To highlight a few of the more popular private concessions in the Kruger National Park to name but a few. Each concession offers slightly different landscapes, however, all of them promise outstanding and exciting game viewing.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is the most famous of the private concessions in the Greater Kruger National Park. Covering over 65 000 hectares of wild bushland, it remains one of the top and most popular game-viewing areas in South Africa, for good reason. Your Sabi Sands experience will promise to delight and deliver a world class safari in every respect.
There are no fences dividing Sabi Sands from Kruger, meaning that the animals are free to roam between the two areas. This makes the reserve excellent for Big Five sightings, with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo all wandering peacefully through its huge natural wilderness.
Sabi Sands is also particularly famous for its leopard sightings and has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the whole world. As leopard are notoriously elusive and tricky to spot, it’s a perfect spot for anyone who loves Big Cats
Valuable refreshment for thousands of animals are supplied by the two rivers that flow through Sabi Sands. Popular drinking haunts among giraffes, buck and elephants remain at the many waterholes in the reserve. Cheetah, wild dog and another 200 animal species have all made their homes in the reserve, as well as over 350 species of birds. In fact, almost 5% of the world’s bird species have been recorded in this region of South Africa!
Unlike Kruger next door, Sabi Sands has no public roads for self-drive safaris and no day visitors are allowed. This gives the reserve a really exclusive atmosphere. The rangers are not restricted to the roads and tracks, so you can follow leopard, lion and elephant deep into the bush on your own off-road safari adventure. This adds a huge adrenaline rush to each game drive and provides some incredible wildlife sightings as well as jaw-dropping photo opportunities.
Your Sabi Sands safari will include two exciting game drives daily. Every dawn and dusk you’ll set off into the bush in an open-topped vehicle to search for the Big Five in the African bush, stopping for sunrise coffee and sundowners, sipping on a cocktail whilst watching one of the jaw dropping African Sunsets. The game drives are led by expert guides and trackers, who will use their years of knowledge to give you close encounters with some of the planet’s most incredible animals. Nothing quite compares to drivng across open bushveld and through thickets to find a pride of lions lazing under thorn trees or a herd of elephants crossing a river.
Exclusive and exciting are the words that come to mind when thinking of the Sabi Sands, with just a handful of luxury lodges on this reserve, you will feel as if you have escaped the world and all it’s stress.
All of the lodges are beautifully designed and hugely atmospheric, providing an elegant contrast to the rugged bushveld, and many are brilliant value for money. Lounging in your own private plunge pool overlooking a waterhole or gazing out across the treetops from your balcony, you’ll get a real sense of the romance of Africa.
Timbavati Game Reserve
Timbavati is one of South Africa’s most renowned private game reserves, primarily lauded for its luxurious safari lodges and high calibre game viewing in classical Big Five territory.
Being one of the largest private game reserves bordering the Kruger National Park, The Timbavati protects 53 392 hectares of wild bushveld. 40 species of mammals and 360 bird species inhabit this biologically diverse game reserve
The White Lions of Timbavati made this game reserve famous in 1975, and although white lion cubs are still being born here, sightings now remain rare
A diverse and exclusive safari destination, the game viewing in Timbavati remains regulated to ensure that wild life sightings do not become crowded, allowing for excellent and heart-thumping game viewing
Highlights of going on safari in the privately owned collection of game reserves that constitute Timbavati Game Reserve, include seeing the Big Five of Africa – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.
The lodges in the Timbavati offer expert guides and trackers who accompany you on all game viewing activities. Thrilling night game drives, guided walking safaris and off-road game viewing are all part of the adventure, and for those who are interested in more specialist safaris , such as photographic, tracking or birding safaris – the Timbavati offers it all and more ….
Timbavati is situated north of Sabi Sand Game Reserve, both of which lie along the western border of Kruger National Park. Sabi Sand, like Timbavati, shares unfenced boundaries with the legendary Kruger National Park, making it part of the Greater Kruger Park area. The Timbavati and Sabi Sand private game reserves are both renowned as premier game viewing destinations, where visitors can get up close to the Big Five of Africa and other wildlife.
The Timbavati reserve hosts fewer lodges and camps than the Sabi Sands, resulting in a lower number of visitors, which means less game viewing vehicles and no more than two vehicles per wildlife sighting are allowed !
There are some differences in terms of wildlife sightings, especially when it comes to the Big Five. Timbavati is home to larger herds of both buffalos and elephants, which are commonly sighted on game drives. Although rhinos are often spotted in the southern part of Timbavati, rhino sightings are perhaps a bit more common in Sabi Sand.
Timbavati is famous for the white lions first discovered in the reserve and Sabi Sand is famous for its outstanding leopard sightings. There are plenty of leopards in Timbavati too, but they tend to be a bit more shy and are not sighted as often as in the Sabi Sand.
The Timbavati’s landscapes are more open, with less bush than the Sabi Sands, although both offer top class safari settings. A greater diversity of vegetation is found in Timbavati, providing a variety of habitats for different kinds of animals, insects and birds.
Many of our clients choose to spend a few nights in Sabi Sands combined with the Timbavati, for the diversity that both offer – giving you the best of both worlds