Timbavati Game ReserveNgala Tented CampKings Camp Private Game ReserveShindzela Tented Safari CampSimbavati River Lodge

Timbavati Game Reserve

The 60,000 hectare Timbavati Game Reserve is home to Africa's Big 5 as well as many more species of predator and antelope, and this abundance of wildlife ensures that visitors to the area have an unforgettable safari.

Ngala Tented Camp

Timbavati Game Reserve

Kings Camp Private Game Reserve

Timbavati Game Reserve

Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

Timbavati Game Reserve

Simbavati River Lodge

Timbavati Game Reserve

Timbavati Game Reserve

Home to the famous 'White Lions of Timbavati'

Timbavati Private Game Reserve is top class safari territory. Hugging the western border of the Greater Kruger Park and stretching 60,000 hectares across South Africa’s Limpopo Province, it’s a vast reserve packed with a huge profusion of exotic wildlife. A stunning mix of rolling savanna bushland dotted with waterholes and scattered with acacia woodland, Timbavati really captures the epic magic of Africa, promising a safari experience that you’ll never forget.

Timbavati shares an unfenced border with Kruger, allowing the animals to roam freely between the two reserves and giving you a chance to see African wildlife in a truly natural habitat.

As well as the classic Big Five, Timbavati boasts a huge volume of giraffe, zebra, kudu, wild dog, waterbuck and cheetah - to name just a few!Alongside some 40 species of mammal, there are over 360 kinds of bird in the reserve, so the branches above are constantly bursting with birdsong. 

However, there’s also a very special twist to the wildlife of Timbavati - it’s the home of the very rare and unbelievably beautiful White Lion. The White Lions were discovered back in the 1970s by animal biologist Chris McBride and they quickly shot to worldwide fame. With a recessive white gene, these rare lions have a pure snowy white pelt caused by a condition called ‘leucism’. Incredibly rare, they disappeared from the reserve altogether for many years, resurfacing again only in 2006.

The White Lions have long been the tragic victims of hunting, poaching and unethical captivity, often forcibly inbred to guarantee a white coat. Nowadays, there are thought to be only a dozen left in the wild. The Shangaan people believe that the White Lions are spirits of deceased kings, so they hold a very special place in local legend and tradition. Thankfully, as the gene still exists in Timbavati today, new White Lions can pop up at any time. With any luck, you might even spot a few on your safari.   

During your Timbavati game drives, you’ll set off each morning before sunrise to scour the hills, lowlands and thickets for passing herds of elephant, lion cubs playing in the long grass and leopard on the prowl for a morning kill. Just before sunset, you’ll hop aboard your open-topped jeep again to spot wildlife in the dusk, stopping for a wildly scenic sundowner on the way. If you’re eager to get even closer to the action, you can try a heart-thumping walking safari and, for a different take on the bush altogether, you can book a night safari. 

There are just 12 lodges sprinkled across the huge expanse of Timbavati, so each one feels extremely exclusive and totally tucked away in the bush. Stargaze under blankets in a bush treehouse, relax in complete colonial elegance, plunge into your own private pool or immerse yourself in bygone romance by staying in a camp lit only by flickering candles. Whatever your idea of the perfect safari may be, we’re pretty sure that Timbavati has it covered.


Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 6 ratings

Shindzela hosts a maximum of 12 guests in canvas tents.  All tents have a thatch roof and porch, designed to cool the tents in summer.



Motswari Game Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

All 15 luxury en-suite rooms have air-conditioning and overhead fans, and offer magnificent bush and river views.  There are, in addition, 5 luxury rooms at the separate Motswari Geiger's Camp.

Motswari Game Lodge - Value Added Packages
Valid:   1 September 2013  -  15 December 2014.


Kambaku Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge

Accommodation at Kambaku Safari Lodge comprises of 8 thatched, en-suite chalets situated in a semi-circle overlooking a waterhole. To truly immerse yourself in the rustic bush experience, the chalets are equipped with lanterns for light as well as power points for your convenience, which are sustained by the eco-friendly battery bank system.



Ngala Safari Lodge
Travel Butlers Award Winner

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 10 ratings

This gracious, colonial-style safari lodge is renowned for its superb accommodation. The 20 thatched chalets each have en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning, and a private veranda.

