South Africa's 53000-hectare Timbavati Nature Reserve was formed in 1956, and is a wildlife-rich region of undulating open woodland and dense mopane tree belts. The Timbavati is made up of a conservancy of private land-owners, all of whom have a common conservation aim. The park has a handful of luxury tourist lodges and several reasonable self-catering camps. A major benefit of experiencing a safari in this area is that the density of lodges and vehicles is lower than most other reserves in the Lowveld. The Timbavati is home to a large number of wildlife species, including the Big Five, excellent general game, and many other fauna and flora species. Large herds of elephant and buffalo are seen in the area fairly regularly, whilst the leopard-viewing is good. The reserve is particularly famous for its few rare ‘White Lions’, of which many books have been written and documentaries made.

Why we like it

Big 5 reserve; Famous white lions; Leopards often spotted; Uncrowded Lowveld reserve

Facts & Figures

Park / Reserve Size: 53 000 Hectares
Reserve Type: Conservancy
Big 5: Yes
Specialist Specie: White Lion
Malaria Area: Yes
Nearest Town: Hoedspruit

Accommodation in Timbavati Nature Reserve

Bateleur Safari Camp

Experience the true magic of the African bush at Bateleur Safari Camp. Designed to blend in with the wilderness, this luxurious tented camp is found in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, in the heart of Big 5 country. The camp has been designed and constructed in such a way as to have minimal impact on the environment, and features eco-friendly…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: $300 - $500 p.p.p.d.

Geiger’s Camp

Stunningly set in the heart of Big 5 territory, Geiger’s Camp is the ideal luxury safari getaway. Four lavish private suites each have a private deck that looks out onto the bushveld. The camp is perfect for families and small groups. Formerly a traditional family house, the camp retains a rustic, charming atmosphere, without compromising on comfort. Each spacious suite…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: More than $500 p.p.p.d.

Kings Camp, Timbavati

This colonial-styled and lavishly decorated lodge is situated in the heart of the Timbavati Nature Reserve, providing guests with luxurious accommodation and exceptional service. The main lodge is set in green gardens overlooking an active waterhole. There is a raised viewing deck under a thatch roof where guests can watch over the waterhole or read a book whilst sipping an…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: More than $500 p.p.p.d.

Tours and Activities in Timbavati Nature Reserve

Primitive Walking Trail, Timbavati

This unforgettable walking trail lets you reconnect with nature through the ultimate back-to-basics experience. Aptly named the "Primitive Trail", it will expose you to the fine details, grandeur of the landscape and the thrill of moving among large mammals. Well beyond an activity, it is a fully immersive experience that permits participation in nature as opposed to traditional spectatorship. It…

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Duration: 3 nights, 4 days
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.
Species list Recent Sightings

Lookout for

White Rhino
Spotted Hyena
African Wild Dog

Key Species


Martial Eagle
White-backed Vulture
Bateleur Eagle
Marabou Stork
Ground Hornbill

Snouted Cobra
Rock Monitor Lizard
Bushveld Sand Lizard

Red Bush Willow
Knob-thorn Acacia

Mopane Belt
Savannah Woodland
Dry River Beds
Rocky Outcrops

Wildlife Ratings

Big 5: 8
Mammals: 8.5
Birds: 8
Reptiles: 7
Trees: 7
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