Mala Mala - Mashatu Jul07 Advance planning?

Jun 19th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6
Mala Mala - Mashatu Jul07 Advance planning?

I am taking my 19 year old niece to Mala Mala and Mashatu for the first time in a couple of weeks. I have read most of the relevant posts but have a couple of questions
a) should we let MM know about specific interests in advance (e.g. that we want to see wide range of animals and birds not just/only Big 5) or that my niece is studying environmental science at univ - would this be helpful in them selecting our ranger?
b) can we go out with researchers at Mashatu (or Mala) and help with research?
liverman is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 382
We just returned from MM and loved it. I do not think informing them in advance will make any difference, they will find everything for you, and it also must include what others in the vehicle want unless you have requested and paid for a private guide. Our guide was Bruce Hedges and his tracker is John. I would request them as they were amazing.

MM is beautiful and wonderful and we saw everything. They do not miss a beat. If you do get Bruce tell him Carol and Ron said hi and that we gave you the info on the Fodors board because we told him about it.

If you e-mail them they will fill you request .

John spotted a leopard in a tree so far away that when he pointed it out I still could not see it.
spiegelcjs is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 05:33 PM
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Hi liverman

I am a great fan of MalaMala, though have not yet been to Mashatu. I would definitely email them your specific interests. As to rangers, they are all great and certainly that includes Bruce, who was one of my rangers in March, but they are all fantastic with a great sense of humour! No researchers that you would go out with at MM, but Mashatu may be different.

As to gameviewing, if you get overnighters you will be looking for the Big 5, but if you are there for more than a few nights, hopefully you will get to see a wide variety of animals and birds. But I stay about 3 weeks, and some days we are racing around for the big five, usually rhino or buffalo to satisfy one or two nighters, unfortunately, just the way it is!

How long are you staying at each camp? Do you overnight in Johannesburg to get from one camp to the other? I am quite keen to visit Mashatu, but cannot bring myself to forgo 2 gamedrives to do it!

Kind regards

KayeN is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 06:56 AM
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We are 3 nights at each camp with transit through Joburg in one day without I believe missing morning in one and evening in another. Wish it could be longer but I have conferences to attend either end of trip!
liverman is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Just a telephone call to Mala might answer the transfer question since they manage both camps.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I have been to Mashatu and loved it. You can arrange when you get there to do special day trips with the researchers. We were not able to do any during our 4 days there, as 1 researcher was ill and the other was away. The rangers/trackers are great and you can give them any of your specific when you get there or even each day as you see who else is in your group. Also, as stated above, Mala Mala and Mashatu are owned by the same people, so I am sure they will arrange good transfers for you. Enjoy, you will both love it!
betsyatl is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I've been looking at the Mashatu website and they offer a trip called Safari of Distinction starting at Vic Falls then on to Okavango, Mashatu and Mala Mala. Has anyone experienced that journey? It sound a great trip but I'm unclear on the logistics?
Lynneb is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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I would be interested in knowing more about that one too, Lynneb.
CarlaM is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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I've been researching a Mala Mala/Mashatu combination. The quote I've had for the flight (per person) between the two is ZAR4300 which I think is around USD600. Is this right? We were combining the two camps to keep costs down as well as enabling us to see two different areas but this has thrown me a little. I'd appreciate your views on this and whether to just stay the whole week at Mala Mala?
Lynneb is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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This is only my opinion, you would try to stay at both camps if possible. They will give you a much fuller experience.
I did not stay at Mala Mala, but at Bongani and then tranfered up to Mashatu. We did a ground transfer up, had a driver/guide thru the mountains, Blyde cannon and stayed the night at Tzaneen. Continued driving the next morning to Mashatu. Not sure the exact cost, but it allowed us to see the land, and view the wonderful cannon's.
We returned from Mashatu with a driver to Polokwane (2 hours), and then a flight to JNB. I know you can fly out of Mashatu directly, but it is a tiny airstrip and I think that is why your flights were expensive.
Maybe look into some other forms of transportations. It is a matter of time, money, experiences, ect.. but it will allow you the flexibility to make the choice. Either way, enjoy!
betsyatl is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I haven't combined the two because of the expense of the flights and the limited days they have the flights to Mashatu. I wonder how much that ground transfer is. I think Mashatu offers ground transporation but I remember it being pretty expensive for one person. Maybe it's more reasonable for two or more.
sundowner is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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I asked them about a road transfer and it apparently takes 8 hours and they reckon we will miss our am and pm game drives so I don't really want to do that as we are only on safari for 7 or 8 days. I'm investigating a Wilderness Safaris package now that includes Mashatu, Pafuri and Mala Mala and includes transfers. Possibly this package will work out to be a little more reasonable...
Lynneb is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Sundowner, I also wonder how much the ground transfer would be. Sounds like it would be a nice scenic drive. Anyone have ideas on cost?
CarlaM is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:04 AM
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I was quoted ZAR 5915 for the vehicle. I think that's around USD800. Seems a lot to me?
Lynneb is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 05:17 AM
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Just an FYI, both of our transfers were arranged by a TA before we left. The ground transfer up with a nights stay in Tzaneen was provided by a company called Thompsons Africa, the short drive/flight from Polokawane-JNB was arranged by Mashatu/Mala Mala. Maybe request quotes from both. The drive up is so worth it, many cute little towns to stop at and fabulous scenery (the driver/guide was so knowledgable, we felt like we were having a fun history/culutral/horticulture lesson along the way (although some just slept part of the way).
Many others staying at Mashatu fly up and then road transfered down, seems fairly popular to split up the type of transportation going to and coming from.
betsyatl is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 409
I should clarify. The rate I have given above is for the road transfer between Mashatu and Mala Mala.
Lynneb is offline  
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