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Top 10: South African private game reserves

The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

1 MalaMala Game Reserve

This 13 500 hectare private nature reserve, owned and run by the Rattray family, is renowned for its remarkable wildlife sightings. It is entirely possible to see most members of the Big Five within a day or two here. more

2 Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Famed for the rare white lions that were first discovered there in the 1970s, the Timbavati has 50 owners who have teamed up to make this one of the finest private game reserves in the country. more

3 Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Some of the country’s top luxury game lodges can be found at this private nature reserve, located on the Kruger National Park’s unfenced border. It is home to the world-renowned lodges, Sabi Sabi, Singita, Londolozi, Ulusaba and Lion Sands, among many others. more

4 Madikwe Game Reserve

This remarkable reserve near the Botswana border is a three-way partnership between the state that conserves the land, the surrounding community that benefit from it, and the private sector that has built some of South Africa’s best luxury game lodges here. more

5 Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

In the malaria-free Waterberg, only three hours' drive north of Johannesburg, is Welgevonden, with 13 luxury game lodges scattered across a generous 37 500 hectares of bushveld. Apart from the Big Five, there are intriguing game and plant species to be seen. more

6 Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

At 100 000 hectares, this is the largest private nature reserve in South Africa. Sprawling over the red-duned savannah, it offers an extraordinary experience in terms of luxury and conservation. more

7 Samara Private Game Reserve

In the malaria-free Waterberg, only three hours' drive north of Johannesburg, is Welgevonden, with 13 luxury game lodges scattered across a generous 37 500 hectares of bushveld. Apart from the Big Five, there are intriguing game and plant species to be seen. more

8 Shamwari Private Game Reserve

This private nature reserve sprang from one man’s dream to restore the wildlife-rich thickets of the Eastern Cape to their former glory. Today Shamwari is one of South Africa’s greatest conservation success stories. It is easily accessible from Port Elizabeth, is malaria-free, and is home to a number of luxury lodges. more

9 Phinda Private Game Reserve

Set within an extraordinary biodiverse part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, and close to the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Phinda offers the Big Five and far more. It has nearly 450 bird species and seven distinct ecosystems, including rare sand forest. more

10 Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

A short distance from Hermanus in the Western Cape, Grootbos offers an intense nature experience among fynbos and milkwood forests. A short distance away, whales breach in Walker Bay. more