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Timbavati Special Offer

Special offer: Reduced rates on all lodges in Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park. Enquire...
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Timbavati Special Offer

Special offer: Reduced rates on all lodges in Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park.

Enquire now: gisela@africantwisttravel.com

Are you interested in any of the following safari lodges in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve?

Motswari Game Lodge Umlani Kambaku Safari lodge Ngala Tented Camp
Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa Ngala Safari Lodge Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Kings Camp Gomo Gomo Waterbuck Private Camp Shindzela Tented Safari Camp
Simbavati River Lodge

Leopard at Tanda Tula, Timbavati Private Game Reserve Leopard at Tanda Tula, Timbavati Private Game Reserve
Contact us for more details on the Timbavati lodges and to get reduced rates on all of them.
Interesting facts about the Timbavati Game Reserve

The Timbavati Game Reserve is located to the north of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve on the western edge of Kruger National Park.

The Timbavati is home to:

The Timbavati Nature Reserve was established in 1956 by like-minded game farmers with the creation of the Timbavati Association. The association has 50 members and covers 53,392 hectares (533.92 km2). Timbavati is part of Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) and the fences separating Timbavati from the other member reserves in the APNR and from the Kruger National Park has been removed. Wildlife, including lion, elephant, cheetah and other species roam freely between the these reserves.

The Timbavati Nature Reserve is located in the Limpopo province of South Africa between latitudes 24° 34’ S and 24° 03’ S and longitudes 31° 03’ E and 31° 31’ E. The Timbavati Reserve consists of 50 contiguous tracts of land housing 12 luxury tourist lodges.

The Reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger Park and lies nestled between the Kruger National Park on the east, the Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserves in the north and the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve in the west. There are no fences between the Timbavati and the Kruger National Park which allows free movement of wildlife between the Reserves. The world-famous Kruger National Park is a conservation area of more than 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi).

The southern border of this great complex of public and privately - owned protected land lies close to the Kingdom of Swaziland and abuts the boundaries of Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique in the east.

The terrain is undulating with altitudes varying between 300 and 500m above sea level. The area is characterised as ‘savanna bushveld’ with 6 different landscape types: acacia woodland, open woodland, mopane woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld on Gabbro. Elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog abound together with their attendant predators which include lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The critically endangered African wild dog is also a regular visitor to the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. The larger and rarer antelopes such as Roan, Eland and Tsessebe have been slow to return to this area and their numbers are still critically low.

The climate is typified by a summer wet season (October – March) with the majority of rain falling between December and February. This is also the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the region of 32 °C. A typical summer day will be hot with storm clouds gathering for a spectacular late afternoon thunderstorm.

During the winter months (April – September) the weather is dry with little chance of rain. As game tends to congregate around dwindling water sources, game viewing is more predictable. Temperatures can range from 28 °C to 10 °C in one day. The mornings and evenings can be very cold and warm clothing is advised.

White lions Timbavati

White lion Timbavati White lion Timbavati

Lions with a recessive gene causing the coats to be snow white (though not albino) reappeared in the Timbavati in 2006 after an absence of many years.


When the White Lions of the Timbavati were discovered in the mid-1970s they became the subject of much interest and debate. The story of the “White Lions of the Timbavati” has been told by several people, most notable of whom was Mr. Chris McBride, who published two books about the phenomenon: The White Lions of the Timbavati and Operation White Lion. Chris was the son of Timbavati member Cyril McBride who at the time, together with his brother Robert - owned the farm Vlakgezicht.

McBride relied heavily on the expertise and knowledge of two local trackers, Jack Mathebula and Mandaban Hlongo, in his efforts to track the white cubs. These men had grown up in the bush and had intimate knowledge of the behaviour of lions.

There have been various “spiritual” powers attributed to the White lions and many people were and still are of the opinion that the lions are a different species. The truth is that this is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to “leucism” (see below). White lions have been spotted in the Timbavati again recently, and a number of white lions are regularly seen in the Kruger National Park in different areas.

Interesting to note that all white lions world wide are ancestrally linked to the White Lions of the Timbavati Nature Reserve.

How to get to Timbavati Private Game Reserve

The Timbavati Reserve is approximately 5 or 6 hours by car from Johannesburg. Normal passenger vehicles can reach all lodges within the reserve.

Regularly scheduled, daily flights are available from Johannesburg and Cape Town to local airports.

Contact us for more details on the Timbavati lodges below and to get reduced rates on all of them: gisela@africantwisttravel.com

Motswari Game Lodge, Royal Legend Safari Lodge & Spa, Kings Camp, Gomo Gomo, Umlani
Kambaku Safari lodge, Ngala Game Lodge, Ngala Tented Camp, Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Waterbuck Private Camp, Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, Simbavati River Lodge