Tented Safaris

  • Big 5
  • Greater Kruger
  • Timbavati
  • Photographic Safaris

About Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

In 1956, a group of conservation-minded landowners formed the Timbavati Association with the aim to reclaim the land for the benefit of all. They had come together after witnessing the degradation of a once pristine wilderness area. Insensitive land use (primarily crop and cattle farming) had caused soil erosion and destruction of indigenous plant species. In addition, natural water sources had been rerouted by dams further impacting on the natural status quo. As a result, much of the wildlife common to the area was lost. Since the formation of the Timbavati Association, every landowner in the area has been encouraged to join in the conservation effort. Today there are over 50 members who have succeeded in restoring the land to its former glory, with diverse and rare wildlife species making the Timbavati their home. In 1993, in recognition of the importance of the area, the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati Reserve were removed to encourage natural species migration. Man's incursions into this part of the Lowveld have always been temporary and brief, from early stone age down to the early 20th century. In point of fact, large tracts of land in the northern portion of the Lowveld were never permanently settled by man. The lands now comprising the Timbavati were barely touched, and are still only lightly inhabited. This part of South Africa's bushveld region may therefore be regarded as truly unspoiled and deserves recognition as genuine wild land, as opposed to the ``restored`` and ``restocked`` lands commonly found elsewhere.

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR)

The TPNR is within the Greater Kruger open system. The Reserve falls within the internationally declared Kruger 2 Canyons UNESCO Man and Biosphere, and within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTCA).
The TPNR also forms part of the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR), which is a conglomerate of privately owned nature reserves. In 1993, fences between Associated Private Nature Reserves and the Kruger National Park were removed to encourage wildlife migration, and the Greater Kruger National Park was born.

Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It is situated across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa, and its borders stretch up to Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique in the east. Back in 1898 it was known as the Government Wildlife Park. It later became the Sabi Game Reserve, and then the Kruger National Park in 1926. The Kruger National Park is the core of the Kruger 2 Canyons and Vhembe UNESCO Man and Biospheres, and the core of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTP Treaty, 2002). The Timbavati Private 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 forms part of the Greater Kruger 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. As there are no fences between Kruger National Park and the Timbavati, the reserve enjoys a wide variety of game, including the big five. The southern border of the Kruger National Park lies close to the Kingdom of Swaziland, while in the north it borders Zimbabwe and in the east, Mozambique. The terrain is undulating with altitudes ranging between 300 to 500 metres above sea level.

More About Kruger National Park

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is situated within the Savanna Biome of South Africa. This biome covers 32% of South Africa. In essence Savanna is classified as a vegetation type consisting of both a tree and grass layer with complex interactions between these two structural layers. Savannas occur within an annual rainfall range between less than 200 mm to 1500 mm per annum. The Timbavati falls within the midrange with an annual precipitation of 550 mm - 600 mm per annum, with the wet season occurring between the months of November to March. Summers are hot to uncomfortably hot with a long term mean maximum temperature of 38 °C in the months of January to April. Species composition and structure of vegetation of an area are highly correlated to the underlying geology and soils of the area. Weathering of the geological substrate will result in soils with nutrient characters inherited from the geological substrate.

More About Kruger National Park

Granite and Gniess are the dominant geological formations of the Timbavati. These rock types are rich in feldspar and quartzite which consists of silica and oxygen with very little iron (Ferro) and Magnesium (Ferro-Magnesium) minerals in them. Due to these rock formations sandy soils characterise the landscape of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, in turn detraining the species composition and with the rainfall the structure of the vegetation. Game viewing is exceptional, with an abundance of elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog, together with their attendant predators: lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The larger and more rare antelopes like Roan, Eland and Tsessebe have been slow to return to the area, but the critically endangered African wild dog is a regular visitor.

Malaria Control

Timbavati has very few to no cases of malaria on an annual basis. The aim of the control programme is to control the mosquito numbers in and around camps in the reserve.
Mosquito numbers are highest during the wet summer months of the year and during these months all camps are sprayed at regular intervals. This action ensures that the probability of any visitors contracting malaria is reduced.
Coupled with this action, the Department of Health, performs regular checks in summer, whereby all staff are tested to ascertain if there are any “carriers” amongst them. Such people will put their colleagues at risk of infection and by timeously treating these individuals, further cases are avoided.