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 16 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
Recently renovated (June 2018).
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 16 people in eight 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-fired boilers.
The focus point of the camp is the inviting central area with its covered wooden deck overlooking the riverbed and its seasonal waterhole that attracts an array of 4-legged and feathered visitors.
A small swimming pool, dining area and outside boma complete the camp. Evening meals are enjoyed beneath the stars whenever possible. 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, back-to-nature experience. Geared for authentic, rustic 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 traditional warm water “bucket showers” and bush-style pit toilets with proper seats and toilet paper.
Mobile Camp is ideal for small groups of adventurous travellers looking for a real bush experience with no frills, at a very reasonable cost.
Tasty meals are prepared on the open fire by camp staff and enjoyed under the stars around the campfire or under a canvas dining area should it 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 of 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 guests' 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 elephant and rhino on foot
- Bushcraft 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 excursions
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. Small and exclusive, it has a relaxed atmosphere and the focus is on personal preferences. The guiding and game viewing is exceptional. Bateleur emphasises the real bush experience in every way: bushcraft, tracking, survival skills, interactive bush experiences.
Staff are knowledgeable and share their love of the African bush. The whole safari experience at Bateleur is authentic, uncrowded, relaxed and caters to you and your preferences.
Bateleur Mobile Camp is an exciting and unique camping experience in the wild, perfect for adventurous groups who do not need the luxury (and costs) of an upmarket camp. It's rough around the edges, but that is what this experience is all about. A memory for life!
- ∞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, extended bush walks with armed rangers and trackers
- ∞Bush craft & survival skills
- ∞Spider & scorpion module
- ∞Basic astronomy (weather permitting)
- ∞Transfers between the Timbavati gate and the camp (Kruger Shuttle clients only)
- xDaily conservation 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.