, an attractive bar showcasing the history of the area, and an adjoining wine cellar stocked with a wide range of South Africa’s best wines. Unassuming yet elegant, the focus of this luxury lodge in South Africa is to transport guests back to a time when the safari was simple—when unpretentious camps, vast sweeping plains, the African sky, and the wild bush were all that was necessary for an unforgettable experience, and when cigars were shared without ceremony. Guests of Rattray’s on MalaMala still feel this bygone atmosphere, especially in the traditional boma as they share in a sumptuous meal, good company, and wild stories by the crackling fire, the inky sky above and the nocturnal bush sounds all around.

MalaMala Game Reserve could serve as the prototype for the luxury African safari. The Big Five roam free here and have a tendency to appear as if magically. The epic wildlife and dramatic sweeping landscape are something straight out of a Hollywood movie and enough to earn the reserve its place as South Africa’s most famous private safari experience.

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