Rattray's is a great camp to see the Big Five and wildlife in South Africa - we were there for our honeymoon and had such a fabulous time! It was our favorite camp (of the luxury lodges we visited) not only because of the animals and wildlife we've seen but also because of the people (guides), lodging and overall experience. We saw the Big Five multiple times, and were also able to see actions (lion prowl, lion kill, wild dog hunt, leopard eating its kill, etc). The rangers there were wonderful - they have such great camaraderie among themselves and it was really fun going out with them. If one of the rangers sees something, he'd call for others to join but only 3 vehicles are allowed at a single sighting so at no time would you feel swamped by other people.Our ranger Michael is knowledgeable, accommodating, considerate and passionate about wildlife, which made our experience so perfect everyday we spent at Rattray's. We were able to get very close to the animals yet always feel safe and did not sacrifice the comfort and luxury. We were also able to see many animals even from our house and definitely had a great time at Rattray's!Mala Mala also has a main camp and another camp called Sable, but we'd highly recommend Rattray's for the great guides and the overall experience. It is exclusive, luxurious, but you also have a sense of community.
We were privileged to stay at Mala Mala for six nights (September 10-16), one night at the main camp and five nights at Rattrays. The game viewing was exceptional, made very accessible and fascinating by knowledgeable and experienced guides. We were very fortunate to be paired with Joe at the main camp and Mike at Rattrays. Can't say enough about how good the guides were! Tracking the animals, off-road driving, knowledge of animal behavior, care for security and comfort of their passengers, and sense of best camera angles: all first-rate. Mala Mala is known for its big cats, and we were fortunate to be able to spend extended time with lions, leopards, and a skittish cheetah. Also saw herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, as well as smaller groups of rhinos, zebras, and giraffes. Not to mention numerous Impala, Nyala, kudu, etc. We were thrilled to be right in the midst of a pack of wild dogs, a rare occurrence. Staff were very friendly and efficient and perfect for a stay at an upscale private game reserve. The food was very tasty, with wide variety for different tastes. All in all, an outstandingly good time!
Rattrayâs at Mala Mala was highly recommended and was our favorite game reserve for accommodations and the range of wildlife we saw over the 5 safaris we were on at Mala Mala. We saw the Big Five the first day we were there plus numerous other wildlife. Wildlife was plentiful and always right next to you. Our driver/guide was superb and could track animals right through the thicket. We drove right up to animals and right through herds of buffalo, Impala, Kudu, elephants, giraffes, rhino, prides of lions, leopards, warthogs, and numerous other species of antelopes and birds. We have some absolutely fantastic wildlife pictures up close and intimate. Accommodations at Rattrayâs was top line all the way (only 8 individual suites in the camp). Our suite, #2, over looked the river where a herd of elephants were right out our back patio when we arrived. Food was very good, diverse, and plentiful at each meal (all meals were included in the price).
Rattray's is One of the very best. From your personal safety to the accommodations, & food, . My ranger Roan was one of the best I've had. But seemingly all of The Rangers at Mala Mala are very knowledgeable , and very capable to try to fulfill your wishes.
I traveled with my adult son..
We went to Rattray's in August to celebrate both our 20th anniversary and my husband's birthday, and it did not disappoint. Everyone who worked there was friendly and professional, our kaya (cottage) was beautiful and spacious, and our safaris out to see the animals were thrilling and and fun.
Our kaya: We stated in Unit #4 and it was gorgeous. Our bedroom, which featured a king-size bed, had 2 bathrooms, 1 with a tub, 1 with a shower. We had 2 closets with ample space for clothing and suitcase storage. We had a small refrigerator which the staff stocks with beverages of your choice (note they do charge for sodas). There is a small pool outside but it was too cold to go into. The best part of the kaya was that it sits on a river, which in August was nearly dried up; nearly, but not completely. We spent one afternoon watching a herd of 13 elephants walking by and swimming in the water, which left us awestruck.
The food: we thought the food was delicious. Breakfast is a buffet, and you have the option of ordering a hot dish as well. We had eggs and bacon and pancakes and they were terrific. Lunch is also buffet style with 2 entree choices, salads, and a vegetarian entree. For dinner there 3 or 4 entree options, again always a vegetarian option, plus the meal started with a soup (the butternut squash and cinnamon soup was absolutely delicious!). For my husband's birthday one night the staff made him a cake then sang and danced for him for about 10 minutes, it was a lot of fun.
Safari: there is a morning safari (6:30 am - 9am) and an afternoon safari (3:30-7pm). We saw lots of animals on both safaris including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, zebras, ostrich, and even wild dogs. Our safari guide Fritz was absolutely determined to find the animals we wanted to see. He is very knowledgeable about all the animals as well as the area and its history. The area was dry at this time but still quite beautiful in its own way.
This was a wonderful trip, I can't say enough wonderful things about Rattray's. One suggestion: when you book, request to be paired in your jeep and at meals with another couple from your country. We were paired with an Italian couple, and while they were very nice, there was a language barrier, and it was difficult to talk about all the wonderful things we saw on safari.
Most wonderful experience of a lifetime!