Ringing Kruger is a tapestry of private game reserves. Here, it is possible for visitor numbers to be controlled and as a result, these areas tend to be more authentic and peaceful without compromising the quality of the wildlife viewing. We recommend two in particular:
- Timbavati Game Reserve is located to the west of Kruger National Park and covers 53,392 hectares. There are no fences between the reserve and Kruger Park, allowing wildlife to roam freely in the reserve. The terrain is typical savannah bushveld. Elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog abound together with their attendant predators, which include lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. The endangered African wild dog is also a regular visitor.
- Slightly larger in extent to Timbavati, and located just north of Kruger’s Skukuza area, Sabi Sand is an unfenced reserve and a regional legend. Famous for extraordinary leopard sightings, and consistent Big 5 sightings, it is possible here to see all three cats on one drive. Something we call the ‘cat trick’. Birding along the Sabi River is a highlight, but so is sharing much of this with next to no one as the area manages sightings very well, and is private.