Question about mala mala?

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Jul 17th, 2005, 05:56 PM
  #1
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Question about mala mala?

i am planning a trip to botswana in sept 2006 and am throwing around visiting mala mala for 3 days instead of an extra botswana lodge. i know that mala mala has fantastic big 5 sightings but i'm curious what the quality of sightings are compared to more savanna areas such as those up in botswana. so for example whenver we have come across a leopard in botswana, we were able to stay with it for about as long as we would like and if it became active the relatively open area allowed us to follow for extended periods. have folks experience at mala mala been the same. i am cautious just bc the only time i visited the sabi sands (savanna lodge) when we watched a pride of lions get up to start hunting, we could not follow bc the brush was too thick. the terrain in kruger is obviously a lot more dense that up in botswana and i really enjoy being able to follow predators as they patrol. i prefer watching less animals doing more interseting stuff to more animals with less chance to witness them doing interesting stuff. any thoughts would be appreciated. hopefully my concerns are unwarranted and the quality of viewing at mala mala is as good if not better than botswana. thx in advance.
bigcountry is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2005, 08:00 PM
  #2
 
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Dear bigcountry,

From my experience at MalaMala, rangers at MalaMala follow for as long as they are able or as long as guests wish to do so. It has happened that the terrain sometimes does make it impossible to follow, but I've never known a ranger not to make the attempt and I am sure that some of the more experienced leopards at MalaMala allow us to follow for a certain time, then decide to lose us, which they can do relatively easily.

I have stayed here for fairly long periods of time, which of course, increases my chances of seeing many great sightings and I have been gameviewing in Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya, but my very best gameviewing has been at MalaMala, and credit must go to the rangers and of course, over the years, the animals habituation to vehicles as tiny cubs for cats born on or near the property or cats making territories within the properties.

The time spent viewing any sighting, is usually left up to the guests, given that there is no-one waiting to view. On days where animals are few and far between, and MalaMala has had that problem on some days, then you cannot sit with a cat for as long as you would like, but with numerous sightings, I have spent over an hour with some animals - in fact, one day we watched a cheetah for most of the morning then came back in the afternoon and we were about 5-10 minutes away from moving in when all of a sudden the impala line moved and headed towards her and she launched herself at a subadult female impala. Well worth the wait, even with an 11 year old niece who was getting a little bit bored, but we were the only ones in the vehicle - the ranger was happy to wait as we were, even had our afternoon tea in the vehicle without taking our eyes off the cheetah.

So from my experience, you will not be wasting that precious time by travelling to MalaMala.

Kaye
austkaye is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2005, 08:44 PM
  #3
 
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hmmm, it is difficult to compare...mala mala reliably delivers the big five. but the overall experience seems less "wild" than does Botswana. I would recommend Mala Mala in the beginning of the trip, where you can get the big 5 sightings out of your system. Guides at MM did seem willing to follow, but of course the sightings depend very much on luck. A kill is just a big order for anyone to deliver in a couple days.
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