Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is nestled in the heart of the Lowveld region of South Africa and shares a fenceless border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, allowing wildlife to move freely between reserves. The nature reserve is part of the Greater Kruger ecosystem and offers one of the best wildlife experiences in South Africa. Famous for the rare white lion, Timbavati means ‘the place where something sacred came down to Earth from the Heavens’.
The nature reserve and surrounding area are defined by savannah bushveld, acacia woodland, mopane woodland, among others and boast an impressive diversity where over thousands of mammals, birds, reptile, fish, and flora thrive. The nature reserve is home to Africa’s famous Big Five: the African lion, the African leopard, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, and the black rhino.
Timbavati is one of South Africa’s most accessible game reserves. There are two flights a day to the Timbavati airstrip, as well as connecting flights from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit Airport, which is only about 15 kilometres from Timbavati. Alternatively, those who wish to drive can embark on a five-hour hour journey from Johannesburg.
There are no borders between Timbavati Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park, meaning the prolific wildlife of the area can roam freely between reserves. Timbavati is home to the famous Big Five of Africa, so safari-goers can expect to spot large herds of buffalo, lions, and elephants. The rare white lions of Timbavati are its claim to fame and provide a unique experience for nature enthusiasts. Other commonly spotted wildlife species include hippos, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, cheetahs, and hyenas.
For the birders, there are well over 360 species of birds found at Timbavati, making it a birder’s paradise all year round. Common species found in the reserve include the African spoonbill, chinspot batis, and the southern carmine bee-eater. Furthermore, there are about 79 species of reptiles and 49 species of fish in the reserve.
The best time to visit Timbavati Nature Reserve is between May and September, which are considered the dry months. During these months, wildlife viewing is at its prime as the vegetation thins out, and the animals seek out rivers and waterholes, providing ideal viewing opportunities.
A safari activity at Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one-of-a-kind. The popular guided game drives are the perfect chance to spot the famous Big Five in their natural habitat. With knowledgeable and passionate rangers conducting the activity, safari-goers can enjoy an exclusive wildlife experience and gain valuable insight into the African wildlife. During a game drive, safari-goers will discover a world of wonder, from hippos splashing around at the waterholes to a solitary leopard stalking its prey.
Those who opt for a walking safari can experience the wilderness up close and personal. From the sights of stately giraffes and smell of the soil to the enthralling sounds of Africa, a walking safari has it all.
Timbavati Private Nature Reserve boasts a wide range of accommodation options to suit any discerning traveller. The reserve has 12 all-inclusive lodges and three self-catering camps for guests to choose from, all providing modern amenities for a comfortable stay in nature.