Bateleur Camps Tented Camp
Bateleur Main Camp and its mobile sister camp are both situated in the game-rich Timbavati Private Reserve. All fences between its famous neighbour, Kruger National Park, have been removed so game can freely roam across this vast wilderness area. It’s home to the Big 5, a huge variety of antelope and plains animals, predators, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and over 500 bird species on a 10,000-hectare diverse and scenic traversing area. Unhurried, uncrowded and unscheduled, Baleleur Camps offer a unique safari experience.
* Bateleur Camps Highlights
- ∞Both camps are on a private, uncrowded and exclusive 3500-hectare Timbavati property
- ∞Refreshingly uncrowded - it's possible not to see any other vehicles during your stay
- ∞Prolific and excellent game viewing – arguably one of the best in Greater Kruger
- ∞Radio contact with other lodges alerts us to the most exciting wildlife sightings
- ∞Emphasis is on flexibility, taking group’s likes and preferences into account
- ∞A maximum of 8 guests at Bateleur Main Camp gives you a private, exclusive safari
- ∞Bateleur Mobile Camp only takes one group at a time in a remote corner of the property
- ∞Unique wildlife activities and bush craft provide a rare safari experience
More about this accommodation
Please note: Bateleur Main Camp will undergo renovations during May and June 2017. The camp will remain open during this time, with work taking place between guest bookings to avoid any disruptions.
New facilities will include a large covered dining/bar area, a lounge and library. Wooden decking will be extended and the open-sided buildings will provide an 180° view. A seasonal waterhole will also be built in the dry riverbed in front of camp, attracting wildlife visitors throughout the year.
The exclusive Timbavati Private Game Reserve was made famous by the discovery of its “White Lions” in the 70s and their stories were penned in Chris McBride’s well-known books. But the reserve itself was founded in 1956 by a group of like-minded landowners to reclaim and return the degraded land into its former glory as a pristine wilderness area – a success story which has created one the most diverse and game rich areas in the Greater Kruger conservancy. Both Main and Mobile camps are situated deep in the Timbavati on a 3,500-hectare concession within a vast traversing area of 10,000 hectares.
Bateleur Main Camp
Simple, yet comfortable and exclusive, Main Camp can accommodate a maximum of eight people in four spacious safari tents with thatched roofs. Each tent is en-suite with a proper flush toilet and gas-heated shower; one unit has a bath and outdoor shower. Fans and bedside lamps are solar powered and there are plug points for charging batteries. Unfortunately, hair dryers can’t be used (they overload the system) and cell phone reception is sketchy at best. The camp has no air-conditioning but the ventilation is good and the ceiling fan will keep you cool in summer. There are central outdoor showers if you want a more rustic experience, with water warmed by wood-fire boilers.
The main area overlooks a dry riverbed and has a small sitting area, a dining area with indoor seating in case of inclement weather and a small swimming pool to cool off in the heat of summer. The boma area consists of a stone wall and braai (barbecue) area where evening meals can be enjoyed beneath the stars. Food is freshly prepared, wholesome South African fare.
Bateleur Mobile Camp
Bateleur Mobile camp is for exclusive-use groups and is even more remote to ensure a wilder, closer-to-nature experience. Geared for authentic, bush-style, camping safaris for groups of between 4 - 18 people, Mobile Camp is set up in one of three remote locations within the Bateleur conservancy. Accommodation is in 2-man bow tents with mattresses and basic bedding provided. Communal ablutions are provided in the form of two traditional “bucket showers” set up in the bush (water for your shower is heated by a fire-stoked donkey boiler and mixed in a bucket to the right temperature) and two bush-style pit toilets, with proper seats and toilet paper.
Mobile Camp is ideal for small groups of adventurous travellers who prefer a rustic, back-to-basics bush experience with no frills, at a very reasonable cost. If you would love the opportunity to camp in the Timbavati wilderness without any fences or electricity or modern luxuries, Bateleur Mobile Camp is perfect for you!