Ngala Safari Lodge - Honeymoon Special
Valid:   1 January 2013  -  31 December 2015.


Simbavati River Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

Accommodation consists of 8 luxury en-suite safari tents and 3 thatched family chalets. The tented accommodation offers generous bush or water views from your own private viewing deck.



Tanda Tula Safari Camp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

The words 'private', 'secluded' and 'tranquil' best describe the Tanda Tula safari experience. This intimate camp is renowned for its charming service and passionately well informed staff.

Tanda Tula Safari Camp: Stay 4 nights for the price of 3
Valid:   1 November 2014  -  15 December 2014.


Ngala Tented Camp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

Six tented suites offer exclusive comfort and warm hospitality, combined with the thrill and immediacy of big night sounds and close natural encounters. Overlooking the seasonal Timbavati riverbed, the stylish interiors feature a fusion between easy living and contemporary design.

Ngala Tented Camp - Honeymoon Special
Valid:   1 January 2013  -  31 December 2014.


Kings Camp Private Game Reserve

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

Nine generously spacious Colonial Suites are luxuriously equipped with air-conditioning, indoor and outdoor double shower, fully stocked mini-bar and private verandah. Dark tones of wood and thatch offset the natural colours of the bushveld.



Umlani Bushcamp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

Umlani's traditional African reed and thatch huts will not only provide you with all the comforts you need, but will also provide you with an authentic experience of local tribal (Shangaan) architecture and style, which blends in naturally with the environment.  Each hut has en-suite facilities including an open-air bush shower fuelled by wood fires.



Waterbuck Private Camp

Safari Lodge

Accommodation at Waterbuck consists of an opulent, upstairs Master Suite with open plan bathroom and a comfortable viewing lounge, plus 2 ground floor Luxury Suites. A detached Luxury Garden Suite completes the accommodation for a maximum of 8 guests - perfect for small groups and families.


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Timbavati Game Reserve

timbavati AT A GLANCE

  • 60,000 Hectares
  • Big 5 Safari Reserve
  • Famous For White Lions
  • Unfenced Border with Kruger NP
  • Game Drives in Open Vehicles
  • Bush Walks at Some Lodges
  • Malaria Area
  • Scheduled Flights to Local Airports

Special Offers

Selected Special offers for Timbavati Game Reserve

Ngala Safari Lodge - Honeymoon Special

Valid:   1 January 2013  -  31 December 2015.

Ngala Tented Camp - Honeymoon Special

Valid:   1 January 2013  -  31 December 2014.


It's great to have choice, however sometimes it can all be a litte confusing when you are planning your first trip to an unfamiliar area.

If you'd like to talk to one of our friendly experts, then please give us a call on +44(0) 1932 428380 or alternativley you can enquire via the website.

Arriving By Air

The nearest airport to Timbavati is Hoedspruit Airport (HDS), and this is the airport that visitors should use if possible.  Hoedspruit Airport has direct flights from Johannesburg only.

It is also possible to get to the reserve from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) at Nelspruit, however this will mean a much longer drive or road transfer between the airport and your lodge.

Top Tip: If you book with Travel Butlers, we will ensure you have the most appropriate transport arrangements for your safari.

Arriving By Road

If you have a hire car you can drive to any of the lodges in the reserve, however you will need to make sure you allow enough time to drive through the reservbe to your lodge from the entrance gate. Details ablout distances in the park are available on request.

For self-drive visitors, there is a vehicle entrance cash fee of R120 per vehicle (subject to change) payable at the gate. 

Malaria Risk

The Timbavati Game Reserve is located in a malaria area, so we strongly advise that you check with your doctor to find out what malaria tablets you will need, and when you should commence the course.

If you do not want to have to take malaria tablets then have a look at our guide to safaris in  malaria-free areas.

Holiday Ideas

Africa within your Reach
Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

Timbavati Game Reserve and Cape Town.

7 day itinerary.

Prices from GBP £ 965 US$ 1,506 ZAR 16,408 EUR 1,206 pp*

A Classic Adventure
Simbavati River Lodge

Timbavati Game Reserve, Cape Town, The Cape Winelands, The Garden Route and Port Elizabeth.

12 day itinerary.

Prices from GBP £ 1,444 US$ 2,253 ZAR 24,554 EUR 1,805 pp*

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