Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the way to MalaMala

Leaving Toya Leya camp, and the Zambezi River, meant goodbye to the very competent manager Danni, from the UK, and an extremely friendly staff.  We loved our visit there and the memories will always be precious.

The outdoor lounge area at Toka Leya - a local combo from Livingstone performed here one evening before dinner - we danced to songs with unusual titles........"Remember to Make Your Will" and "HIV", certainly very different!

I almost forget to tell you this little tidbit.  At night, after dark, when we returned to our tents, there was a 'hippo guard' posted at the low point on this walkway..............to protect us from hippos crossing through to dry land from the river..................

.............oh yes, wouldn't want to bump into one of these big guys on my way to bed!


Our fourth and last safari camp was in South Africa.  It involved flying from Livingstone, Zambia to spend another night in Johannesburg at the Intercontinental airport hotel before flying onward to MalaMala.

Jen, Paula and Babs...typical Brits on holiday!!!!

The rooftop pool overlooked O.R. Tambo Airport - couldn't be much closer to catch your flight than that.  It's an elegant hotel and the rooms and service topnotch. Being fun-loving English friends of a certain age................we acted very ladylike and behaved ourselves of course!

Next morning we flew Johannesburg to Skukuza and then took a bumpy 45 minute Land Rover drive to our 'home' for the next 5 nights.

MalaMala Game Reserve shares a 12 mile unfenced border with the Kruger National Park and is the largest (33,000 acres) private Big Five game reserve in South Africa.  MalaMala's thrilling game viewing is a prime draw-card for some of the world's most renowned wildlife photographers and filmmakers.  There are three camps including the luxury camp Rattray's on MalaMala where we stayed.  Accommodation is in 8 khayas (meaning 'home' in Zulu).
Portico at Rattray's on MalaMala.

As Paula had stayed here several times we were welcomed warmly.  After being handed scented towels to freshen up, with an introduction to Gordon who was to be our ranger/guide and host for our stay, we were escorted to the deck overlooking the water where lunch was served.  We'd actually missed the regular lunch service however they had kept food for us and everything was delicious.

I know you want to see my beautiful khaya!  Next time I'll show you around Rattray's camp before we head out in the South African sunshine on the hunt for more wildlife!


  1. Now how many can say they've had their own hippo guard, Mary? Absolutely love reading your travel photo journal. Many thanks again for sharing this with us. ~ Sarah

  2. It looks like you had such a wonderful time with your friends. You have memories to last a lifetime.

  3. Now why would you need a guard against those big old adorable hippos??? They look sweet enough to cuddle...winks. We think of hippos as docile and yet they are deadly. I can see you had a really fun trip with your friends.

    Hugs from Holland ~

  4. Another fantastic post, Mary. I would have been worn out with all the travel. But I am excited and curious to see more, so you must have been much more so! Looks like a great time is being had by all!


  5. Hippo guard!! How funny! Looks like you girls were very ladylike!! hehehe

  6. How did they ever make you get on the plane to come home?!

  7. As always your post is amazing...thank you so much for sharing!!

    xoxo Gert

  8. That would be a mighty big thing to run into on the way to bed. Probably would have scared me half to death not to mention scaring the hippo!! (especially if it saw me in the morning!!)
    Looks like another fabulous place to stay!
    Take Care,

  9. Did you see the 'hippo' road signs on the road? We have pictures of cows or deer in UK to warn where they might cross the roads and I thought it was hilarious when I saw my first hippo sign until Steve told me just how dangerous they are!


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