Main Camp occupies the location of the first camp on MalaMala. It was the first private game reserve to make the transition from hunting to photography on safaris. It is the largest and lowest-priced of the camps here. Still family-owned, its position was chosen to allow the Rattrays to appreciate and enjoy the view of the surrounding wilds; there is a waterhole in front of some rooms.
The Sand river runs close by, all year, and is a major attraction for game which can be viewed from the spacious safari deck at the lodge or from its surrounding manicured lawns.
KNOWLEDGEABLE, INFORMED GUIDES
Twice-daily game drives are conducted over 40,000 acres of land, including into parts of Kirkmans to the south. Rangers are in constant headset radio communication to keep each other informed about the location of wildlife. Most have university degrees in the natural sciences and are conversant with all aspects of the ecology of this remarkably diverse piece of bushveld.
You can head out on foot with your armed ranger. The perspective is entirely different to that from a vehicle. You will learn to read the signs of the wild; with judicious tracking you may come into close contact with the wildlife.
In camp, pathways wind their way along the perimeter of the camp to reveal individual ochre-colored units tucked into the greenery which flanks the Sand River. Massive trees and rolling green lawns are filled with birdsong. The occasional antelope or elephant seeks the succulent greenery in the grounds.
The 9 individually decorated, spacious and comfortable rooms under traditional thatching offer spectacular views of the river and the wild. Bird life is attracted to the water. All rooms are equipped with ‘his and her’ bathrooms, 24 hour temperature control, insect proofing, direct dial telephones, a mini bar and a mini safe. One room is a single.
Ten suites have the same excellent amenities as the rooms but are 50% larger (85 square metres). They are able to accommodate a third adult or two children.
A large filtered infinity pool offers magnificent views across the river.
LOUNGE & BAR
The impressive lounge, air-conditioned dining room, and historic bar are conducive to good companionship. An air-conditioned library has a space called the ‘Money Club’ with satellite television and DVD and complimentary internet facilities.
Dinners are a traditional affair. Around a blazing fire in the reed-enclosed boma (African structure), diners are exposed to the glorious night sky above. Breakfasts and lunches are served on the deck overlooking the Sand River, or in the air-conditioned dining room.
Children of all ages accepted. There is an excellent children’s programme. Children of 4 years and younger are not permitted in the boma for dinner, or on game drives (unless parents have reserved a private vehicle). A babysitting facility is available at a nominal fee.
SPA & SHOP
There is a basic gym. Massages can be arranged. A safari boutique offers clothing, jewellery and artefacts.