Mala Mala Game Reserve – Magnificent
Situated in Mpumalanga, the Mala Mala Game Reserve shares some 19 kilometers of its border with the internationally famed Kruger National Park. While not quite as famous as its neighbour, Mala Mala is every bit as special. The reserve is part of a conglomeration of reserves which together cover some 5.5 million acres of land. Mala Mala itself covers approximately 33 000 ha. The massive scale of the project ensures that there is plenty of gene diversity and that the animals flourish in their natural habitat.
Mala Mala lies in one of South Africa’s low-lying regions and it enjoys a variety of habitat types. This flat bush environment can have anything from riverine thicket – which makes animals difficult to find – to open savannah where animals are easily spotted. When you combine this natural abundance with size, proximity to the Kruger Park and the fact that the area has been left undisturbed for longer than most other parts of the country, it becomes easy to understand why it has become known as having the greatest animal diversity in Africa. More than two hundred different species of land mammal can be found here in large numbers, while vitually uncountable numbers of bird life either stop over on their migration route or make their homes here.
The privately owned game farm is not open to the general public and only those actually staying on the reserve are permitted to explore its natural wonders. This means that there is little traffic, little environmental damage and plenty of undisturbed wildlife. Safari rides usually take place on a specialized 4×4 vehicle and visitors are afforded excellent views of the big five as their trained guides expertly navigate the territory. After dark the safari drives continue and walking safaris (during the day) can be arranged. Mala Mala is all about quality. As the largest privately owned game reserve in South Africa, it simply should not be missed.