By:Christopher A. Pape
Africa is big. Breathtakingly, ground-shatteringly big; and it’s giant in more than just the incredible expanse. The ruggedly charming continent encases history of thousands of years like fine wine with each sip revealing more secrets; along with cultures so diverse and rich it’s practically dripping in elegance. Africa is still the prime ground for one of humans’ oldest known activities – exploring. While space was crowned the final frontier years ago, Africa, along with those amusing and ravishing safaris, is jagged and wild as ever, and worthy of discovering further. One game reserve in Africa offers just the exploration and discovery lusted by savvy Manhattanites. It is wild and fierce yet puts such impressive emphasis on luxury and elegance. MalaMala Game Reserve, for its stunning presentation of the luxury safari experience, is easily the destination for this season’s opulent getaway.
Located in South Africa’s Northern tip, MalaMala Game Reserve reigns as the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Its 33,000-acre territory shares a 12-mile long border next to Kruger National Park, and sits between the world-renowned National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. The expansive land at MalaMala is the perfect ground for wildlife enthusiasts and those ready to fill up rolls of film, as the reserve takes pride, deservedly, in being the largest Big Five reserve. The Big Five is respectively lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, the most sought after big game.
As the 19th century progressed, cameras and photos replaced guns and fire, and photography replaced hunting; and it is in reserves like MalaMala where this search for the perfect shot takes place. The thrill and exhilarating search for the Big Five is augmented by being in an open Land Rover, giving guests the perfect opportunity to experience the intimacy with nature. MalaMala also offers an exclusive game viewing area with no shared traversing and the highest land to guest ratio in the region, which in turn provides its esteemed guests the thrilling experience of witnessing the Big Five in fierce action. For this, MalaMala Game Reserve is praised as the safari industry’s blueprint to the luxury photographic safari.
Only a world-class accommodation is worthy of accompanying the world-class wildlife sighting at MalaMala. Three camps on the reserve continue the signature Rattray atmosphere, offering discreet, classic and elegant African opulence. The Main Camp on the reserve exudes the spirit of MalaMala, as experienced throughout the guest’s stay. It flows through the massive Jackalberry tree, standing as the witness to the beautiful changes happening at MalaMala. It’s reflected in the sepia photographs in the safari bar, radiating historical significance. The camp offers 8 luxury suites, 10 luxury rooms and 1 single room; all of which furnished with five-star amenities and insect repellent prepared carefully by the welcoming staff. The Main Camp is the perfect choice for families as the camp accepts children of all ages, though restrictions are in place for safety reasons. Young children from 4 to 12 are treated as Junior Rangers and are able to participate in a holistic program perfect for youngsters to explore and be entertained. The program is individually designed upon arrival. Professional rangers looking after the family will assess the enthusiasm and level of independence of the children, and in collaboration with the parents and guardians; various activities will be designed to fill their next few days in the bush.
The Sable Camp embodies the soul of MalaMala on a more intimate and discreet manner. It is the choice for those seeking a more private and intimate safari as it accommodates a maximum of 14 guests. The camp is situated at the southern end of the reserve; its elevated position provides an excellent platform from which guests are given the gorgeous view of the Sand River and the surrounding veld. Sable Camp offers 5 luxury suites, which are decorated individually, creating the spacious and comfortable suites under traditional thatching.
Rattray’s on MalaMala lets guests peek into the past, when travelers from all over the world would come to Africa and see the magic of the wild, then be charmed by the elegance and refinement on the camp. It is the epitome of regal colonial safari-style as well as a culmination of over 40 years of experience within the Rattray Family. It bears the style of crystal and leather, and furnished in accordance with world-class standards. The campsite offers 8 luxury khayas, Zulu for home, providing accommodation for up to 16 guests.
On a continent as big as Africa, the only thing bigger is the culture, the thrill and the excitement contained within this beautiful land. MalaMala utilizes the best across the land, assembling a peculiar yet precious jewel. With wildlife encounters and luxurious khayas reediting rich history, MalaMala is indeed the destination of choice for the most discerning New Yorker.
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