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Kruger Klaserie

OVERVIEW

Klaserie: River & Tree Paradise…

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve was established in 1972 as part of the greater Kruger National Park. It is one of the largest private reserves in South Africa, being 60,000 hectares (or 148,000 acres). This vast tract of preserved land has some beautiful trees and riverine vegetation near the magnificent Klaserie River. It has an open fenceless border to the Kruger National Park in the north, and the Timbavati to the south-east.

This river is a mecca for a vast array of wildlife which includes the Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. At the river, you may see large herds of elephant and buffalo as well as many hippo pods. The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve offers a diverse habitat, from flat plains to rocky outcrops to hilly landscapes. Here you’ll encounter a wonderful supporting cast of giraffe, zebra, warthogs, hyena and many antelope species.

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve also protects sustainable populations of many endangered species such as wild dog, saddle-billed storks and southern ground hornbills

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Why we love it

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Beautiful Nature

Stunning terrain with lots of mature Leadwood and Tamboti trees

The Big Five

Big Five Reserve, see elephants, rhino, lions, leopards and buffalo.

Bush Walks

Focus on bush walks as well as game drives at many Klaserie lodges

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Giving Back

Home to several conservation and community empowerment projects

OUR COLLECTION OF

Kruger Klaserie Lodges

An oasis of tranquillity within the Wild…

It is a classic safari escape, set alongside a dry riverbed and within lush indigenous gardens Designed for couples, family and friends, this intimate lodge comprises eight luxury suites, each with its own private deck.

The spacious Simbavati Homestead is our self-catered Lodge…

Combines the intimacy and warmth of a holiday home, with the game experience of a traditional safari lodge. Here, in the heart of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, you can have the freedom of the African bush and its magnificent wildlife. But on your terms.

Create your own private bush Retreat…

Simbavati Amani is a charming, intimate safari villa in the peaceful heart of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, perfect for couples or exclusive use. Though there are only four luxury suites within the homestead, a magnificent double volume sitting room, mezzanine library area, interactive kitchen and bar mean there is generous space to relax.

Water is
life

Flanking a large dam in the southern Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, this intimate luxury lodge enjoys the most beautiful setting, while a vast array of wildlife is drawn to the water. Simbavati Waterside offers the perfect getaway for every type of traveller. The carefully considered lodge structure affords both privacy for partners as well as family-friendly spaces.

LoCATION

How to get to the Klaserie…

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve lies approximately 520km north-east from Johannesburg, and is part of the Greater Kruger. The closest airport is Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (1 hour from our Klaserie safari lodges). There are direct flights from both Johannesburg and Cape Town into Hoedspruit. Transfers can be arranged into our lodges from Eastgate airport.

Johannesburg to the Klaserie lodges takes at least 6½ hours, (as the final stretch is slow driving once you are in the reserve). For specific driving directions, look at How to Get There on each of our lodge pages and/or download the directions.

Closest Airport

Hoedspruit

Drive time from Hoedspruit

1 hour

Dry Season

Apr to Oct

Wet Season

Nov to Mar

(periodic)

Best Time to visit the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

The Klaserie has a typical sub-tropical climate with warm, wet summer and dry but sunny winters. It is in the summer rainfall region of South Africa.

Verdant Summer

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve has a summer rainfall climate which usually starts somewhere between late October and early November. It’s usually comes as late afternoon or evening thunderstorms which are actually welcome. As the rain cools the air and ensure lush vegetation at this time of year. The rains are heaviest in January and February. Temperatures are hot and humid during the day. And it stays warm in the Klaserie into the evening and night. The bush comes alive after the dry winter. Yes, it’s a little harder to spot the wildlife during this time as the grasses are longer. However, birding in the Klaserie is excellent with many summer migrants arriving. Plus this is the time when babies are being born which is lovely to see. And keen photographers love the interesting cloud shapes and striking colours of the summer months.

Rain ceases

This is the start of the dry season. Usually by mid-March the rains have stopped, which makes game-viewing much easier. The landscape is still green and lush but the grasses start dying down. Luckily now the sunsets are particularly good, as the skies are clearer. Nights remain pleasantly warm. And the drier weather means the malaria risk becomes much lower.

