Abandon ever-present technology and the pressures of modern life for a few days, and venture into the middle of the wilderness where you are immersed in the beauty of unspoilt Africa.
This Greater Kruger Safari stays at an authentic bush camp in the exclusive Timbavati Private Game Reserve, home to a host of African wildlife including the Big Five. Encounter a magnificent variety of plant, bird and animal life on open 4x4 game drives and bush walks with outstanding game rangers and trackers. Retreat to the comfort of the eco-camp with its reed rondavels, cool bar, inviting pool and lazy hammocks - a secluded getaway where fine cuisine and excellent service complete the magical African bush experience.
The Kruger Bush Camp Safari set off from Johannesburg, where you are collected from OR Tambo International Airport in or the Centurion Gautrain Station. The shuttle takes us on a scenic drive from Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa, to the Lowveld of Limpopo Province. The shuttle stops at a great bush pub, near the gate to Timbavati Game Reserve, and the bush camp collects us from there.
We arrive at the eco-camp in time for lunch, then you can unpack and put your feet up before our sunset game drive. Take a quick swim or just chill in the natural setting, before we venture into the pristine bush in search of wildlife. The rangers and trackers at the bush camp are exceptionally skilled, so get ready for a rewarding game viewing adventure in this exclusive part of Greater Kruger!
The next two days are spent exploring Timbavati, a world-renowned private nature reserve, and relaxing at the remote eco-camp. Both days follow roughly the same programme, including two game viewing activities and all meals, as well as morning snacks and refreshments. Meal times may change slightly to accommodate exceptional wildlife sightings and the weather, so the programme is flexible.
Early mornings are an excellent time for game viewing, so we get up bright and early on both days - 5:00 in summer and 5:30 in winter. After a quick coffee or tea and a tasty light snack we head off into Timbavati Private Nature Reserve with the expert ranger and tracker. The guides take us in search of the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and other large mammals, from giraffes to African wild dogs. Alternatively we can take a game walk, if the weather allows and the group vote is in favour of walking. This is an exhilarating way to encounter large mammals in the wild and a great way to see the flora, birds, smaller wildlife, reptiles and insects up close.
Returning from our morning exploration of Greater Kruger we tuck into breakfast, served at about 9:00 (9:30 in winter). Then you are free to laze around at the secluded camp - to simply enjoy being in nature. Snooze in your reed rondavel or lie in a hammock, cool off in the pool and soak up the peace of being in the middle of nowhere. We have a light lunch at about 13:30 followed by more leisure time to watch for wildlife at the waterhole from the vantage of the deck, to read a book and nap or have a cool drink at the bar.
As the heat subsides, we set off into game-rich Timbavati for another crowd-free game drive offering superb wildlife sightings at close range. The afternoon drive departs at about 16:00 in summer and 15:30 in winter, returning after sunset. We stop for sundowners to watch the sun set over the still and wild African savannahs. As the colours fade from the sky and darkness replaces the warm light of the setting sun we drive back to camp.
Arriving back at camp the gentle glow of lanterns, candles and solar lamps welcomes us back and a delicious dinner is served in the traditional boma or the dining area. Evenings are spent relaxing around the campfire in the boma, chatting in the bar and watching the stars from the deck. Lie back at night in your comfortable bed, listening to the sounds of the wild, a world apart from modern life.
On day four we wake up in the untamed bushveld for the last time and freshen up with an early coffee or tea and snacks. Then it is off into the bush we go, on a final 4x4 game drive in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. The guides are excellent at finding and spotting wildlife, greatly improving our chances of encountering animals we might have missed so far. After experiencing the pure joy of being out in the unspoilt bush one more time we return to camp and savour a tasty breakfast.
Then we make our way out of Greater Kruger, saying farewell to Timbavati and the magical bush camp. We take the shuttle from the bush pub back to the bustling city of Johannesburg, where you are dropped off at OR Tambo International Airport, or the Centurion Gautrain Station.
