Arrive at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, and catch a connecting flight to Hoedspruit Airport, the gateway to safari country. There you collect your 4x4 rental vehicle, and embark on your adventure.
It’s a half-hour drive to Timbavati Game Reserve, a private game reserve that was created in the 1950s, when a group of 48 men who owned private game parks got together and pooled their resources for the benefit of conservation. This magnificent reserve is still privately owned, and is considered one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world.
Timbavati has been incorporated into the Kruger National Park and forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, an area covering approximately four million hectares, making it one of the largest game reserves on the continent. It’s also been declared an International Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and is home to around 145 different animal species, from black and white rhino to zebra, hippo, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, warthog and many species of antelope. You’ll also find the Big Five here (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino) as well as prolific birdlife.
Timbavati was famous for its white lion population – these animals are now almost extinct because of hunters and poachers, and although no sightings of white lions have been seen in Timbavati recently, a few have been seen in Kruger Park.
Timbavati is located on the western border of the Kruger Park, between the Klaserie, Manyeleti, Sabie Sands and Umbabat Reserves. There are a number of safari lodges and tented camps in the reserve, and you will be spending the next three nights at one of them, called Umlani Bushcamp, a small, rustic safari camp in the center of the reserve, on a full-board basis.
Umlani Bushcamp offers accommodation for up to 16 guests in cosy thatch and reed huts with mosquito nets over the beds, en suite facilities and open bush showers. The camp provides guests with a true bush experience, and as such, there is no electricity; instead, the entire camp uses candlelight and oil lamps. Guests enjoy a very exclusive, personalised experience, including exciting early morning and evening game drives in open four-wheel drive vehicles with experienced Shangaan trackers and guides. Escorted bush walks and tracking game on foot are other adventures on offer, and your rangers and guides will introduce you to the varied flora, fauna and wildlife in their natural habitat.
Day 2 - 3
Day 4 - 5
Day 6 - 7
Day 8 - 9
Day 10 - 12