Enjoy family-friendly safari experiences in the Kruger National Park and Timbavati Private Game Reserve.
Guests are met and welcomed at a location of their choice in Johannesburg by their private African Sky guide. After a few formalities are completed, your safari departs Johannesburg, first in a northerly then an easterly direction en route to the central Kruger National Park. We arrive at Phalaborwa Gate at around 14H30, where your first game drive begins as we travel to our overnight accommodations at Letaba.
You’ll enjoy daily game drives for the duration of your stay in the Kruger National Park, tailored around your preferences. The finer details, such as daily departure times, length of game drives and the direction they’ll take, as well as when and where meals are taken, will be communicated to you by your private guide once in the park. He or she will keep track of animal activity through sightings boards, as well as use his or her extensive knowledge of the park, to ensure maximum wildlife sightings. The size of Kruger facilitates a great diversity of eco-systems, each of which is the preferred habitat of many, many species of animals. In the north-central region, the open plains are covered with Mopane as well as Red Bushwillow and Leadwood in places. An abundance of elephant occur here and sightings of herds of several hundred animals are not uncommon. In no other reserve in South Africa will you see elephants in such large numbers. Permanent rivers such as the Olifants and Letaba are home to hippo and croc, and form a lifeline in an often dry and harsh environment for many animals such as leopard, which enjoy the refuge of the large trees growing along its banks.
Your last morning game drive in Kruger is devoted to finding the few more elusive animals you haven’t yet seen. Often some of the best sightings of the safari occur on the very last game drive! Later, your guide will deliver you to your safari lodge in the nearby Timbavati Private Game Reserve. Timbavati consists of 53 000 hectares (131 000 acres) of prime wildlife habitat, sharing an open eastern boundary with the two-million-hectare Greater Kruger National Park, one of the world's premier conservation areas. The late afternoon is devoted to a first game drive on an open 4x4 vehicle in search of Africa's legendary Big Five, in an area where many other mammal and bird species grace the African savanna and give meaning to the phrase ‘spirit of Africa’. Your game drives are conducted by skilled rangers and trackers.
While in Timbavati, you’ll enjoy two exciting guided game drives daily atop custom-built 4x4 vehicles, conducted by your professional ranger and tracker. You may also choose to participate in an optional guided bush walk at no additional expense (if weather conditions permit).
Timbavati, although not as well-known as its southern counterpart, the Sabi Sand, is by no means inferior. In fact, one would have a strong case if you argued that Timbavati offers a more comprehensive wildlife experience. Like the Sabi Sand, Timbavati also shares an unfenced boundary with the remote central Kruger National Park, allowing unrestricted movement of wildlife through the region. With fewer lodges, traversing areas in Timbavati are larger than all but five of the 27-odd lodge territories in the Sabi Sand. The southern extent of Africa’s ‘Mopani Belt’ transects the reserve. Game drives taking place in the northern regions will therefore wander through Mopani woodland, a tree favored by African elephants, while if your ranger decides to travel southwards then you’ll find yourself in typical African savanna bushveld. This ecological diversity makes for a greater multiplicity of species, some preferring one habitat biome and some the other, with other species not restricting themselves to either.
Since the 1950’s, occasional sightings of white lions have been recorded in the Timbavati. White lions have never been recorded in any other reserve in Africa except in the neighboring Kruger National Park, making the possibility of sighting one of these unique animals a good enough reason on its own to visit. Of course, the remaining Big Five suspects – leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - are also commonly sighted, as are impala, zebra, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck, nyala and wildebeest. African wild dog and cheetah, once uncommon, are now recent additions to the predator hierarchy and are sometimes also spotted. Your daily game drives will take place during periods of peak wildlife activity - during the early morning, late afternoon and evening. The remainder of your day may be spent enjoying the creature comforts of your luxurious accommodations.
After your last safari you’ll be met and transferred to the local airport. There you’ll board a flight to Johannesburg, bringing to an end a memorable South African safari holiday.
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