A very green Timbavati


Before going on safari it’s always important to keep up with the local weather patterns – especially during the green season. We knew our planned safari to the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (South Africa) was going to be a bit tricky after Cyclone Freddy had swept through the area, dumping over 400mm of rain in very short time, but we were up for the adventure!

The adventure started really early as our guide, Brad, had to meet us on the main road as Bateleur Safari Camp was only accessible by a 4×4 vehicle. Once in camp, we were greeted by a very friendly team. We enjoyed a refreshing drink and listened to our camp induction before heading off to see what our tents were like.

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The camp itself is situated along the banks of a riverbed and all the tents are set amongst the riverine vegetation and all shaded by large trees. The tents are simple yet very comfortable. The roof’s are thatch, but the canvas has huge open windows (withe meshing) that allows for free flow of fresh air and bush sounds to float through them. Our first lunch was superb and the meal itself set the tone and became a camp highlight as well – that chicken club sandwich for lunch was superb!

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When we headed out on our first drive, we couldn’t believe the amount of water that was just about everywhere. This didn’t stop for good game viewing though and a lot of healthy looking herbivores dominated the afternoon, lots of elephant, rhino, zebra, wildebeest and of course impala.

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While we were enjoying a sundowner at a well chosen spot, we heard a lion roaring. We headed in the direction when we were done, but rather than finding a lion, we found a young male leopard who we then spent the evening with as he stalked just about anything he came across, but had no luck.

After a long day, some great food, a fantastic drive, it was awesome to turn into bed and the lions then serenaded us with their roars through the night, so special to have in the open tents.

Over the next few days we were really spoilt with game even though we couldn’t get everywhere in the reserve due to the rain. Brad and Themba, our tracker, were really good at reading the terrain and despite all the water, we never got stuck once! We had  fantastic leopard sighting and were spoilt by lions and the large Mayambula Pride and the two Skorro males that move with them.

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Elephant and rhino, along with all the general game were plentiful throughout as well. With all the rain, the birds were busy and a highlight was a pair of Painted snipes at on of the small pans.

It was my first trip to this special little camp in the Timbavati, but definitely one to return to again in the future.

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For more on safaris to Bateleur Safari Camp or to plan a trip with Ryan contact us today to start planning


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