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Top private game reserves in South Africa

by Lara Behrens
9th August 2016 Adventure Safari
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Visiting a game reserve is an integral part of a trip to South Africa; a chance to immerse yourself in nature and get up close and personal with a range of animals in their natural habitat. While some of the more renowned wildlife areas such as Kruger National Park may steal the spotlight, there are many more incredible private game reserves flying under the radar, just waiting for you to discover them.

Here we take a look at some of our favourites, and what makes each so special.

Watching the sun rise in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Watching the sun rise in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Backing onto the greater Kruger National Park, Timbavati is home to a broad variety of game, including the beautiful white lion. This most rare of creatures has been spotted throughout greater Kruger, so keep your eyes peeled for their white pelts on any encounters with Timbavati prides.

With its colonial-style decor, Kings Camp in Timbavati is like taking a step back in time. The charm of old-world romance, updated with luxurious touches for a comfortable stay, is matched by the diverse range of wildlife within the park, which you'll experience first-hand on a guided tour with an experienced ranger.

Unwind at the end of the day with a dip in the pool or a soak in the spa - be sure to keep a look out for the animals that visit the watering hole at the front of the camp!

Game Drive in Sabi Sands, South Africa
Game Drive in Sabi Sands, South Africa

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve 

This private game reserve, nestled inside the larger Sabi Sands, is a true wildlife oasis, where a range of big game roam freely through the plains. Big cats in particular are plentiful throughout Sabi Sabi, with lions, cheetahs and leopards to be seen stalking their prey or basking under the acacia trees.

Experience Sabi Sabi for yourself on one of our South African tours. You can take your choice of stunning accommodation, with the historical Sabi Sabi Selati Bush Camp providing eight lovingly constructed suites that hark back to the golden age of safari expeditions thanks to the vintage aesthetic.

There's also the award-winning Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, an architectural delight set into the very earth of the park, blending harmoniously with your natural surroundings. It is truly a wonderfully relaxing place to come home to after an exciting day spotting game throughout the reserve.

Bush snacks in Madikwe Private Game Reserve
Bush snacks in Madikwe Private Game Reserve

Madikwe Private Game Reserve

This lesser-known private game reserve had its origins as farming land, but has been now transformed into a malaria-free park resplendent with grasslands and wooded terrain over rolling hills. During your stay at one of our Madikwe lodges, you can look forward to spending time in the presence of the Big Five, as well as a greatly varied landscape from bushveld to river to mountains.

Whether you're staying at one of the family-friendly suites at the Madikwe Safari Lodge, or are escaping for a stay at the luxurious Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge with its glass-fronted suites and plunge pool, you're sure to have an unique, memorable experience.

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