There is something so powerful about the African bush. It is not about the animals but rather about the sounds, the smells, the vastness of it all.
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We Took a Time Out in the Timbavati

“I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.”

There is something so powerful about the African bush. It is not about the animals but rather about the sounds, the smells, the vastness of it all. When you look out across the Timbavati (or Kruger) there is just space, never-ending space. The sky feels bigger and I always feel smaller but at the same time a part of something monumental. It is a place that changes you forever. 

Before I was a Harassedmom, even before I was a mom, I spent a season of my life in Greater Kruger area working in various game lodges. It was one of the most memorable seasons of my life and while I don’t long for the life I had then, I long for the wide open spaces of the Timbavati often. I long for the deep, melodic sounds of lions calling at night. I long for the stillness, the calm and the quiet. 

Jack, Emma and I were fortunate enough to spend 3 unforgettable days in the Timbavati recently. It was there first time to a Big 5 reserve and their first time on a game drive vehicle – it was amazing experiencing it with them. It will remain, I hope, some of our most cherished memories. 


The Timbavati is a big 5 reserve and it has open fences between the Kruger which means the animals are free to roam between the two and as a result you never know what you might see and when. 

It is not a self-drive reserve which means that sightings are pretty carefully controlled by the various owners to have as little impact on the animals as possible. The biggest advantage if this is that you are all but guaranteed to have great sightings and you get to go deep into the bush, which is where the magic happens. 

We were fortunate enough to stay at a luxury lodge that is designed to make your stay unforgettable. From the moment we drove in, reality was left behind and we were transported to an enchanting place. 

Our room looked out over a water hole. The lounge area had amazing views of the bush. One of our dinners was held in the middle of the “nowhere” under the stars. We were immersed into the experience, whether we want to or not. 

There were two 3 hour game drives – one early in the morning and the second in the afternoon. We went on 4 drives during our stay and each drive was completely different but equally captivating. 

We had hyena’s walk right past us on our coffee break. 

A fiesty elephant trumpeted at us. 

We spotted a leopard up a tree with a kill. 

Two hyena cubs briefly showed themselves to us. 

We spent time with a herd of elephants that had a few tiny calves with them. 

There was an abundance of vultures nests, some with little heads popping out. 

We tracked lions up and down and then back again. 

The kids took part in the Kambaku Kubs program. They got to ride in the tracker seat. They learnt how to identify different tracks and made a mold of hyena prints in the river bed with a hippo snorting in the background. If you ask them I think they will say it was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. 

We went to bed exhausted every single night. Our hearts full. 


“Africa – You can see a sunset and believe you have witnessed the Hand of God. You watch the slope lope of a lioness and forget to breathe. You marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water. In Africa, there are iridescent blues on the wings of birds that you do not see anywhere else in nature. In Africa, in the midday heart, you can see blisters in the atmosphere. When you are in Africa, you feel primordial, rocked in the cradle of the world.”



8 Responses

  1. What an amazing trip! We have friends who are originally from Kenya and want to take us in a couple of years to do an African Safari and to see the area. This had to be such an awesome family trip and experience, especially for the kids!

  2. Oh, wow! That is such an amazing place! I would love to take the kids there to see all the beautiful scenery and the animals.

  3. Oh wow this looks incredible! I went on safari a long time ago before I had kids but would love to go with my family now. This looks like the perfect safari trip.

  4. What an absolutely incredible experience! I couldn’t imagine seeing all those animals up close like that in their natural habitat. Such an unforgettable trip!

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