Peak game-viewing

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve has a dry winter climate with virtually no rain for months. This is the best time for game-viewing as the bush is less dense, making for better visibility. And the animals need to come to the rivers and waterholes to drink. Daytime temperatures are very pleasant (23-25c) with sunny skies. After the sun sets, you’ll need to have warm clothes on hand, as the temperature drops quickly. Early morning game drives are also a bit chilly. However, it starts warming up from August onwards.

Prime safari & heating up

The spring months of mid-August to October are the tail-end of the dry season in the Klaserie Game Reserve. (So not the classic ‘spring’ weather you may be used to!) But it remains a very good time for a safari. As more and more the animals need to head for the increasingly scarce water sources, where our Klaserie safari lodges are situated. It’s perfect for those who like warmer night-time temperatures as it starts heating up fast in late September and October, prior to the start of the summer rains. With the build-up of humidity, October tends to be hot!

HIGHLIGHT 1

Wild Dog

African wild dogs, which used to be known as ‘painted wolves’, are Southern Africa’s most endangered large carnivore. With their unique and striking coat patterns, their intelligence and their highly interactive and caring nature, wild dogs are truly one of the most awe inspiring species to be seen in the Klaserie (and also in the Timbavati). The Klaserie has become known for several wild dog groups in recent years. However wild dogs roam over vast distances so sightings can never be guaranteed.

HIGHLIGHT 2

Birding in the Klaserie

Bird-watching in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is varied and rewarding. Amongst the 350 species, there is a wide array of owls, eagles, kingfishers and other water-birds. At night, the distinct bushveld call of the Scops owl can be heard. Martial eagle, Lappet faced vulture, Saddle-billed stork and Kori bustard are always exciting to see. Nesting Verreaux eagle owls as well as two white backed vulture nests are found in our traversing area and we have regular sightings of Pearl spotted owlets. The Klaserie has always been active in supporting both community empowerment and conservation projects with ongoing projects around elephant and ground hornbill conservation. You may wish to visit the Eco-children project during your stay. All in all, a Klaserie safari offers a tranquil game-viewing experience.

HIGHLIGHT 3

Ground Hornbill Project

The Southern Ground-Hornbill is a conservation icon of South African savanna. During the 20th Century its range and population size in South Africa decreased by two thirds. Such a rapid decrease in the population of a long-lived, slow-breeding animal is of great conservation concern. The Klaserie works with the Southern Ground Hornbill Project to help reinstate this beautiful bird in its natural territory.

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Through supporting and uplifting local children we, and our guests, can make a difference in the future.

Imagine living on the borders of one of Africa’s greatest National Parks, but having never seen a zebra or elephant in reality. The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve recognised that the communities surrounding the Greater Kruger area are a key part of its future conservation. However, these same communities are completely disconnected from their natural heritage. Thus, Eco Children was created as an initiative by the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (KPNR) to educate and enrich the lives of its employees' children through holiday ‘bush’ workshops. These nature-based camps aimed to foster an understanding and passion for wildlife, creating a future generation of nature guardians.

In the Beginning

Deon Huysamer is an owner of Simbavati Camp George and recalls how the concept of the Eco Children charity took form.

“In 2007, our farm manager, at the time, and I had a lively debate about the separation of reserve/camp staff from their children whilst they were working in the reserve. We agreed about the unhealthy social consequences this had and discussed what we could do to improve the situation. We decided to bring the children to their parents over school holidays and to teach them about eco-related subjects.

Our immediate solution was to conduct the first classes in Camp George’s gardens. We then started to train selected reserve/camp staff in eco-subjects and soon the children were being taught about conservation and wildlife in their own language.”

In the lush gardens of Camp George, under the beautiful trees, the seeds were sown for what we know as Eco Children today.

From its humble beginnings, Eco Children has since extended its reach to over 5,000 children in some of the poorest communities in South Africa. Following a whole-school development approach, they have adopted nine local primary schools, where the focus is not just on conservation education but also improving school infrastructure, installing a new kitchen and fully-stocked library as well as a vegetable eco-garden capable of supplementing school meals.

Nutrition First

Ensuring that each child receives a filling, nutritious meal and has a safe, hygienic place to study is the foundation of Eco Children’s work. Once a child’s daily needs are being met, the programme’s other initiatives can be implemented. Their Eco-Villages combine  colourful eco-gardens with a dedicated classroom for lessons in conservation and natural science taught by local Environmental Educators. 

