MalaMala is the Tsonga word for kudu, a spectacular spiral-horned antelope that is populous in the area. Both the oldest and the largest of the private reserves, MalaMala’s lengthy heritage as a carefully protected landscape has allowed prolific growth of tertiary grasses, sweet and succulent, unlike areas such as the northern Sabi Sand which are heavily grazed. This attracts the large numbers of herbivores which in turn attract the predators. The Big Five are outstanding!
MalaMala has the most access to the Sand river, owning large chunks of land on both sides. Nineteen kilometres of frontage are the centrepiece of this 132 square kilometres of land sandwiched between the Kruger and Sabi Sand reserves. There is a great variation in habitat, ranging from open savannah to densely wooded riparian areas and granite outcrops, supporting a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The Big Five are superlative. “Lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant appear magically,” says acclaimed wildlife photojournalist Geoff Dalglish in his Sunday Times review, “nor could Hollywood script the wide-screen wildlife encounters any more dramatically or frequently”