It has been quite some time since my last post. Luckily my colleague, Keith, from African Agenda, has been kind enough to travel all the way to the greater Kruger National Park to experience one of South Africa’s fantastic big five safari venues: Tanda Tula Luxury Tented Safari Camp in the Timbavati. Here is Keith’s debut blog…thanks for sharing
A Taste of the Timbavati
By Keith Burton
I recently had the privilege of a short visit to the Timbavati – I say privilege because two nights at Tanda Tula and the Timbavati are indeed a privilege.
I am guilty of complacency in terms of game drives and sightings, but a crash of 10 white rhino grazing past our vehicle, 4 lion cubs waiting for mom to return and then later still feeding on the kudu that had been brought down, the famed white lions of the Timbavati dozing in a river bed, 2 separate large herds of Cape Buffalo contentedly chewing away right around us, tawny eagles and white back vultures scrabbling over a small carcass, a leopard lazing in a tree with a great impersonation of ‘man on a bar-stool’, a week old giraffe still all wrinkly and elephant families both happy to see us (and not!), made for a very special game experience!
Top this off with the 1st class hospitality at Tanda Tula – tented accommodation of the top order, catering to ensure an extra few kilos to take home and friendly relaxed staff to ensure that we never felt that the attention was too much. Luxury is great, especially when understated and never forced; a chef who takes ernormous personal pride in what he produces makes for more than just a meal, and staff who are happy to ensure that you enjoy you stay.
Tanda Tula is easy to access with a quick flight from Joburg to Eastgate (Hoedspruit) airport, followed by a short drive (40 minutes) to the Lodge. This makes Tanda Tula a convenient and highly pleasurable way to get your bush fix – thoroughly recommended!
If you want to see Tanda Tula and the Timbavati in more detail in a “bird’s eye view / Google Earth style”, click here.
Or click this link to view our Virtual Itinerary of your Tanda Tula Safari.
If you are interested, here is some more background info on the Timbavati:
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of South Africa’s prime, undiscovered wilderness jewels, and home to Africa’s Big Five in an area of wide biodiversity ranging from savannah woodlands to grasslands and riverine glades.
The reserve was established in 1956 by likeminded landowners. Today it forms part of one of the largest game reserves in the world, the Kruger National Park. A unique feature of the Timbavati is the low density of commercialisation. The game lodges are dedicated to preserving the sense of true wilderness. The Timbavati is a leader in conservation initiatives and research and is committed to the upliftment of local communities.
The White Lions of the Timbavati were first discovered by Chris McBride on the Hugo property in the late 1970s. While he was studying the White Lions, Chris and his wife Charlotte helped build and set up Tanda Tula in its initial phase of development. The first pride to produce White Lion cubs was the Machaton Pride, a pride that still exists today and their core territory continues to be based on the Tanda Tula property.
White Lions are still being born to various prides throughout the Timabavati. However, due to their conspicuous white colour their survival rate is very low.