Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

A superior African bush experience for the discerning traveller

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve came into existence in July 1956 when a group of conservation-minded people on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park came together to form the Timbavati Association.

The reserve covers approximately 60 000 hectares of pristine African bush, which forms part of the world famous greater Kruger National Park. The Kruger National Park itself is a further two million hectares in size, which is about the same size as Israel or Wales. In the early 1990’s the boundary fence between the Kruger National Park and adjacent private game reserves, namely Timbavati, Sabi Sand, Klaserie, Umbabat and Manyaleti was removed to create the greater Kruger National Park, covering an area of 2.2 million hectares. The fence was removed as conservationists wanted to re-create ancient migration movements of wildlife from the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains in the east, to the Drakensburg Mountains in the west.

Kings Camp is situated in the northern corner of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and has been in operation as a game lodge since 1995. Our commitment to our guests is to freely share in the experience in a manner that is both enlightening and relaxing. We are further dedicated to a gracious style of hospitality from a bygone era, combined with a flexibility that puts the comfort and requests of our guests first. But above all, we will do this in a manner that will never compromise our environment, instead it will materially benefit our surrounding community culturally, environmentally and economically.

Timbavati Map Timbavati History


An ecosystem is defined where living biotic components that include trees, plants, insects, animals, birds and reptiles and their non-living abiotic components of water, air, substrate environment including the climate regime are inseparably interrelated and interact upon each other. The ecosystem is the basic functional unit in ecology, since it includes both organisms and abiotic environment, each influencing the properties of the other and both necessary for maintenance of life on earth. This influence renders conservation all the more important, since one disrupted link can effect the whole chain.

The entire Greater Kruger National Park has been zoned into 35 basic landscape types. A landscape is defined as an area with a specific geomorphology, climate, soil and vegetation pattern together with the associated fauna.


There are 3 different landscape types that are recognized at Kings Camp namely:

  • Bush Willow/ Mopane Woodlands

    This landscape is the most dominant landscape type and includes the area where the camp is located. The substratum is mainly granite and gneiss intersected by numerous intrusions of dolerite. The landscape is also intersected by a large gabbro-body which is classified as a separate landscape.

    The altitude varies between 300 and 500 metres above sea level.

    Temperate climate with hot summers and cool winters (with frost in the low lying areas).

    Annual rainfall varies between 450-550 mm.

    Dominant Trees: Red Bush willow, Russet Bush willow Marula, False Marula, Knob Thorn, Silver Cluster leaf and Mopane.

    This landscape is most suited to Elephant, Buffalo, Kudu, Giraffe, Bushbuck, Impala, Lion and Leopard.

  • Olifants River Rugged Veld

    This landscape dominates the northern section of the traversing area at Kings Camp. An undulating terrain with steep slopes and a great number of drainage lines/creeks. Soils are shallow and stony.

    The altitude varies between 250-300 metres above sea level.

    The climate is relatively dry with an annual rainfall of between 450-500mm. High temperatures are experienced in the summer months with 40 degrees Celsius and higher not being uncommon.

    Due to the shallow soil and stony soils the grass layer is sparse with a relatively high density of woody plants that is usually not higher than 5 metres. The reason for this density is due to the absence of regular natural fires. Common tree types include Mopane, Knob thorn, Buffalo thorn, Russet bush willow, Red Bush willow and Common Corkwood.

    The dominant wildlife in this landscape includes Elephant, Impala, Kudu, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Lion, Leopard and Spotted Hyena.


  • Thornveld on Gabbro

    The southern area of Kings Camp’s traversing region comprises of this “Gabro intrusion” and is characterized by thorn savannah and dense grass cover that is typically flat to slightly undulating.

    The landscape generally has a higher altitude than the surrounding granite areas of 550 and 600 metres above sea level.

    The rainfall varies greatly but is typically higher than the first two landscapes.

    Common tree types include Knob Thorn, Buffalo Thorn, Magic Guarri and Large-fruited Bush willow.

    Animal species include Burchelles Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Buffalo herds, Warthog, Giraffe, Kudu, White Rhino and Cheetah

Animal, Birds and Trees Checklist at Kings Camp Mammals Checklist at Kings Camp