The Timbavati Game Reserve lies to the north of the Sabi Sands on the western fringe of the Kruger National Park. Unfenced, the area allows many varieties of wildlife to roam free. The Timbavati is about 5 or 6 hours by car from Johannesburg, and is well worth the drive. It reveals the magnificent secrets of a wilderness area spanning more than 53 000 hectares.
What makes the Timbavati such a wonderful sanctuary, is its plethora of fauna and flora. The reserve is home to over 40 mammals, including all the Big Five; more than 360 bird species, 79 species of reptile; 49 varieties of fish and 85 listed tree types. One of the Timbavati’s big drawcards is the white lion, which has recently reappeared in the area. The white apparel of this beautiful and rare animal is brought about by a recessive gene. Locals see the white lion as sacred, and indeed it’s a very special sighting for visitors.
When it comes to deciding where to stay, there are a number of luxury lodges to choose from, each with its own special character and charm.
Motswari is a delightful traditional lodge, very welcoming and happy to make guests part of the Motswari family. It has space for 30 guests and accommodates them with a good twist of luxury. Twice every day the Motswari guides will drive you out into the bush, and you’re likely to see a good selection of game. Art-lovers will be at home Motswari, which has its own gallery and displays local artwork. A local sculptor practises his art in the reserve.
Kings Camp is another option, just brimming with romance. Expect a good touch of the old Colonial. Kings Camp is a good choice if you intend to combine a great safari with some self-nourishment. A gym, spa and beauty sala are all available at the camp, and there’s a glorious pooldeck looking out over a waterhole. Between safaris you can laze about here and watch game without moving a muscle. There’s wireless internet in case you’re afraid of slipping into the back of beyond and want to keep in touch with life beyond the Timbavati.
There’s nothing quite like a tented safari to connect you with the wilderness. And tented options do not need to mean skimping on luxury. Tanda Tula is an intimate four-star camp, with space for just 12 guests at a time. That means you have a very interactive bush experience with plenty of personal service. The East African-styled tents are way beyond comfortable and are set amid dense riverine vegetation. You have your own viewing deck, as well as a gorgeous Victorian bathroom, and an outside shower if you prefer al fresco cleansing. One of the highlights at Tanda Tula is an outdoor dinner each evening, after the game drive.
Mail us to book, or call +27 21 797-7122.