Tucked away in the Goot River Valley of the Eastern Cape, Timbila Game Reserve provides a sanctuary to wildlife and guests alike. You can feel the relaxed atmosphere settling into your soul. Named after a musical instrument from Mozambique, a xylophone from all natural products, here you can experience the Rhythms of the Earth as Mother Nature intended.

Home to various mammals, birds, reptiles and plants, Timbila Game Reserve gives a true bush feel without dangerous game, making it possible to walk or mountain bike freely and enjoy nature to its fullest. There is also a great variety of fauna and flora to keep people with various interests coming back for more.

Our camps offer the luxuries of home without losing the camp feel. With fully equipped kitchens, while comfortably accommodated in tents, the camps provide the right combination for those not quite wanting to rough it. For those who prefer true camping, Timbila offers a campsite as well. And if you prefer not to just sit back and relax, there are various activities to partake in, either by yourself or a more in-depth experience with a guide..

Accommodation

Timbila boasts with 3 tented camps and a campsite with 4 stands for you to choose from. All of these sites are situated along the banks of the Groot River, allowing for beautiful views and peaceful settings.

Each of the tented camps is booked out exclusively to you to ensure total privacy during your stay. They are fully equipped for self-catering, including braai facilities (purchase wood at reception), braai grids, potjies, all kitchen utensils, fridges, 2-plate stoves, etc. and linen is provided in the form of towels and bedding for your stay. Full cleaning service is available on request.

Timbila Camp – 12 sleeper with 2 luxury safari tents and 4 bow tents – read more

Nyala Camp – 6 sleeper with 1 stone cottage room and 2 bow tents – read more

Mahlangeni Camp – 6 sleeper with 3 bow tents – read more

Campsite – 4 stands with electricity – read more

Timbila boasts with 3 tented camps and a campsite with 4 stands for you to choose from. All of these sites are situated along the banks of the Groot River, allowing for beautiful views and peaceful settings.

Each of the tented camps is booked out exclusively to you to ensure total privacy during your stay. They are fully equipped for self-catering, including braai facilities (purchase wood at reception), braai grids, potjies, all kitchen utensils, fridges, 2-plate stoves, etc. and linen is provided in the form of towels and bedding for your stay. Full cleaning service is available on request.

Timbila Camp – 12 sleeper with 2 luxury safari tents and 4 bow tents – read more

Nyala Camp – 6 sleeper with 1 stone cottage room and 2 bow tents – read more

Mahlangeni Camp – 6 sleeper with 3 bow tents – read more

Campsite – 4 stands with electricity – read more

Activities

There are various ways to enjoy yourself while staying at Timbila Game Reserve. Though some people are most content sitting back and relaxing within the camp, we know some prefer something slightly more active. Whether it be game viewing, bird watching or just getting moving, Timbila has something to offer.

Self-guided drives are allowed during the day with your own vehicle, though a high clearance vehicle is advised on all roads and on some a 4×4 will be needed. However, should you prefer a more in-depth experience, we recommend going on a guided nature drive where you can sit back and relax while learning a little bit more about what our wonderful world has to offer.

A 4×4 trail covers the remoter areas of the reserve, allowing for a completely different experience with some beautiful scenery ( a 2-vehicle rule with experienced drivers applies).

For a more intimate experience, we recommend exploring on foot as this allows you to enjoy the small things we normally miss when driving. And if a self-guided walk is not for you, a guided walk will again offer you a more in-depth experience and can be tailored according to your own fitness and interests.

And if you just want to loosen up the muscles, due to us being a non-Big 5 game reserve, cycling and running is allowed, as is swimming in the river (enquire about our more permanent pool within the river during dry season). Fishing is also permitted in the permanent pool.

Timbila offers Bow and Rifle hunting opportunities to suitably qualified and experienced hunters.

There are various ways to enjoy yourself while staying at Timbila Game Reserve. Though some people are most content sitting back and relaxing within the camp, we know some prefer something slightly more active. Whether it be game viewing, bird watching or just getting moving, Timbila has something to offer.

Self-guided drives are allowed during the day with your own vehicle, though a high clearance vehicle is advised on all roads and on some a 4×4 will be needed. However, should you prefer a more in-depth experience, we recommend going on a guided nature drive where you can sit back and relax while learning a little bit more about what our wonderful world has to offer.

A 4×4 trail covers the remoter areas of the reserve, allowing for a completely different experience with some beautiful scenery ( a 2-vehicle rule with experienced drivers applies).

For a more intimate experience, we recommend exploring on foot as this allows you to enjoy the small things we normally miss when driving. And if a self-guided walk is not for you, a guided walk will again offer you a more in-depth experience and can be tailored according to your own fitness and interests.

And if you just want to loosen up the muscles, due to us being a non-Big 5 game reserve, cycling and running is allowed, as is swimming in the river (enquire about our more permanent pool within the river during dry season). Fishing is also permitted in the permanent pool.

Timbila offers Bow and Rifle hunting opportunities to suitably qualified and experienced hunters.

Natural Wonder

The Groot River valley with its riverine thickets, karoo and fynbos biomes provides a diversity of plant life that in turn supports a wide diversity of animal life. At Timbila we do not have the Big 5, which allows you to get more up close and personal by taking walks and experience nature in its truest form. Instead we do have a diverse variety of larger mammals, from the tall giraffe, to the tiny steenbok and duiker. Other smaller mammal species, such as bat-eared foxes, mongooses and aardvark also call Timbila home.

We also have over 100 bird species identified at Timbila so far and the list is still growing. Amongst these you could spot Verreaux’s (black) eagle and Gabar goshawk soaring the skies, with white-fronted bee-eater, common scimitarbill and African fire finch just some of the birds to be spotted in the bushes and trees. For the plant enthusiast, we have an assortment of succulents, fynbos species and even the ancient cycad on the reserve.

We encourage all visitors to share any findings with us and for those that are amateur, hobby or professional naturalists, we invite you to share your photos on our project on i-naturalist 

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From the West (George, Oudtshoorn, Cape Town or Graaff Reinet side):

Travel along the N9 and take the Steytlerville turnoff just North of Willowmore onto the R329. Please be aware that this road changes into a single lane width concrete road with gravel shoulders, so travel safely! Travel 30km along this road, then take the Klipplaat turnoff to the left (Timbila signpost at the turn). This road is gravel only. Travel along this road for 10km and turn right towards Bierpoort just after the Fullarton shop (Timbila signpost at the turnoff). Timbila Game Reserve Reception will be on your right hand side after 7kms.

If traveling from the Port Elizabeth direction, travel to Steytlerville. From here take the Willowmore road (R329). Travel for 31km. Turn right at the Timbila signpost. The Timbila Game Reserve Reception will be on your left after 23km.