Getting to know the Timbavati

By Kings Camp Team on January 14, 2020

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of South Africa’s most enviable wildlife destinations, boasting untainted landscapes, excellent predator sightings and some of the best safari lodges in Africa.

Get to know the magnificent Timbavati a little better on our blog below.



The Timbavati Game Reserve is located on the border of Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces in South Africa, on the western edge of Kruger National Park.

The reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park and is bordered by other private reserves including the Klaserie, Umbabat Game Reserve and Thornybush Game Reserve.

A Short History


The reserve was established in 1956 by conservation-minded landowners with the creation of the Timbavati Association. Their aim was to halt the degradation of the land and keep the wilderness in its pristine state. Today, the Timbavati Association has over 50 members who continue to work to restore the area to its former glory.

In 1993, the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati were removed encouraging the natural migration of species between the two. The Timbavati is regarded as one of South Africa’s most unspoiled bushveld regions and can be thought of as genuinely wild, rather than restocked or rehabilitated.



The Timbavati Game Reserve is home to over 40 mammal species including all of the Big 5 – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino.

The reserve also boasts more than 360 bird species and more than 85 listed species of trees.

White lions

The white lions found in the Timbavati first made headlines in the 1970s. These Timbavati lions have a recessive gene causing their coats to be snow white.

In Xitsonga, the name ‘Timbavati’ means “the place where something sacred came down to Earth from the Heavens”, and refers to the rare white lions of Timbavati.

Accommodation in the Timbavati


Accommodation options in the Timbavati are generally luxurious, high-end safari lodges.

Kings Camp offers accommodation in your choice of 6 Luxury Suites, 1 Luxury Family Suite, 2 Honeymoon Suites and the private villa at Waterbuck Private Camp.

Each suite offers lovely views over the bushveld from their private verandah – promising privacy, tranquility and the luxury of your own private plunge pool.

Waterbuck Private Camp at Kings Camp boasts a four-bedroomed villa and it’s own Land Rover with game ranger and tracker, as well as villa host and chef to take care of your every need.

Getting there


The Timbavati is approximately 5 to 6 hours’ drive from Johannesburg by car and daily, scheduled flights are available from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Find out more here.

Seasons in Africa Transfers & Excursions offers reliable and professional transfers and tailor-made day excursions. All major airports, game lodges and hotels are easily accessible with vehicles based in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and White River.

South Africa private safar

For more information about Kings Camp or visiting the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our helpful reservations team via email at or by filling our online enquiry form here. We look forward to helping you plan your South Africa safari itinerary.


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