The small farming town of Malalane is only 3km from the southern Malelane Gate entrance into the Kruger National Park and intimate encounters with the park’s 150+ mammals and profusion of birds and reptiles.
Malalane is safari country, located approximately 400km from Johannesburg and Pretoria, both major cities reached easily via the N4 northern highway.
The surrounding environment is classed as Lowveld bushveld with a sub-tropical climate. Heavy downpours occur in summer and can cease at a moment’s notice with the sun beating down seconds later, bringing a feeling of freshness to the air.
Malalane affords the visitor a chance to spend time in the African bush without compromising on luxury. Being so close to natural beauty, the faint sounds of the bush is all that interrupts the peaceful silence.
Things to do
Try an exciting guided bush walk for a chance to appreciate your surroundings, The walks commence at the nearby Skukuza camp in Kruger Park and are conducted twice daily by armed rangers.
The Kruger National Park has ranger-guides available to take you on a 6 hour game drive in an open roof 4x4 vehicle and an opportunity to see the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino).
For a less hurried option, self-drive Kruger Park to spend time at the various waterholes and other fantastic photo stops.
Take a late afternoon drive to Mathekenyane, a lookout point south of Skukuza to watch a famed African sunset.
Support local communities by opting for an eco-tour of the Ligwalagwala Conservancy south of Malalane. The conservancy has most mammals, barring the elephant, and is run by the local Matsamo tribe as part of an upliftment programme introduced in the early 90s.
Visit the Leopard Creek Country Club for a round of golf on their championship course amongst roaming wildlife.
Driving west will take you to Mpumalanga’s national heritage sites such as Bourke’s Luck potholes, the old Pilgrims Rest gold rush town and the majestic waterfalls surrounding the Sabie area. Further south is the town of Barberton with its old mine, ancient rock formations and fascinating history.
Where to Eat
Savour your meal on the patio overlooking the well-manicured gardens at Hamilton’s Restaurant located in an old trading store. The chef prepares inviting dishes for the adults and fun meals for the kids. Great wine selection.
The Deck Restaurant overlooks the Crocodile River, a perfect venue for viewing wildlife while enjoying a great meal. Try the Mozambique-style spicy prawns.
Billed as a Gastropub, ignore the somewhat tacky exterior at the Duck 'n Dive Saloon Restaurant because the interior is nicely laid out, the staff friendly and the pizzas delightful!
Ngwenya Parkview Restaurant is 15km away but is open 7 days a week to enjoy a tasty wood-fired pizza or various other options on the à la carte menu. Visit on Sundays for the 3-course buffet spread.
Pack a picnic basket and stop off at Afsaal, a designated picnic spot inside Kruger Park between Malelane Gate and the Skukuza camp. Be sure to buy a wild teak woodcarving as a keepsake.
Get the fire going and grill some steaks under a carpet of stars.
Duck ‘n Dive Saloon stays open late and hosts various events that draw the crowds.
Want to see how the locals party? Join them at Sibomveli Sports Bar in KaMhlushwa’s main road where the DJs play Deep House, R & B and Soul well into the early morning.
Where to Stay
The haunting animal sounds in the evening make way for early morning chirping of birds, a perfect way to greet the new day at any of the luxurious lodges, guest cottages and homes available for your stay at Malalane. The lodgings in Malalane are an ideal base for ventures into the Kruger National Park.
Air The nearest airport is Komatipoort Aerodrome, 44km from Malalane, all flights via OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. Private charters can fly directly to the privately-owned TSB Malelane Airport nearby. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit) is a 73km drive from Malalane.
Car Hire a car from Terence Zweni Express if flying in to Komatipoort. TSB Malelane airport has 2 car rental agencies onsite, Mbombela (Nelspruit) has several car hire companies, otherwise order a vehicle online.
Taxi Arriving in your own vehicle is the most practical option for Malalane, however, there are a few taxi services operating between the airports and the town.
Did you know?
A resident at nearby Marloth Park runs Maddie’s Reborn Babies, a company selling lifelike baby dolls that are astonishingly realistic! Her dolls are made to order if you are looking for a highly unusual gift…
The town of Malelane was officially renamed Malalane in 2007, a slight spelling variation. The name originates from a Swazi expression eMlalani meaning Place of the Palms.
There is a large sugar industry in this region.
Malalane has all the necessary conveniences available to purchase in the town, there is no need to bring in supplies.