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

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.

Motswari Game Lodge

Motswari is one of the oldest private game lodges in South Africa and as such retains a traditional safari camp feel, with the atmosphere in camp being relaxed and informal. Fifteen double rooms are located among thick bush and natural gardens, which enhance the feeling of being out in the wild. The rooms are all slightly different being individual units…

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

Ngala Safari Lodge, Timbavati

The magic and mystery of Africa comes alive in the colonial ambiance of elegant Ngala Safari Lodge. Ngala Safari Lodge’s 21 classic safari cottages overlook a private waterhole frequented by wildlife. The Lodge’s fun-filled children’s adventure programme makes it the ideal place for families. A timeless, unhurried atmosphere, combined with the quaint traditions of a bygone era, creates an aura…

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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
Where

Lookout for

Elephant
White Rhino
Hippo
Lion
Leopard
Cheetah
Spotted Hyena
African Wild Dog
Jackal
Buffalo
Giraffe
Kudu
Nyala
Wildebeest
Zebra
Impala
Waterbuck
Warthog
Baboon

Key Species

MAMMALS
Lion
Buffalo
Elephant


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


REPTILES
Snouted Cobra
Rock Monitor Lizard
Bushveld Sand Lizard


TREES
Mopane
Red Bush Willow
Knob-thorn Acacia


HABITAT TYPES
Mopane Belt
Savannah Woodland
Dry River Beds
Rocky Outcrops
Riverine


Wildlife Ratings

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