Mala Mala vs. Landalozi


May 5th, 2000, 05:29 AM
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Mala Mala vs. Landalozi

I am thinking of going to Africa in December. I have been there before, but never to South Africa. I was thinking of staying at either Mala Mala, or Landalozi. Any comments, or recommendations???
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May 5th, 2000, 07:34 AM
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My wife and I spent a couple of nights a MalaMala (Main Camp)last year. From the moment we were met at reception, it was evident that MalaMala was a thoroughly professional, exceedingly well-run operation. Everything was done smoothly and seamlessly, just as one would expect at a deluxe hotel. Our room itself - Suite # 6 - was almost too luxurious for us, but it is the kind of luxury we can get used to in a hurry, with air-conditioning, his and hers bathrooms (one with a bath, the other with a shower), heated towel rails, a telephone, a separate lounge, and a fully-stocked mini-bar. We arrived right at lunch-time, which was served alfresco on the verandah. The food was superb: elegantly presented both at lunch and at the very enjoyable outdoor Boma dinner, which MalaMala does better than anybody else.

The game-viewing and the guiding at MalaMala can only be described as world-class. Our guide Leon and tracker John made a superb, if unlikely team. Leon, who has a degree in zoology, was the perfect host, urbane and gracious,
always checking on our well-being. John, the Shangaan tracker, whose father
had also been a tracker, didn’t miss a thing. With his amazing eyesight he saw
things which we could only make out with binoculars. On our very first game
drive that afternoon, we found ourselves - in an open game-viewing vehicle - right in the midst of a massive herd of buffalo, all very relaxed and allowing us to observe and photograph the finest of details. Soon after, we came across a pride of 6 lions, again having the opportunity to observe them closely. The following day, we had two different leopard
sightings, first following two female leopards on the hunt, and then running into another young male drinking at the river, close to camp. Add to that some very relaxed elephant herds and a solitary white rhino, and voila, the ‘Big Five’. We duly received our certificates, putting us into some pretty select company.

There are people who make light of MalaMala’s ‘Big Five’ focus, but let’s face it, people do not come to Africa just to see termite mounds or dung beetles. On the way out back to Skukuza Airport - but still on the MalaMala property - we had an excellent sighting of a cheetah, sitting right by the side of the road. If we didn’t
have a plane to catch we might have spent more time there...

MalaMala is without equal in terms of 'delivering' a consistent, quality experience all-round, from its game-viewing, which benefits from its extensive river footage, drawing large numbers of mammals onto the property, to its superior hospitality and food, resulting in numerous awards over the years. The reason for MalaMala's success? The personal touch, as embodied by owners Michael and Norma Rattray and their great staff. The first person we saw as we drove onto the
property was Mr. Rattray himself, inspecting one of the roads. Later that evening, he came over to our table and inquired about our well-being. And it was obvious that Mrs. Rattray was treated with great respect by all the staff members. We look forward to a return visit to the property to check out the new Harry’s Camp. We had a brief look at Kirkman's Kamp, the other lodge at MalaMala and liked what we saw: smaller than Main Camp, not quite as 'luxe', somewhat in the style of a 1920's hunting camp.

I have had some good reports about Londolozi as well, but have not stayed there myself. It is operated by the highly regarded Conservation Corporation. The property is considerably smaller than MalaMala, though.
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May 6th, 2000, 01:12 PM
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I concur with what Bert has written. We stayed last fall at both Harry's and Kirkman's but not at the Main Camp. They cost about $100 less a day (each)and provide plenty of luxury. I would recommend Harry's which is brand new. I regarded it as so luxurious that I asked a guide what we would you have gotten at the Main Camp we weren't getting at Harry's. He said that at Harry's you get his and her sinks while at the Main Camp you get his and her bathrooms.
I suspect, but do not know that the camp viewing at Londalozi is about the same. Their locations suggest that. It does come highly recommended by those who have stayed there.
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May 31st, 2000, 06:48 AM
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I will be going to Mala Mala - Harry's Camp - mid July. Glad to hear it's so great! I am questioning what to bring re: clothing. How cold is it at night in July? How hot during the day? Do people wear casual clothing at Harry's (like Safari pants, chinos, jeans)? What would you recommend packing?
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May 31st, 2000, 12:51 PM
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You should look into Singita as well. Shares traversing rights with Londolozi and is very luxurious. Spent three nights there last year.
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Jul 12th, 2000, 03:31 AM
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I totally agree with Bert since we have just returned from Mala Mala. It was winter now and we even experienced rain. The spider webs glowing in the sunrise at our 6.30 am ride were fascinating.
The other thing that impressed us most was the ability of everybody to create "WOW" situations from time to time.
One afternoon our ranger Tom stopped and asked if we wanted a drink. He unpacked a bag containing a wider choice of drinks than you will find in most city bars. Whilst he was serving tracker John was busy behibd the jeep heating sausage snacks.
The following evening on our way back to camp we made a detour and found ourselves in an area "fences in" by candle lights and with a beutiful bon fire in the middle. Again a compete bar service was available including delicius hot snacks. The only troble was that all this happened on our way back to have our last delicious dinner in the "bauma".
It was simly the best
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