Mala Mala Main Camp

Location: Greater Kruger & Panorama Region | South Africa

Price guide: £££££ More than £500 per person per night

Offering an authentic African safari with Big Five game drives, intimate and thrilling bush walks and impressive leopard sightings, MalaMala Main Camp is the ultimate safari blueprint - though one of the oldest lodges in South Africa, MalaMala is still the model on which others build from. Accentuating its prime position along the banks of the Sand River, the camp has all the charms of a bygone era with traditional, domed rondavels that open out onto bush views.
Perfect forThe lodge caters equally for families, honeymooners and wildlife photographers, thanks to its romantic setting, world-famous big game and child-friendly facilities.
In the know
  • Old-world charms with some contemporary additions. 
  • Exceptional game viewing of Big Five, as well as cheetah, wild dog and bird life. 
  • The lodge spots an average of 25 leopards each month – offering impressive odds of glimpsing these shy cats.
  • Custom safari vehicles tailored towards photographers. 
  • African-style rooms with bush and river bank views.

Recommended for...

  • Wildlife & Nature
  • Eco-tourism
  • Family-friendly
  • Guiding

Hotel Overview

sense of place

On the banks of the Sand River - sharing an unfenced border with Kruger National Park.

rooms at Mala Mala Main Camp

Joined by winding pathways, accommodation at MalaMala takes the form of large, circular huts, each with thatched roofs, private verandas and views of the surrounding bush. They are decorated with authentic South African sculpture, oversized colourful paintings and ‘his and her’ bathrooms.

Food and drink

The camp offers tasty bush cuisine, which is served around the log fire in the boma after you are heralded by the beating of the African drums. Entering the historic bar, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a hunter’s lodge. With walls adorned with taxidermy, antique rifles and vintage photographs of hunters, you can grab yourself a soothing tipple and nestle into the couches in the lounge and bar or head out onto large deck, shaded by Jackalberry trees – the ideal vantage point from which to watch the animals that visit the river’s edge.


In between safaris, you can cool down in the air-conditioned library (which also has a satellite television) or in the large infinity pool. If you want to be active, you can make use of the small fitness room, complete with stationary bicycle, treadmill, rowing machine and free weights, or indulge in some retail therapy at the well-appointed safari boutique, filled with jewellery, clothing and locally made artefacts.

Activities at Mala Mala Main Camp

Safari excursions will take up the majority of your time at MalaMala, whether you decide to jump into the open-sided safari vehicles for morning and afternoon game drives or go on a guided walk through the bush with the knowledge trackers. As you’ll be in Big Five country, you’ll be able to spot lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino but also cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and many more. For budding documentarists, opt for the photographic Safari to have a vehicle decked out with the latest gadgets, including sliding camera mounts, bean bags for stability and under-seat lighting, while we’d recommend the children’s program for families who want to go tracking, learn basic survival skills and cook up a delicious bush breakfast.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

2 hours north of Nelspruit – 50km from the gateway town of Hazyview.

Stay at Mala Mala Main Camp on these trips

More places to stay in Greater Kruger & Panorama Region


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

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