The Timbavati

Burchell's Zebra

Situated to the north of Orpen gate, and best accessed from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport if flying in, the Timbavati Nature Reserve was formed in 1956 when a group of conservation-minded game farm owners came together to form the Timbavati Association, which limited the rights of the individual landowners for the benefit of all, served to restore and conserve all-important habitat, and rehabilitate wildlife numbers previously affected by hunting. The reserve is comprised of 50 contiguous game farms, all members of the association, and 13 of these are commercial safari operations, including rustic Umlani Bush Camp, and long-establihed Tanda Tula

In all, the reserve covers approximately 53,000Ha of lightly touched, unspoiled bushveld, and forms part of the Greater Kruger. The Timbavati became famous for its white lion sightings during the 1970’s, which attracted considerable interest and became the subject of two books by Chris McBride.  They have since become assimilated into the larger lion population, and the last pure-white lion sighting took place in 1993.  There are no perennial rivers in this area, but the seasonal Timbavati is a significant draw to wildlife migrating across the Greater Kruger area, including the Big 5.  The Timbavati’s mixture of riverine glades, open savannah, acacia scrub, and mopane and marula woodlands supports about 360 species of bird.