Overview – Timbavati NR
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 lions.
Pros and 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
- Relatively far from Johannesburg compared to other private reserves in Greater Kruger
- Emphasis on ticking off the Big Five species
Game viewing tends to be very good – Timbavati boasts the Big Five and all other 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 dogs are regular visitors to the property. The white lions are very rare, but some lighter colored lions carrying the gene might be spotted.
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 rug up or you’ll struggle to enjoy an early game drive. The temperature starts building with the rainfall in September, with the humidity of summer (October to April) soon smothering the landscape.
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. Low-season prices and some gorgeous weather are two other reasons to visit at this time. The wetter months are great for birding, but the roads can get swamped by heavy showers and other tourists.
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Timbavati Safari Reviews
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- User Rating
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Home of white lions
Almost three times as large as Sabi Sands, but boasting a fraction of the number of camps, Timbavati sprung to fame in the 1970s when it was discovered to harbour a population of white lions. The lions were removed to a zoo shortly...
Latest User Review
A great opportunity to get close to some incredible animals. There is loads to see here, and some great off road tracks to see it on. The staff were really welcoming and knowledgable about the animals and area. Definitely worth a visit.