malelane rest camp

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Malelane Satellite Rest Camp

 Malelane Satellite Rest Camp is one of the satellite camps of Kruger National Park (KNP) which is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo province of South Africa.  The camp is situated in the southern part of the park close to the Malelane gate entrance.

Malelane Satellite Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Camp Site (CK6P)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R590 for 2 persons
  R740 for 3 persons
 R890 for 4 persons
 R1040 for 5 persons
 R1190 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: Self catering, Communal Ablutions, Powerpoint

Exclude: Camping Equipment, Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite

Malelane Satellite Camp - Self Catering
3 Sleeper - Bungalow (BG3)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2595 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: Self catering, Perimeter View, En-suite, 3 single beds , Airconditioned, Fridge, Communal Kitchen, Sink, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite

Malelane Satellite Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Bungalow (BG4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2995 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: Self catering,  Perimeter View, En-suite, 4 single beds , Airconditioned, Fridge, Communal Kitchen, Sink, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite


The small private camp is situated where the Crocodile River separates the sugar cane fields of the farms from the globally renown Kruger National Park.

This is the only camp on the boundary of the southern border of the KNP. Here you can experience real bush as it only allows in a few guests which makes it an intimate camp. It is conveniently close to Malelane entrance gate which means you can enter the KNP late afternoon and still have enough time to get to your accommodation.

There are no reception area, shops, or restaurant at Malelane camp, so you have to plan carefully for your adventure to KNP. In general, the stay in one of the satellite camps are more rustic than any other camp in the park. It offers tented accommodation, and some have a few huts or bungalows.

Day visitors are not allowed into satellite camps, making the vibe slower and the camp quieter. Staying in any of the camps of the KNP is a top experience where you can be guaranteed to see the Big 5. It is one of the more affordable safari vacations that you can book in South Africa.

The camp offers two kinds of accommodation to choose from. It does not have a designated day visitor area. Booking accommodation can be done online via the SANParks website, telephone, fax, e-mail or in person at a KNP bookings office.


Why would you want to visit Malelane?

Spending a few days in the Malelane camp provides a true African experience like few other and is definitely something to add to your safari vacation.

Satellite camps do not really have a history as most of them are built the specific purpose to provide guests with rustic, private and quiet accommodation. This particular camp situated in the most southern part of the park is ideally located with plenty of animals to see.

Given the camps’ location and size, it is the ideal place to stay if you are planning to camp your way around the park and you arrive at the entrance gate close to closing time. Malelane is only 3 km away from the Malelane entrance gate. The camp can only accommodate a small amount of people and the camping sites are not close to each other which gives guests a private and intimate stay. If you do not like camping you have the option to book into one of the four bungalows.

No day visitors are permitted to enter the camp, which helps to ensure that the camp stays quiet and that guests enjoy the maximum amount of privacy during their stay here.

Going out on an open vehicle safari is the preferred way to see animals but the best way to spot animals in Malelane is right in the camp as it looks out over the Crocodile River where many animals are spotted coming down to quench their thirst.

The camp offers great bird watching opportunities as it provides a walking route on the inside perimeters of the camp. You will get a general offering of fauna and flora and being close to animals that you might catch a glimpse of on the other side of the electrified fence.


Where is Malelane located?

Malelane is located in the most southern part of the KNP, about 3 km from the Malelane entrance gate. The closest main camp in Berg-en-Dal which is 9 km away. The GPS coordinates for the camp is S 25 28′ 20″ E 31 30′ 32″.


How to get to Malelane

Travelling time from Johannesburg to the closest entrance gate at Malelane by car is at least four to five hours.

Take the N4 to Nelspruit and head through Nelspruit to Malelane. Then turn left at the Kruger National Park sign just outside Malelane and head to the gate. Allow about 10 minutes to get from the gate to the camp.

You can also travel by air and the closest airport to Malelane is Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) which is situated between Nelspruit and White River. Nelspruit is about 25 km from KMIA and about 70 km from Malelane entrance gate.

