Ideally located adjacent to the Kruger National Park and the pristine Sabi Sand Game Reserve, is Mala Mala Game Reserve. This uncrowded reserve is home to the big five and over 400 species of birds, making it a sought after game viewing destination. Being one of the oldest and largest private reserves in the area, Mala Mala has strict game viewing protocols and the utmost respect for the wildlife roaming free throughout the reserve. Mala Mala has earned its reputation as being an exclusive crème de la crème of game reserves in South Africa and is a top choice for an educational family safari.
Janelle, one of our consultants, enjoyed a luxury safari to Mala Mala with her young family. Mala Mala Main Camp is child-freindly and welcomes eager youngsters to their lodge. Children under four aren’t allowed on game drives, but there are plenty of bush bumbles and other game activities in which to participate.
Upon arrival, guests are introduced to their ranger, who is their go-to person for the duration of teir safari. He/she is your teacher, host and wildlife ranger. Just like the majority of safari lodges, there is a set itinerary with scheduled times for game drives and meals. This is to take advantage of the times that predators and other animals are the most activie. If adults want a break and time to themselves, there is always the babysitting service which is at a nominal fee.
Of course, in true bushveld lifestyle and the spirit of Africa, things are flexible. Although there is a suggested schedule, nature may interfere and game drives might be longer, depart later and other unpredictable events may occur. After all, we are governed by the power of nature.
MalaMala Main Camp accommodation is in natural chalets that look like an extension of the wild. Chalets are interlinked via a myriad of pathways, which are hugged by tall trees and lush vegetation. Resting on the banks of the Sand River means that MalaMala certainly isn’t short of exceptional sightings. The camp is open, which means is free to wander throughout.
Here’s Our Interview with Janelle:
1. Is there a kids program at MalaMala?
Yes!! When we arrived the ranger introduced herself (Casey) and then whisked the kids to go and get their Mala Mala back packs and choose a toy from their curio shop. Inside the bag were lots of activities for the kids to do at the lodge, but especially on the game drive.
2. Are children allowed to go on game drives?
Yes they are allowed from age 4. Such a treat!
3. Is there a babysitter service in-house?
We never used these, but yes there is – at a charge.
4. What wildlife did you see and what was your overall experience like?
We saw plenty of everything! It was incredible, best game viewing we have seen as a family and our girls were so privileged to see it too! We even saw the elusive sable.
5. Are the suites/rooms child-friendly?
Our room was very child friendly, it was old but clean and comfortable. They mentioned their refurb starting in February / March so it will be good to see an upgrade.
6. What type of food did the kids eat?
We could order almost anything for the kids – they are very in tune with what kids eat and want. Casey was amazing with helping the kids their food.
7. What did Madison and Savannah get up to while they were there?
Their favourite things were to drive the game vehicle, as well as hold Casey’s (unloaded) rifle to pose for a picture!!! Game viewing was very exciting for them and they loved the pool!
8. How did you get there ?
We drove from Johannesburg (with a one night stop in the Blyde).