Timbavati Game Reserve
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) comprises 53,392 hectares of private land adjoining the Kruger National Park (KNP). Since 1962, the Timbavati Reserve Association, a non profit organisation, has been dedicated to conservation Timbavati Reserve Location by maintaining the biodiversity of species which would have continued to exist had man never encountered the land. Currently, there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big Five of Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant as well as 360 species of bird life.
The Timbavati Game Reserve is located in the Limpopo province of South Africa between latitudes 24° 34’ S and 24° 03’ S and longitudes 31° 03’ E and 31° 31’ E. The Reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger Park and lies nestled between the Kruger National Park on the east, the Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserves in the north and the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve in the west
There are no fences between the Timbavati and the Kruger National Park which allows free movement of wildlife between the Reserves. The world-famous Kruger National Park is a conservation area of more than 2,000,000 ha (over 5 million acres).
The southern border of this great complex of public and privately - owned protected land lies close to the Kingdom of Swaziland and abuts the boundaries of Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique in the east.
The terrain is undulating with altitudes varying between 300 and 500m above sea level. The area is characterised as ‘savannah bushveld’ with 6 different landscape types: acacia woodland, open woodland, Mopani woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld on Gabbro.
Elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog abound together with their attendant predators which include lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The critically endangered African wild dog is also a regular visitor to the Timbavati Reserve.
The beginnings of the Timbavati Game Reserve
The fledgling association persuaded each land owner to become part of a group with a common aim to reclaim the land for the benefit of all. Today, the group has 50 members, who have succeeded in restoring the land to its former glory with diverse and rare wildlife species making the Timbavati their home. 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. Plans are in place to have the Timbavati Reserve proclaimed part of the Kruger National Park which will secure its future as a valuable piece of South African heritage.
Man's incursions into this part of the Lowveld have always been temporary and brief, from Early Stone Age down to the early 20th century. In point of fact, large tracts of land in the northern portion of the Lowveld were never permanently settled by man, and the lands now comprising the Timbavati were barely touched, and are still only lightly inhabited. This part of South Africa's bushveld region may therefore be regarded as truly unspoiled and deserves recognition as truly wild land, as opposed to the "restored" and "restocked" lands commonly found elsewhere.
The climate is typified by a summer wet season (October – March) with the majority of rain falling between December and February. This is also the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the region of 32 °C. A typical summer day will be hot with storm clouds gathering for a spectacular late afternoon thunderstorm.
During the winter months (April – September) the weather is dry with little chance of rain. As game tends to congregate around dwindling water sources, game viewing is more predictable. Temperatures can range from 28°C to 10°C in one day. The mornings and evenings can be very cold and warm clothing is advised.
Information from Timbavati Reserve Owners Association