There are daily scheduled flights between KMIA and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Flights from Cape Town and Durban International Airports are also available but less frequent.

A map of KNP can be bought at the entrance gates or any of the camps in the park.

Be aware of the gate times for entering and departing from the park. It is as follows:

Entrance gates:

  • January, February, November and December – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:30
  • March and October – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:00.
  • April, August, and September – gates open at 06:00 and close at 18:00.
  • May, June, and July – gates open at 06:00 and close at 17:30.

Malelane’s gates open and close at the same times as the entrance gates, except for January, November, and December when the camp gates open as early as 04:30.

What to do while staying at Malelane.

There are many activities on offer at the camp that will ensure an exciting bush experience. All bookings, and further details for these activities are available from reception.

Since Malelane is a satellite camp without a reception area there is not many activities on offer. You can, however, book a game drive or a bush walk. This can be done at the Malelane entrance gate after confirmation that you are staying over in Malelane satellite camp.

Game drives are on offer in either the early morning or at night. You will be in the company of trained field guides. Night drives are quite popular as you manage to spot the nocturnal animals the you would normally not see during the day.

Armed with spotlights, the guides identify elements in the environment and seek to find the nocturnal animals. The open vehicles normally stop at a waterhole to allow you to stretch your legs and to enjoy sundowners and snacks.

Going on a bush walk gets you close and personal with nature. The group is normally not bigger than 8 people accompanied by two armed and accredited field guides. The behaviour of Africa’s wildlife takes on a new meaning due to the guides’ identification and interpretation of animal life, tracking, spoor, and droppings identification, and naming the different vegetations you see in the bush.

Various open vehicle safari operators are available to book a trip with. They offer affordable yet exclusive safari trips for singles, couples, families with children or small private groups.


What to watch out for when staying at Malelane

Staying at Malelane is an exciting experience and guests will experience the flora and fauna that this area offers.

In the direct vicinity of the camp you will see white rhino, kudu, impala, giraffe, elephant, reedbuck, klipspringer, grey rhebok, and warthog. Leopard are also regularly seen in the region as are a pack of wild dogs. Lion tend to roam a bit higher up closer to Skukuza and Lower Sabie down to Crocodile Bridge.

Malelane is situated in a mountain bushveld region and the mountains are covered with sweet grass that attract the many grazers. Trees found in the area are the red bush-willow, the magic guarri, knob thorn, sausage tree, marula, tamboti, and bushwillow.

Being close to a river means you should probably see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and big cats, wild dog, and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.

What type of accommodation does Malelane offer and what amenities/facilities are available at the camp?

Malelane is a satellite camp and does not offer a wide a variety of accommodation types, but it does offer accommodation for singles, couples, and families with children.

Accommodation availability changes from day to day and all inquiries about general availability are subject to change without notice. Last minute reservations in less than 31 days prior to arrival date, are payable within 24 hours after receiving a confirmed provisional reservation via e-mail.

Your accommodation is only guaranteed once you receive a provisional reservation confirmation and to secure your reservation full pre-payment is required a.s.a.p.

At Malelane, the following accommodation types is available:


Camping is the most affordable and the most rustic style of accommodation that Kruger offers. Malelane offers 15 tent or caravan sites for a maximum of 6 people. All sites come with a power point. Guests make use of the communal ablutions and cooking facilities.


The camp has 4 round air-conditioned bungalows with 4 single beds in each. The bungalows have a bathroom with shower, wash basin and toilet. It comes with a refrigerator, but guests use the communal kitchen. Each unit is also equipped with gas and a grocery cupboard with cutlery, crockery, and cooking utensils.

In addition, there is 1 round air-conditioned bungalow that sleeps 3 in single beds. It has a bathroom with shower, wash basin and toilet. It has a fridge, grocery cupboard cutlery, crockery, and cooking utensils.

In the camp is an ablution block with bath, wash basin and toilet. The communal dining room comes with crockery and cutlery for guests. The communal kitchen is equipped with a gas stove, refrigerator, freezer, sink and cooking utensils. There are also braai facilities.


