National Parks

Timbavati Private Game Reserve in South Africa

Renowned for its expansive natural splendour and pristine wilderness, Timbavati Private Game Reserve is an African safari experience you will never forget.

Ker & Downey® Africa > Destinations > South Africa > Parks > Timbavati Private Game Reserve in South Africa

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Everything you need to know about Timbavati Private Game Reserve

A truly pristine wilderness, the Timbavati bushveld region stretches over 53,000 hectares and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the elusive and extremely rare white lion. The name itself is inspired by these magnificent cats and means, “the place where something sacred came down to Earth from the heavens”. A private reserve, not accessible to day visitors, the Timbavati offers a mind-blowing and intimate safari experience.

Where is the reserve located?

The Timbavati is located in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, between Hoedspruit and Acornhoek. The reserve is situated on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, and north of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Like most of the private reserves in the region, the Timbavati dropped its fences to neighbouring reserves and formed part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

About the reserve

What can you expect from the terrain?

Unlike many of the restored lands in the region, large portions of the Timbavati were never settled by people and have barely been touched. It is considered a genuine wilderness, sparsely inhabited and unspoilt. Characterised by its savannah bushveld and woodland terrain, very similar to that of the neighbouring Sabi Sands, Timbavati is more remote and as such, offers a much greater sense of exclusivity and the feeling of really being in the wild.

What type of wildlife will we see?

Of course, the major draw card of the Timbavati is the spotting of the rarest of the rare of the big cats – the white lion, considered a sacred animal by the African tribal elders, and indigenous to the Timbavati region. The reserve is also home to a host of mammals including the iconic Big Five as well as an abundance of plains game including wildebeest, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu and the endangered African wild dog. Game viewing is a treat at Timbavati and a truly intimate experience can be had with its inhabitants. 

Top experiences to enjoy at Timbavati

A photographic safari is a must at Timbavati, especially if you get a unique opportunity to spot the endangered white lion – which is an experience of a lifetime in itself. Personalised game drives and bush walks are also an incredible way to experience the bush, and for something a little different, why not try a 3-day yoga safari at King’s Camp – an experience that will bring you closer to nature, while rejuvenating your mind, body and spirit. 

When to visit

The dry winter months make for the best wildlife viewing, particularly around waterholes and rivers, which become regular gathering spots for the animals. It also makes for easier game spotting as the bushveld dries up. The summer, however, is heaven for birders and Timbavati hosts some of the biggest concentration and diversity of birds in the whole region.

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