Limpopo offers dozens of superlative private game lodges, situated in prime wildlife areas, including the Waterberg, Welgevonden, Klaserie and Timbavati reserves. Sometimes more affordable than some of their famous Sabi Sand sisters, these reserves boast game galore, including the Big Five, scenic beauty and often fewer visitors.

Did you know?

The Timbavati Game Reserve in Limpopo is famous for its free-roaming white lions.

Private game lodges in Limpopo offer superb game viewing, true wilderness, and accommodation that ranges from luxury bush retreats and community-conscious lodges to tree houses.

In the less-visited northern Kruger National Park, you can stay in the Pafuri area where giant baobabs rub shoulders with yellow-green fever trees, and where one of South Africa’s most sought-after birds – the elusive Pel’s fishing owl – haunts ancient rivers where giant crocodiles lurk, leopards hunt and hippos squelch.

The main private reserves in the Lowveld region of Limpopo are the Timbavati, Klaserie and Thornybush game reserves – about a five-hour drive from Johannesburg. As one of only 16 guests at the Timbavati family-owned Umlani Bushcamp, credited as one of South Africa’s Fair Trade Tourism lodges, you’ll stay in a traditional African thatch-and-reed dwelling, go on tailor-made bush walks, or sleep out in an exclusive tree house.

Also in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is the five-star Kings Camp, another community-conscious private lodge. If you need a break from game watching, pamper yourself at the in-house spa, or take a helicopter trip over the awesome Blyde River Canyon in neighbouring Mpumalanga.

At Pezulu Tree House Lodge you can stay in one of eight tree houses, all of which have been built to blend in with the environment without compromising your comfort and safety.

The malaria-free Waterberg region of Limpopo – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – has ancient mountains, superb rock art and a site of critical archaeological and palaeontological importance, as well as rolling savannahs and great views. Stay at any one of the private lodges such as Mabula Game Lodge, or Shibula Lodge in the 37 500ha Welgevonden Game Reserve, and enjoy a classic safari experience.

Lapalala Wilderness reserve in the Waterberg mountains has affordable self-catering accommodation and is famous for its guided walks, on which you won’t encounter a lion or an elephant, but could well come across rhino, leopard and buffalo.

When you start planning your safari, bear in mind the dozens of private game lodges in Limpopo – you’re guaranteed a fabulous experience.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Limpopo Tourism Agency
Tel: +27 (0)15 290 2010

Umlani Bushcamp
Tel: +27 (0)21 785 5457

Kings Camp
Tel: +27 (0)13 751 1621

Pezulu Tree House Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)15 793 2724

Best time to visit

Any time of year is good, but winter offers the best game viewing because the vegetation is low and it’s easier to spot game

Get around

In an open game-viewing vehicle or on a guided walking safari.

Length of stay

To make the most of your safari, try to stay at least three nights.

What to pack

Camera and binoculars are essential.

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