The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve was set up in 1956 with the aim of allowing the land to recover from excessive grazing by cattle, and restoring wildlife populations in the 53 000ha wilderness. A keystone in the work of the foundation is community upliftment and education, while the tourism lodges offer some of the best game-viewing in the land.

White lions occur naturally in only one place on earth – the Timbavati region in Southern  Africa. Photo courtesy of Joost Rooijmans

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (KPNR) is one of the largest privately owned nature reserves in South Africa, covering some 60 000ha. It forms part of the greater Kruger National Park.

The reserve was established in 1969 and was officially proclaimed a nature reserve in 1972, with Jan de Necker as the founding chairman and Van Reenen van Vuuren as the first warden.

There are various commercial operations within the KPNR, ranging from rustic bush camps and walking trails to luxury game lodges.

Top attractions

  • The region is at the forefront of lion research, and offers the only opportunity to see the rare white lion in the wild
  • The Southern Ground Hornbill Research and Conservation Project aims to gain a scientific understanding of the environmental conditions that promote the survival and successful reproduction of this rare bird

Did you know?

The famous white lions were first documented in Chris McBride's book "White Lions of the Timbavati" published in the 1970's. These lions are not albinos but their light colouring is also due to a recessive gene. Some Timbavti prides do still occassionally give birth to white cubs and visitors to the lodges in the reserve may be rewarded with this special sighting, however most white lions today are born and raised in captivity.

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