Greater Kruger Park – Private Reserves
Sabi Sands Private Reserve
The Sabi Sands is renowned as one of the best safari areas in Africa and for having some of the most luxurious lodges. The reserve shares a 50km unfenced border with the Kruger National Park, allowing free movement of animals. There is an exceptionally high concentration of wildlife in this area as well as astonishing biodiversity. This one of the few spots in Africa where leopard sightings are commonplace. This is one of the most expensive safari destinations in Africa, but it offers an exceptional safari experience. It is a great destination for a first-time safari as you will see so much in a short period of time. This reserve is accessed from Nelspruit Airport which also offers connections to Mozambique. It is a good choice if you would like to head to the beach after your safari.
Timbavati Private Reserve
The Timbavati is further north than the Sabi Sands and is accessible from Hoedspruit Airport. This private reserve is very similar to the Sabi Sands, it shares unfenced borders with the Kruger Park and has excellent game viewing. You are less likely to see a leopard here but probably more likely to see a wild dog. The Timbavati is a quieter reserve with fewer vehicles, this does mean there are fewer guides to share animal sightings. Your guide will have to work a little bit harder to find the animals, but you have a much wilder experience. The area is dominated by high-end lodges, but they are much more affordable than the more famous Sabi Sands lodges.
Klaserie Private Reserve
This is a less well-known reserve than the Timbavati or Sabi Sands, it also shares unfenced borders with the main Kruger Park and has great game viewing. You are not as likely to see the Big 5 in one game drive here, but over the course of a three day stay, your chances are good. This reserve has a great range of mid-priced lodges, many are owner run and managed. It is not uncommon for the owner to take you on your game drives. It offers a much less commercial safari in a more remote area of the park. We love this area as the value for money is outstanding and it is an affordable way to explore this area. It is a short drive from Hoedspruit Airport.