THE TIMBAVATI PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
A Superior African Bush Experience for the Discerning Traveller.
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve came into existence on July 1956 when a group of conservation-minded people who owned game farms on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park came together to form the Timbavati Association.
The size of the reserve covers about 60 000 hectares of pristine African bush, part of the world famous greater Kruger National Park. The Kruger National Park itself is a further 2 million hectares in size, which is about the same size as Israel or Wales. In the early 1990’s the boundary fence between the Kruger National Park and adjacent private game reserves, namely Timbavati, Sabi Sands, Klaserie, Umbabat and Manyaleti was removed to create the greater Kruger National Park, covering an area of 2.2 million hectares. The reason being conservationists wanted to re-create ancient migration movements of wildlife from the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains in the east, to the Drakensburg Mountains in the west.
Kings Camp is situated in the northern corner of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and has been in operation as a game lodge since 1995. Our commitment to our guests is to freely share in the experience in a manner that is both enlightening and relaxing. We are further dedicated to a gracious style of hospitality from a bygone era, combin ed with a flexibility that puts the comfort and requests of our guests first. But above all, we will do this in a manner that will never compromise our environment, instead it will materially benefit our surrounding community culturally, environmentally and economically.
THE TIMBAVATI ECO SYSTEM
An ecosystem is defined where living biotic components that include trees, plants, insects, animals, birds and reptiles and their nonliving abiotic components of water, air, substrate environment including the climate regime are inseparably interrelated and interact upon each other. The ecosystem is the basic functional unit in ecology, since it includes both organisms and abiotic environment, each influencing the properties of the other and both necessary for maintenance of life as we have it on earth.
The entire Greater Kruger National Park has been zoned into 35 basic landscape types. A landscape is defined as an area with a specific geomorphology, climate, soil and vegetation pattern together with the associated fauna.
There are 3 different landscape types that are recognized at Kings Camp namely:
BUSH WILLOW SPP. / MOPANE WOODLAND OF THE TIMBAVATI AREA
- This landscape is the most dominant landscape type and includes the area where the camp is located. The substratum is mainly granite and gneiss intersected by numerous intrusions of dolerite. The landscape is also intersected by a large gabbro-body which is classified as a separate landscape.
- The altitude varies between 300 and 500 metres above sea level.
- Temperate climate with hot summers and cool winters (with frost in the low lying areas).
- Annual rainfall varies between 450-550 mm.
- Dominant Trees: Red Bush willow, Russet Bush willow Marula, False Marula, Knob Thorn, Silver Cluster leaf and Mopane.
- This landscape is most suited to Elephant, Buffalo, Kudu, Giraffe, Bushbuck, Impala, Lion and Leopard.
OLIFANTS RIVER RUGGED VELD
- This landscape dominates the northern section of the traversing area at Kings Camp. An undulating terrain with steep slopes and a great number of drainage lines/creeks. Soils are shallow and stony.
- The altitude varies between 250-300 metres above sea level.
- The climate is relatively dry with an annual rainfall of between 450-500mm. High temperatures are experienced in the summer months with 40 degrees Celsius and higher not being uncommon.
- Due to the shallow soil and stony soils the grass layer is sparse with a relatively high density of woody plants that is usually not higher than 5 metres. The reason for this density is due to the absence of regular natural fires. Common tree types include Mopane, Knob thorn, Buffalo thorn, Russet bush willow, Red Bush willow and Common Corkwood.
- The dominant wildlife in this landscape includes Elephant, Impala, Kudu, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Lion, Leopard and Spotted Hyena.
THORNVELD ON GABBRO
- The southern area of Kings Camp’s traversing region comprises of this “Gabro intrusion” and is characterized by thorn savannah and dense grass cover that is typically flat to slightly undulating.
- The landscape generally has a higher altitude than the surrounding granite areas of 550 and 600 metres above sea level.
- The rainfall varies greatly but is typically higher than the first two landscapes.
- Common tree types include Knob Thorn, Buffalo Thorn, Magic Guarri and Large-fruited Bush willow.
- Animal species include Burchelles Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Buffalo herds, Warthog, Giraffe, Kudu, White Rhino and Cheetah.
- TIMBAVATI HISTORY DOWNLOAD
- ANIMAL CHECK-LIST DOWNLOAD
REBIRTH OF THE RARE
It’s one of the rarest sightings in the
animal kingdom, and only occurs
naturally in very few places in the world: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, bordering the legendary Kruger National Park being one of these few places.
- WHITE LION ARTICLE DOWNLOAD
WHITE LION FACTS
White Lions are not albinos,
but a genetic rarity unique to
very few places in the world.
The Genetic Marker that makes
White Lions unique has not yet
been identified by science.
The White Lions are currently
classified under the general species
classification Panthera leo,
and is the second-largest living
cat after the tiger.
The earliest recorded sighting
of white lions in the Timbavati was
in 1938. However, the oral records
of African elders indicate that these
unique animals survived in this
region for many centuries.
The unique white lion gene is carried
by certain of the tawny coloured lions
in the region, and white cubs occurred
in numerous prides in the region.
Since their discovery by the West,
white lions and those lions carrying
the unique gene have been hunted,
and forcibly removed from
their natural endemic habitat.
The last adult white lion was seen
in the wild in 1994, after which time they
were technically extinct in the wild.
The idea that white lions are genetically
inferior to ordinary tawny lions has
not been scientifically tested.
The idea that White Lions cannot
survive in the wild due to perceived
lack of camouflage has not been
Currently, there is no law
nationally or internationally that
protects the White Lions from being
wiped off the face of the earth.