There are also braai facilities, as well as open parking at the camp. The nearest shop to Malelane Camp is at Berg-en-Dal rest camp which is 9 km away.

At Malelane, the following facilities are available:

  • One communal kitchen
  • One ablution block
  • There are no shop or restaurant facilities available.
  • No ATM facility available.
  • No reception office at camp, check in at Malelane entrance gate
  • Communal freezer

What do you need to know and bring for a safe and comfortable stay at the Malelane?

Plan properly for your stay at Malelane to make it a relaxed trip and stay. Bookings need to be done well in advance from your planned date of arrival. KNP is a popular game reserve and accommodation is not readily available, especially in the holiday season and during the winter months.

Malelane does not offer any bed and breakfast facilities and guests must bring their own food and drinks. Meals can be bought at the restaurant and the shop provides most items that will be needed on a daily basis.

Most parts of the KNP is situated well within a malaria area. This is much more than just an unpleasant illness but can be fatal if left untreated. Since it is being spread by mosquitoes, the best way to avoid getting sick is to prevent the mosquitos to bite you.

You can avoid mosquito bites if you take the necessary steps, such as wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evening, using a reputable kind of insect repellent.

The best way to totally avoid a malaria scare is to get the necessary preventative medication prescribed by your doctor before journeying into the African bush.

Although it is basically impossible for larger, more dangerous animals to enter the camp, it is best to always be alert. Nocturnal animals like the civet, porcupines, and others are frequent visitors.

Ensure your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many unusual and dangerous creatures, such as bats, spiders, snakes, scorpions, to mention but a few, and without knowledge some of them could be dangerous.

If you must walk around at night, please do not do so without a torch. Although there is streetlights, it is not very bright and only along the footpaths.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to feed the animals. By feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become lazy and do not seek for food themselves which can cause them to starve. Some also become aggressive.

When to visit Malelane

The best time of the year to make your trip to Malelane in the KNP is either early spring or late autumn. Kruger is a summer rainfall area and such precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours.

The hot summer months from October to April can make any safari tour unpleasant. Malelane does not have a swimming pool.

The winters are warm and mild during the day and can sometimes be quite cold at night. If you are planning a trip to KNP in the winter that include a night-drive be sure to pack warm clothing that include a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves.

Even animals sometimes shy away from the heat. During the summer months they tend to look for shade during the hottest time of the day and is not always easy to spot, especially since the bush is very dense.

During the winter months, wildlife tend to stay in the vicinity of water sources and can often be seen at the watering holes, rivers and dams. The bush is also less dense, and animals are spotted more easily than during the summer months.


Where is Malelane located?

The Malelane is located about 3 km from the Malelane entrance gate in the southern part of the KNP. The closest camp is Berg-en-Dal which is 9 km away.


What to expect and look out for when staying at the Malelane.

There are not many organised activities at Malelane. Guest do have the opportunity to go on a morning, sunset or night game drives and guided walks are offered from Malelane.

You can walk the perimeter trail of the camp spotting birds and wildlife. From inside the camp overlooking the Crocodile River you may see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and leopard, wild dog, and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.


What facilities are provided at Malelane and what do you need to bring along?

All accommodation are equipped with linen and towels, with the exception of guests using the camping facilities. Campers need to bring everything with them that they need for their trip.

Cooking utensils or crockery are provided. All you need to bring is your own food, insect repellent, camera, binoculars, and torch.

The camp does not have a shop and the closest one is at Berg-en-Dal where you can purchase basic everyday items and food. There is cell phone signal at the camp, but no petrol station, swimming pool, ATM, and laundry facilities.


Can you directly book accommodation at Malelane online?

Yes, direct bookings can be done on the Kruger Safari Co. website


When is the best time to visit Malelane?

The best times of the year to stay at Malelane is during early spring or late autumn, when temperatures are mostly pleasant, and water is scarce in the veld, so more animals may come for a drink in the dam.

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