Mala Mala vs Ngala vs Lion Sand

Old Apr 5th, 2006, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Mala Mala vs Ngala vs Lion Sand

I am organising a trip for a group to Kruger in Sept/Oct 2006. We have been considering various game reserves and came out with the last three choices: Mala Mala, Lion Sand or Ngala.
Can anybody provide some advice to help us finalise our trip ?
We are looking for a real safari experience with a real difference, and are not sure yet.
Many thanks.
JaimeH is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Hi! If those are your 3 options.....for game viewing purely....would rank MM, Ngala, Lionsands in order.....

However, MM has more rooms and people on their reserve....
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello Jaime,

I'd also suggest taking a look at Londolozi ( It's a great camp -- I've visited several times and have had excellent game viewing, particularly for leopard. MM has also received excellent reviews from people on this board.

jasher is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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I'm also planning to include Kruger on our safari in September. Our first of three camps is MalaMala so we will fly into Joburg. We have been to Mala but not to Kruger. Could then fly to Mala, but I'm thinking it would be interesting to rent a car at Joburg and drive to Kruger. This will help us recover from the flights over (from USA) and see a little of South Africa. Kruger Skukuza is only about 40 miles from MalaMala. After maybe two days at Kruger, we would then drive the car to Mala and Avis (car rental) say they will pick it up (collection) at Mala for $20. This is my master plan at the moment.
Kruger and MalaMala will be two very different safari experiences I have a feeling. In Kruger you can drive your car BUT you can not go off road nor drive at night. This I think will severely limit game viewing. At Mala the rangers take that Land Rover anywhere they want too. This is also true of the other private reserves you mention. For reasons like these, I think it might make for a better overall experience for you if you did Kruger first and then Mala/reserve. We need one of our posters like "mkhonzo" to join in here and advise.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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Hi Jaime,

I have been to both MalaMala and Lion Sands, and will return to both this December. For gameviewing,I would not go past MalaMala - I can spend weeks there. The gameviewing and rangers are fantastic! For luxury accomodation, I love the new Rattrays camp and Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, there are different but both absolutely stunning! I do not think the gameviewing is as good at Lion Sands as at MalaMala. The traffic situation when I have been there has been worse at Lion Sands, as they share traversing rights with Sabi Sabi. MalaMala is a bigger camp than some, but that has never been a problem for me, as rangers are always aware where other vehicles are.
I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, but I will never go past MalaMala as my ultimate gameviewing destination.

Kind regards,
austkaye is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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,,The traffic situation when I have been there has been worse at Lion Sands, as they share traversing rights with Sabi Sabi,,

Kaye are you sure they share traversing rights.As far as I know these two properties aren't exactly on speaking terms...long story.

They could however share sightings on Lisbon's border and the access roads seeing that they are neighbours.
safarinut is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Hi Sarafinut,

You are probably right, they certainly share a common boundary road, and the traffic on it is plentiful. I was really surprised at the Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, though I am not really sure, but from Lion Sands we drove past it a lot, apparently about the same size as MalaMala, room wise, but very compact, and one side faces a fairly busy road by bush standards.

Kind regards,
KayeN is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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Thanks everybody !
I have been to Kruger several times myself, and Londolozi some years ago. I wanted to try something different and your comments have been very helpful.
Tom, driving to Kruger is also a good experience. Good roads along the way and Nelspruit, etc are good towns to pass by. As you said, Kruger Park is very different and worth a short visit. But nothing like a quiality Private Game reserve. Night drives are a real treat.
JaimeH is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I have not been to Mala, but I have been to Lion Sands and Ngala. IMHO, Ngala does not come close to Lion Sands in game viewing, especially leopardr, or accomodations. However I did see wild dog in Ngala that are rarely seen at Lion Sands.
mytmoss is offline  
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