Timbavati: History, Wildlife, Seasons & Geography
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of South Africa’s undiscovered wilderness jewels. Home to Africa’s big five and in an area renowned for its biodiversity, the Timbavati landscape ranges from savannah woodlands to grasslands and riverine glades.
The Timbavati is a leader in conservation initiatives and research, and is committed to the upliftment of local communities.
The reserve was established in 1956 by like-minded landowners. Today, it forms part of one of the largest game reserves in the world, the Kruger National Park. A unique feature of the Timbavati is the low rate of commercialisation, with game lodges that are dedicated to preserving the sense of true wilderness.
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.
Game viewing in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is exceptional, with an abundance of the big five as well as hyena, honey badger, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, impala and warthog. 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. The bushveld varies from Acacia thornveld and Marula trees to open savannah grasslands as well as dense riverines with majestic Jackalberry and Fig trees, allowing for superb game viewing.
Seasons & Geography
The Timbavati’s climate is subtropical and features two seasons: Summer (October – March) and winter (April – September). Summer is the rainy season, and features temperatures that are moderate to very high, with some humidity and occasional cloudy conditions. Winter, the dry season, is cool to warm, with clear and sunny skies. The Timbavati is characterised as ‘savanna bushveld’ with 6 different landscape types: acacia woodland, open woodland, mopane woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld on Gabbro.