Timbavati Game Reserve


Timbavati is a private and intimate game reserve with open fences to the most popular Kruger National Park of South Africa. This reserve offers the guests an amazing wildlife experience with authentic African Safari where you spot the Big 5 including the rare white lions and elusive leopards.Accommodation at Timbavati is offered in colonial style game lodges, traditionally thatched bush lodges, and luxury tented safari camps, providing a range of styles to suit your dream South African safari lodge holiday.The Timbavati floodplain is an exciting safari destination with a rich variety of wildlife including not only the Big Five but a profusion of birds and diverse animal life. Game viewing is offered in safari vehicles, or on foot in the company of professional rangers.

Why Go:

  • Timbavati is a part of a large ecosystem
  • You enjoy day and night safaris here
  • You enjoy an amazing wildlife including the Big 5 safari
  • You enjoy exciting off-road drives in open vehicles
  • You get multiple accommodation options here at Timbavati
  • Timbavati is relatively less crowded than Sabi Sands


The Timbavati is home to an abundant wildlife which majorly includes the Big Five and other safari animals that consist kudu, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, elephant, impala, waterbuck and giraffes. The reserve also has the predators including lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. It is easier to spot the big cats, however, witnessing the rhinos is a tough job at the Timbavati Game Reserve. African dogs visit the property regularly but white lions are rarely seen.

More About the Wildlife


The Timbavati Reserve consists of grassy plains and diversified woodlands. The rainy season makes the habitat crowded with trees and vegetation but this effects on wildlife viewing because off-road driving gets restricted during this time.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Timbavati Game Reserve is during the Dry Season which starts from May and ends till September. During this season the prices are also low and it becomes very convenient for the visitors to fulfil their cravings of wildlife viewing to the fullest.

More About the Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

The Dry Season in Timbavati falls from May to September. This tenure has chilly mornings and slightly warmer afternoons, hence if you plan a visit to Timbavati during this season, make sure you keep warm clothes in your travel bags so that you enjoy the morning game drives at your most. Summer falls during the October-April span with high humidity.

More About the Weather and Climate

Wildlife & Animals

The Timbavati Natural Reserve shares the portion of the amazing Kruger Ecosystem, the natural habitat where one can find animals moving throughout the park without any boundaries or fences. Therefore, visitors can view all the species of animals that dwell in the wilderness. The Timbavati National Reserve is similar to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, however, it is more quiet and crowded. People can easily spot all big fives. The big five can easily be spotted along with a rare possibility of spotting cheetahs and leopards.
Abundant Common Occasional Rare None
  • Elephant


  • Giraffe


  • Hippo


  • Buffalo


  • Zebra


  • Wildebeest


  • White Rhino

    White Rhino

  • Black Rhino

    Black Rhino

  • Lion


  • Leopard


  • Cheetah


  • Hyena


  • Wild Dog

    Wild Dog


Best Time to Visit

The Best time to visit Timbavati Nature Reserve is during the dry winter season, which ranges from the month of May till the month of September. The visitors can experience the best of the wildlife experience with multiple viewing opportunities. During the dry winter season, the weather conditions are similar to that of drought, and therefore, animals have minimum sources of water. The guest can enjoy wildlife views, as the animals gather around the waterhole and river.
  • Best Time to GoMay to September
    (Dry season)
  • High SeasonOctober to March
    (It rarely gets very crowded)
  • May to September

    Dry season

  • October to March

    It rarely gets very crowded

  • April to September

    Prime wildlife viewing

  • April to May

    Nice weather and virtually no rain

  • September to October

    Nice weather and virtually no rain

  • June to August

    Chilly mornings and nights

  • December to February

    Hot and humid

May to September
- Dry Season – Winter
  • Dry winter is low tourist season
  • The environment in dry winter has a low risk of Malaria
  • The daytime is mild with very less humidity in the atmosphere
October to April
- Wet Season – Summer
  • Visitors can witness newborn animals with their adults
  • There are plenty of migratory birds during the wet season
  • The landscape is fresh and green

Weather & Climate

The season in Timbavati Nature Reserve is opposite to that of Europe and North America. As Timbavati Nature Reserve lies in the southern hemisphere, the winter season and the summer season falls in different months than in northern hemisphere. The wet summer season occurs in between the months of October and April, while the dry winter period is between the months of May and September. The summer in the northern hemisphere is hotter and more humid while the winters are dry, dusty and milder in nature during the night. It is necessary for the visitor to keep warm clothing with them for the morning and evening game drives. The visitors will even experience afternoon thunderstorms throughout the wet season.
Climate Chart
- 341-529m / 1,119-1,736ft
Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.
Dry season
- May to September – Winter

During the dry summer season, the humidity level in the atmosphere is low and the visitors will not be able to experience any rainfall. However, due to the scarcity of water sources in winters, the visitors are easily able to spot the animals near the permanent sources of water.

  • May May is the start of the winter season. Hence, the temperature falls a little to 12°C/54°F during the morning while staying at an average of 26°C/79°F during the afternoon.
  • June, July & August As June approaches, the game drives will become colder in open vehicles because the temperature further falls to 10°C/50°F. The visitors should keep warm winter clothing with them to bear the winter chills. However, the afternoons are much pleasant and clearer throughout this period, as the temperature averages around 25°C/77°F.
  • September The visitors may experience the first downpours after a tough dry period. The temperature during September afternoons would be around 28°C/82°F, while the mornings would be warmer at 14°C/57°F.
Wet season
- October to April – Summer

The Wet summer season is said to be full of humidity and unbearable scorching heat. The temperature, on average, can range around 31°C/88°F, while it is not unusual for Timbavati to experience a high temperature of 40°C/104°F.

The visitor will experience the great afternoon thunderstorms but the rainfall will not last all day.

  • October & November During the period of October and November, the rainfalls will increase in the afternoon, leaving the temperature around a low of 17°C/63°F and high of 30°C/86°F.
  • December, January & February The torrential downpours are very common in the afternoon, during the mid-summer season in Timbavati. However, the visitors will experience extreme humidity during the summer season. The average temperature will range around 31°C/88°F, with a high of 40°C/104°F.
  • March & April The intensity of rainfall reduces with a decline in humidity in the atmosphere. The month of April has pleasant weather with little humidity level and clear sky. The visitors will experience much cooler nights than last few month, as the temperature falls around 16°C/61°F, however, the temperature at night would remain around 28°C/82°F.

Getting There

The people who are planning to visit Timbavati, fly to OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) located at Johannesburg. From Johannesburg, visitors can take a connecting flight to Eastgate Airport located in Hoedspruit. The Timbavati Nature Reserve is just at a distance of 15km from the airport. However, the visitors can even use the direct mode of transportation by flying with the Federal Air from the Johannesburg to Timbavati. The visitors can even use the alternate transportation medium by hiring a car in Johannesburg and taking a road trip to Timbavati. The Timbavati nature reserve is within a five hours’ drive from the Johannesburg. The visitor can aim for R40 near the Hoedspruit, which is on the west side of the Kruger National Park.

Airlines & Ticket Prices

For airlines’ reservation and ticket prices, one should look for the Skyscanner or Expedia. These web portals will provide a detailed information about the flight schedules of O.R Tambo International Airport (JNB) and the cost of the ticket.


Domestic Flights

The tour operators usually book the charter flights of the safari tour and the charges are included within your overall package. However, if you are willing to book a domestic flight to Timbavati, you can look through these flight carriers for the charges and flight details:

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