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Kruger Private Reserves

Viewing a lion on an evening game drive at Tanda Tula Viewing a lion on an evening game drive at Tanda Tula
Safari sundowners at Camp Jabulani Safari sundowners at Camp Jabulani
Sundowners on game drive, Royal Malewane, Private Kruger Reserves Sundowners on game drive, Royal Malewane, Private Kruger Reserves
Elephant with her baby Elephant with her baby
An unforgettable African sunset An unforgettable African sunset
Game viewing from the back of an elephant Game viewing from the back of an elephant
Delicious dessert at Camp Jabulani Delicious dessert at Camp Jabulani
Proud male lion Proud male lion
A secretive leopard in a tree A secretive leopard in a tree
On a morning game drive On a morning game drive

Exclusive Big Five Safaris

The Kruger Private Reserves are made up of a number of adjoining private game reserves which have unfenced borders with the Greater Kruger National Park and allow for the animals to roam freely in over 2 million hectares of wildlife sanctuary.

The Private Reserves have fewer restrictions than in the actual Kruger Park and are populated with a variety of exclusive luxury lodges. Each lodge has a host of knowledgeable game rangers and open-topped 4x4 safari vehicles which are allowed off-road, and which also allow night drives and walking safaris – all of which are restricted in the Kruger Park itself.

Your chances of seeing the Big Five from a few feet away are greatly increased in these Private Reserves, and the animals also tend to be slightly more habituated to the safari vehicles, allowing closer and far more frequent viewings.

The most popular of the Kruger Private Reserves are the Sabi Sands, the Timbavati, Manyeleti and Thornybush game reserves. The Sabi Sands is probably the best known of the Kruger Private Reserves and epitomizes the luxury Big Five safari experience. It is a destination in its own right and as such has more information for you to read to paint a better picture of its unique safari wonders for you.

The Kruger Private Reserves are made up of a number of adjoining private game reserves which have unfenced borders with the Greater Kruger National Park and allow for the animals to roam freely in over 2 million hectares of wildlife sanctuary.

The Private Reserves have fewer restrictions than in the actual Kruger Park and are populated with a variety of exclusive luxury lodges. Each lodge has a host of knowledgeable game rangers and open-topped 4x4 safari vehicles which are allowed off-road, and which also allow night drives and walking safaris – all of which are restricted in the Kruger Park itself.

Your chances of seeing the Big Five from a few feet away are greatly increased in these Private Reserves, and the animals also tend to be slightly more habituated to the safari vehicles, allowing closer and far more frequent viewings.

The most popular of the Kruger Private Reserves are the Sabi Sands, the Timbavati, Manyeleti and Thornybush game reserves. The Sabi Sands is probably the best known of the Kruger Private Reserves and epitomizes the luxury Big Five safari experience. It is a destination in its own right and as such has more information for you to read to paint a better picture of its unique safari wonders for you.

The Timbavati Private Reserve is a bit further north, separated from the Sabi Sands by the Manyeleti Private Reserve which offers a holistic and authentic safari experience. The Timbavati has a slightly drier landscape than its southern counterparts which attract big herds of elephant and buffalo. The Timbavati is much bigger and wilder than the Sabi Sands and is home to much larger prides of lions. It offers you more of an untamed safari experience with possibly more diverse game viewing than the Sabi region. Due to the vast size of the area the animals are not as accustomed to the safari vehicles but this does not significantly detract from your safari – unless you are planning on stalking some leopard in which case a visit to the Sabi Sands is a must.

The Thornybush Private Game Reserve consists of predominantly open savannah, creating a very African feel. Cheetahs roam the plains and huge herds of zebra, wildebeest and antelope graze contently in the surroundings. Tracking animals is a speciality of Thornybush and during 'Art of Tracking' explorations you are taught how to read the spoor and follow animals without putting yourself in danger. There is no thrill quite like watching Africa's most dangerous animals, after you have personally tracked them.

It is important to understand that the different areas in the Kruger National Park and the surrounding Kruger Private Reserves offer very different safari experiences so the best advice would be to try and split your time among them. Spend a few nights in the Sabi Sands tracking leopard, before heading to the Thornybush Reserve and exploring the savannahs. Wrap it up with a lion safari in the Timbavati area and you’ll be taking home photographs and experiences to rival the best on the planet.

Contact one of our Travel Experts to help you plan your itinerary. Our selected tours and safaris should give you some ideas on how best you can combine the different lodges and areas. Be sure to spend some time researching the different safari lodges as each has its own special brand of luxury.

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Highlights

Elephant Back Safaris »

Sunset elephant back safari - an incredible moment!

This is one of the only places in the world where you can experience a 'big five' safari on the back of an African elephant. The sheer size and presence is a humbling experience. Camp Jabulani in Kruger's Private Reserves offers this activity daily. View tree tops, birds nests, and giraffes almost face to face while you take part in morning or evening safaris high above the bush veld. One thing is certain – one cannot help but be changed forever after sharing an experience with the Camp Jabulani elephants.

Ultra Luxury Lodges »

Looking into the eyes of a leopard

The Kruger's Private Reserves are known for their quality game viewing experience. The lodges in the area are intimate camps with only a small number of guests at each lodge which ensures that there is never overcrowding at any animal sighting and you can drive for miles without seeing another game drive vehicle. At the rangers discretion one is allowed to drive off road to get a close up view of the animals. Some of our favourite lodges include Royal Malewane, Tanda Tula and Kings Camp.

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Recommended Private Reserves Tours and Accommodation

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Royal Malewane »

The joys of a bygone era await you at Royal Malewane, situated on a private reserve within the greater Kruger Area. Accommodating only 20 guests in the utmost colonial splendour, Royal Malewane is an exclusive getaway for those who value privacy, personalised service and the best game viewing.

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Luxury Tented Kruger »

For those looking for an incredible Kruger Safari Experience, we have combined these lodges to give you a varied Kruger experience in terms of the game viewing, the environment and the accommodation. Both camps have one thing in common- standards of excellence.

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Camp Jabulani »

Camp Jabulani represents the epitome of style, luxury, gastronomic excellence and warm hospitality. The sole objective of the team is to meet the needs of their valued guests. To indulge, spoil and entertain. But most importantly - to share with them the story and the experience of the elephants.

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Ultimate South Africa »

This honeymoon features an unforgettable luxury train journey, a stunning sea view hotel in Cape Town, ultimate luxury in the Cape Winelands and a stay at perhaps Africa’s finest private safari lodge. The most luxurious holiday with the memories to match.

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Tanda Tula »

Tanda Tula is located in the Timbavati, adjacent to the Kruger Park. It is renowned as the most luxurious tented safari camp in South Africa with magnificent thatched East Africa style tents. Each tent overlooks the River so you can relax on your private deck and watch the passing animals.

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Jewels of Kruger and Beach »

This is the ultimate luxury bush and beach break for the discerning traveller, taking in one of the finest lodges in the Kruger along with one of nicest hotels in the Indian Ocean. A top notch safari followed by a relaxing beach chill-out, a perfect mix.

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Shumbalala Game Lodge »

Shumbalala Game Lodge is where the African wild is spoiled only by the quiet appreciation of guests being waited upon in the true tradition of Africa. A safari experience in the unspoiled reserve is shared with an abundance of birds and wildlife as they roam the savannahs and riverine forests.

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Motswari »

Motswari prides itself in offering you a unique and genuine bush experience. Set deep in the Timbavati, Motswari offers visitors the best of Africa; wide horizons, untamed wilderness and plentiful game in it's natural habitat. A family run lodge where you arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend.

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