The Timbavati Game Reserve offers a premium game-viewing holiday in one of the most spectacular and high-density game areas in South Africa. With just a 5-6 hour drive between Johannesburg or Pretoria and the Limpopo section of the Timbavati Game Reserve, it is the ideal place to get away on an iconic bush break.
Timbavati, which shares a boundary with the famous Kruger National Park, was established back in 1956 when a group of like-minded game farmers formed the Timbavati Association. Today the reserve is a member of the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) group. Member reserves of this group have an agreement whereby there are no fences separating them, thus allowing game in all shapes and sizes to roam freely between the Timbavati, the Kruger National Park and other AP nature reserves. This system has obvious benefits allowing the animals more freedom and the people more chances of spotting them.
The reserve, which is home to various private luxury game lodges, boasts an undulating landscape with a variety of vegetation types. It is roughly classified as savannah bushveld, but with this classification are 6 main vegetation types, namely acacia woodland, open woodland, mopane woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld.
These vegetation pockets support 79 reptile species, 49 fish species, 85 listed tree species, over 360 bird species and over 40 mammal species such as buffalo, rhino, impala, giraffe, kudu, lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, the highly endangered wild dog and warthog.
Summer (between October and March) is hot with regular afternoon rain storms, and as a result, winter is a much better time of year to visit thanks to cooler temperatures and the fact that animals congregate around water sources more because water is less readily available.
If you do visit the Timbavati Game Reserve you are promised a wildlife experience second to none, but be warned that it is a malaria area and precautions should be taken.
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