This eco-friendly camp is in the heart of Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, one of the top game parks in South Africa. The secluded camp offers an exclusive African bush experience removed from modern development and its noise, bustle and bright lights. The camp uses mostly clean energy, operating off the grid with the use of solar and alternative power sources. It is an ideal place to get in touch with nature, see the beauty of untamed Africa and the wildlife that make Timbavati Game Reserve world-famous.
In addition to being eco-friendly the bush camp in also socially responsible and officially Fair Trade certified. The camp is commitment to responsible tourism in terms of nature conservation and the well-being of local communities.
At night the camp is lit by oil lanterns, candles and solar lamps, creating an intimate atmosphere. The campfire is set in an outdoor boma (traditional reed enclosure) under the stars. Meals are served in either the open-air boma or the more sheltered dining area. The lodge is consistently praised for its delicious cuisine and its excellent service. During the day there is usually WiFi available and there are charge points in the gift shop.
The bush camp only features 10 reed-and-thatch huts (rondavels) and an even more remote treehouse tucked away in a private spot about 2,5 kms from the main camp. The huts have en-suite bathrooms with open-air showers fed hot water from wood-burning fires. The interiors are furnished and decorated using natural materials in earthy and warm colours that create a calm and cosy ambiance. The huts are fitted with comfortable beds, fresh linen, towels and insect nets, and guests receive complimentary insect repellent, bathroom products and bottled water (in addition to the tap water which is safe for drinking).
On this safari accommodation is in the twin or family rondavels, with the option of staying in the eco-hut at extra charge. The treehouse can be reserved in advance, but sleep-outs are weather dependent and subject to availability.
Game viewing activities are conducted by highly skilled rangers and trackers with exceptional guiding abilities and a deep knowledge of the local flora, fauna and heritage. Game walks can also be arranged during your stay, depending on the weather and group consensus. Long game walks are conducted instead of one of the game drives, and shoter walks can be done as part of morning game drives on the return journey to camp. The rangers are armed for your safety as Timbavati hosts big predators and large herbivores that can be dangerous.
Timbavati Game Reserve shares unfenced boundaries with Kruger National Park, forming part of the collective Greater Kruger Park which encompasses 20 000 000 hectares of wilderness. As one of the oldest, largest and most acclaimed private game reserves in Greater Kruger, Timbavati is amongst the very best game viewing destinations in the country. The reserve itself covers about 53 392 hectares (534km²) of open savannahs and woodlands, inhabited by over 40 mammal species, 360 species of birds and a rich array of reptiles, insects, plants and even fish. Due to the absence of fences, however, wildlife and birds move freely between Timbavati, Kruger and the surrounding private reserves, resulting in more diverse and healthy populations.
Africa's Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) are all to be seen, often at close range, in Timbavati. Of the Big Five in Timbavati, lions are the most famous - the rare subspecies of white lions discovered in Timbavati being world-famous anomalies. Timbavati Game Reserve is home to many other predators too, including cheetahs, jackals, caracals, wild cats, spotted hyenas and endangered African wild dogs. Then there are the herbivores with a variety of different antelope species present; including kudu, sable, roan, nyala, eland, reedbuck, klipspringer, waterbuck, wildebeest and impala. Giraffes, zebras, warthogs and hippos are also to be seen, as well as pangolins, aardwolf, porcupines and honey badgers.
In Timbavati self-drive safaris are not permitted, nor are day visitors, thus the game viewing experience is less crowded, better regulated and of higher standards. Access to Timbavati is restricted to guests staying at the small selection of reputable lodges set in different areas of the game reserve. This restricted access keeps visitor numbers low, maintaining an exclusive and more private game viewing experience. Game drives are conducted by the professional guides of the private lodges, ensuring that superb safari etiquette and respect for nature are the norm in Timbavati.
Collection and drop-off is at either the Centurion Gautrain Station or the OR Tambo Bus Terminal Building only. Transport to and from these two locations is not included in the tour price.
Collection times on the first day:
Drop off times on the last day:
Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after this Kruger Bush Camp Safari, which can be added to your tour booking upon request. The 4 star lodge accommodation is located 10-15 minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. For information on lodge rates follow the link.
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