Tasty meals are prepared on the open fire by bush camp staff and enjoyed informally under the stars around the campfire or under a canvas dining area in the event of rain. Alcohol intake is in moderation as the camp is in an unfenced, dangerous game area. No charging facilities are available for cameras so remember to bring plenty batteries.
Unusual Game Activities
Twice daily game drives are offered in an open safari vehicle with a qualified guide and local tracker, using spotlights after dark to try and find the elusive, nocturnal species. Depending on the group’s preferences, optional bush walks are offered (minimum age of 12) and require a reasonable level of fitness. At Bateleur, the activity program is quite flexible. There’s an emphasis on go-as-you-please and personal preferences so no two days are similar.
- Combination of game drives and guided walks, including the possibility of tracking big game like rhino on foot.
- Bush craft and survival skills
- Spider & scorpion module (if you’re brave enough!)
- Basic astronomy (if night skies are clear)
Activities available at an additional cost:
- Interactive reptile demonstration
- Tribal dancing
- Micro-chipping rhino exursions
By road: Driving from Johannesburg to the camp takes approx. 6.5 hours. Private and scheduled daily road transfers are available.
By air: Scheduled flights from OR Tambo International (Johannesburg) to Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit take an hour, followed by an arranged transfer to the camp (POA). For private charters, Rockfig airstrip is available and landing and departure fees are waived for Bateleur Camp guests.
Our Take on Bateleur Camps
Bateleur Main Camp is a rustic camp with understated comfort but without the frills of more upmarket camps. It is small and exclusive, with a relaxed atmosphere and attention on personal preferences. The guiding and game viewing is exceptional, and the big selling point that makes Bateleur stand out from other similar safari camps is the focus on bush craft, tracking, survival skills, and other unique, interactive bush experiences. Knowledgeable staff will share their abiding love of nature with those looking for an authentic, uncrowded, relaxed and individual style of safari in a special corner of this exclusive private reserve.
Bateleur Mobile Camp is an exciting and unique camping experience in the wild that will suit an adventurous group who do not require the luxuries (and costs) of an upmarket camp. It's rough around the edges, but that is what the product is all about. What you experience here will stay with you for the rest of your life. A "long drop" bush toilet with a view over the African savanna. A bucket shower to wash off the dust after an exciting day in the bush. A wholesome meal cooked over an open fire. And phenominal game viewing opportunities, both on foot and by vehicle.
- ∞Accommodation in spacious, en-suite safari units
- ∞All meals, teas & coffees, soft drinks, juices, bottled water
- ∞Twice daily game drives in open safari vehicle
- ∞Optional bush walks as per group preferences
- ∞Bush craft & survival skills
- ∞Spider & scorpion module
- ∞Basic astronomy (weather permitting)
- ∞Transfers between the Timbavati gate and the camp (Kruger Shuttle clients only)
- xConservation levy (per person)
- xVehicle levy
- xAlcohol beverages - locals beers and wines available
- xAll transfers to/from the camp
- xOptional activities
- xItems of a personal nature
ø Stay 3, Pay 2 Special at Top Timbavati Lodge
Stay 3, Pay 2 special until 31 December 2019
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= Star Rating Explanation
The star rating refers to the official grading given to this lodge or hotel by the Tourism Grading Council. In some cases the star rating is not official, but represents our own estimate of the accommodation.
One star means very basic accommodation
Two stars means comfortable, clean accommodation that is not overly spacious or luxurious. Basic facilities.
Three stars means good quality accommodation with en-suite bathroom and a reasonable level of luxury. Very comfortable and reasonably spacious.
Four stars means luxury accommodation of high quality, with most modern conveniences. High quality service, food and facilities.
Five stars means spacious, ultra luxury accommodation with the highest standards of service, food and facilities. All modern conveniences can be expected, although some facilities like air-conditioning cannot be guaranteed at all 5-star lodges, due to limited availability of electricity.