Game Drives and Bush Walks

Game Drive Safari's and Bush Walks

Early morning and afternoon game drives are conducted in open 4 x 4 Safari vehicles and together with Guided foot Safaris are included in the quoted rates.

Walks and drives are conducted by qualified Rangers. Sundowners are enjoyed at various breathtaking scenic spots. All of our staff at Umhlametsi are experienced, qualified and dedicated to the conservation of the Reserve.

You are encouraged to experience a bush walk where you will be amazed by the intricate wonders of the African bush. This is where the Umhalmetsi experience is so different and dedicated. The Rangers point out not only the Big 5 but all the other fascinating components of the Fauna and Flora that are often overlooked.

This is one of the best private nature reserves in the Limpopo province, South Africa

Game Drive Etiquette

While on the open Land Rover there is no need to wear neutral bush coloured safari gear, but it is best to avoid very bright or iridescent colours.

During the summer months it is advisable that you wear lightweight clothing, as well as sunscreen and a hat. Bring something warm to wear should it get cool during the evening part of the drive.

Winter drives – especially early morning and evening – are cold, so it is essential to bring clothing suited for these conditions.

Midday in winter can be warm, so you may want to dress in layers so that you can shed clothes as the day warms up.
Should you have any special needs, the Land Rovers are disability-friendly and cater for a wide range of needs. A ramp in camp is provided for wheelchairs leading up to the front seat next to the ranger. On the seat, necessary cushions, blankets and straps can be provided if necessary.
The Land Rover in which you will travel to see wildlife is open – there is no roof, no doors or windows. There will be times that the ranger will take the vehicle off-road in order to follow animals and tracks to afford you the best possible view of the animal. Please be aware that these are wild animals that you will be seeing and even though they may seem relaxed, it is important that they are treated with respect with regard to how close the vehicle is to them. The ranger will allow the animal to dictate where he will move and park.
Watch out for branches: Watch out for branches and don’t touch them. A lot of trees on the reserve have sharp thorns, which can easily penetrate the skin if a hand is placed on it while driving past. When driving off-road, be on the lookout for branches and duck under the roll bar of the seat in front of you, allowing the branch to pass overhead. Be aware of branches when the Land Rover is reversing.

Hold onto the bars when off-road: When traversing rough terrain, hold onto the bar in front of you to stabilise your body, making the ride more comfortable.

Don’t stand up: Don’t stand while driving or at any sighting. The cats are especially habituated to the shape of the Land Rover that is presented to them. By standing up, you are altering the shape that they are used to, which may cause them to become agitated and uncomfortable. Should they feel threatened, they are more likely to either attack or run away and neither option is desirable. In certain situations, such as when viewing rhino or buffalo from a distance, ask the ranger whether you can stand as it is often not a problem. If you feel that you need to stretch your legs, do not hesitate to tell your ranger and he will stop for a break. Do not, under any circumstances, stand when the vehicle is moving.

Communicate if uncomfortable with a situation: Most animals are habituated to the presence of the Land Rovers. If, however, you feel uncomfortable at being too close, or that a sighting is too gruesome – such as a kill – tell the ranger so that he can place a greater distance between you and the animal or leave the sighting altogether. At times you may go off-road driving. If you feel uncomfortable with this activity, please say so.

Stay on the vehicle unless instructed or permitted to do otherwise: If you wish for a comfort break while out on the reserve, please inform your ranger and he will happily oblige. MalaMala’s policy is to stop in an area where it is open enough to see any animals approaching.

Secure your belongings: While not using your equipment, please ensure that it is safe and secure, and not in danger of sliding off the Land Rover. There are sealed Velcro pouches on the back of the seat in front of you. These pouches there are for the purpose of storing your belongings.

Some of the magical photos taken during our game drives and bush walks:

Do you have a question?
Call us Now on +27 82 820 0539 or click the button on the right.