Overview – Timbavati NR

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Timbavati is a private nature reserve with open borders to the famous Kruger National Park. It is part of the Greater Kruger ecosystem, which offers an authentic wildlife experience. All of the Big Five animals are easily spotted including the elusive leopard. The park is famed for its rare white lion.

Best Time to Go May to September (Dry season)
High Season October to March (It rarely gets crowded)
Size 600km² / 232mi²
Altitude 341-529m / 1,119-1,736ft

Pros & Cons

  • Good wildlife viewing with all of the Big Five present
  • Day and night drives and walking safaris available
  • Off-road driving in open vehicles
  • Part of a very large ecosystem
  • Several lodges and self-catering camps to choose from
  • Less busy than Sabi Sands
  • Emphasis on ticking off the Big Five species
  • Big cat sightings are not quite as good as in Sabi Sands

Timbavati NR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Wildlife viewing tends to be very good – Timbavati boasts all the usual large safari animals including elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and their predators: lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Big cats are easy to spot, but rhino is more hit-and-miss. African wild dog are regular visitors to the property. The white lion are very rare, but some lighter colored lions carrying the gene might be spotted.

Scenery

The main habitats in the parks are grassy plains and mixed woodland. In the rainy season, the vegetation tends to be quite thick, but this doesn't interfere much with the wildlife viewing because of the off-road driving permits.

Weather & Climate

Cool mornings and warm afternoons characterize the Dry season (May to September), with its low-key winter climate. Don’t underestimate how cold it can get in the morning, though. You should remember to dress warmly, or you’ll struggle to enjoy the game drives. Summer (October to April) is hot and humid.

Best Time to Visit

Timbavati offers impressive wildlife watching in the Dry season, from May to September, when animals share the local waterholes and rivers. The landscape is green and lush in the wetter months (October to April), and this time is best for bird watching.

Want to Visit Timbavati NR?

Timbavati NR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Poor Cousin of the Sabi Sands
5/5

At 55,000ha this private game reserve is slightly smaller in size than the Sabi Sands and for some inexplicable reason it seems to always get rated in second place when compared to its more illustrious neighbour to the south. But I don’t...

Latest User Review
Michele  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jun 12, 2019
5/5

This area is a little dry so the landscape is more sparse than Sabi Sand. Loved our accommodations at Kings Camp, amazing service, trackers and guides. Saw all the big 5.

Full Review