Timbavati Game Reserve
Covering an impressive 53,000 hectares, but with only a small number of lodges, Timbavati Game Reserve is one of the most exclusive options for a Big Five safari experience. The game is abundant and the birdlife spectacular. Set within a wild and rugged landscape, you can expect a warm welcome, luxury eco-friendly accommodation and excellent game viewing.
Established in 1956, Timbavati Game Reserve is the result of private farm owners deciding to remove all their internal fences and give their land over to conservation. Since then, by managing the vegetation of the reserve, it has managed to attract back the wildlife which had been forced out of its natural habitat. Today, Timbavati shares a long-unfenced border with Kruger National Park and the success of the conservation work is evident in the amount of game found on the reserve.
Guests can expect to see impressive numbers of elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog, along with all their predators, including lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. If you’re lucky, you may also see the critically endangered wild dog, also a regular visitor to the reserve.
Although Timbavati is famous for its pride of white lions, they are rarely seen today, but prides of tawny lion are prolific, so you’re more than likely to encounter these. However, after the wet season, when the growth of vegetation is in full force, it can be hard to spot leopard here, so if leopard is high on your ‘must see’ list, we’d suggest combining Timbavati with a stay at Sabi Sands, where sightings are more common.