A Love for Reading

The new libraries help develop a culture of reading that has been shown to have a huge impact on literacy skills and attainment in education. An incentives programme motivates children to engage in their learning by rewarding achievement with books, new uniforms, overnight winner’s excursions and day trips into the Kruger National Park. 

Getting the Best Start

Lastly, Eco Children established their coveted bursary programme. Identifying talented learners who would otherwise be held back by the burdens of poverty, these children are awarded a first-class education at Southern Cross Schools in Hoedspruit. To date, 34 students have benefitted from the scheme, with several having completed tertiary education and now leading successful careers, inspiring the next generation in their communities. 

How Can You Help?

Guests that are passionate about making sustainable difference during a stay at our Simbavati Lodges in the  Klaserie, can consider adding an enlightening school tour to their trip or donating to one of Eco Children’s programmes.

Simbavati proudly supports and endorses the work that Eco Children does and is passionate about uplifting the foundation’s work and the children benefiting from it. 

Discover our Simbavati lodges in the Klaserie region, for your perfect safari experience with a heart for sustainability.

For more information about Eco Children, visit their website at www.ecochildren.co.za 

This article was compiled by Simbavati Lodge Collection and Emily Whiting

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Amani

Camp George

Community

Conservation

Homestead

Kruger Klaserie

People

Uplifting our Communities with Eco Children

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When it comes to experiencing the untamed beauty of Africa’s wilderness, the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve stands out as an incredible safari destination. Nestled in the heart of South Africa's Limpopo Province, this pristine wilderness offers an unparalleled safari experience that embodies the essence of adventure, luxury, and wildlife conservation.

Abundant Wildlife Encounters

One of the primary reasons why the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is the ultimate safari destination is its abundant wildlife. The reserve shares unfenced borders with the renowned Kruger National Park, allowing animals to roam freely across vast expanses of wilderness. As a result, visitors can expect to encounter the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros) in their natural habitat, as well as a plethora of other fascinating species, from cheetahs and hippos to crocodiles and diverse birdlife.

Exclusive Safari Experiences

Unlike crowded national parks, the Klaserie offers a more exclusive and intimate safari experience. The reserve limits the number of visitors, ensuring that you can enjoy safari drives in relative seclusion. This intimacy allows for personalised and authentic encounters with the wildlife and the environment, making your safari a unique and unforgettable journey.

Diverse Ecosystems and Landscapes

The Klaserie boasts a diverse range of ecosystems and landscapes, from open savannahs and dense woodlands to meandering rivers and rocky outcrops. This diversity not only provides breathtaking scenery but also supports a rich variety of wildlife. Whether you're gazing across a sweeping grassland or navigating the winding riverbeds, every moment promises a new and exciting discovery.

Conservation Commitment

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is more than just a tourist destination; it's a dedicated conservation area. The reserve works tirelessly to protect its wildlife and natural habitats, ensuring their preservation for generations to come. By choosing Klaserie for your safari adventure, you're contributing to the ongoing conservation efforts and helping secure the future of African wildlife.

Luxury Accommodation with Simbavati Lodge Collection

After a day of thrilling wildlife encounters, you can relax and unwind in style at one of our luxurious lodges and villas. These accommodations offer elegant amenities, gourmet dining, and stunning settings inside the reseve, providing the perfect blend of comfort and adventure for every type of guest.

Camp George - suite deck

Simbavati’s  Klaserie Lodges:

Simbavati Camp George offers an elegant safari escape in eight suites and boasting tranquil gardens.

Simbavati Amani is a charming, intimate safari lodge with four luxurious suites, which can be booked as exclusive use or per suite.

Simbavati Homestead is an exclusive, self-catering safari home with five en suite bedrooms sleeping ten guests.

Simbavati Waterside is a beautiful safari lodge set on an active waterhole, with eight gorgeous suites. 

Simbavati Amani - deck
Simbavati Homestead - Hyena seen from the deck

Discover more about the Klaserie and our lodges within it.

https://www.simbavati.com/region/kruger-klaserie
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Kruger Klaserie

Discover Why the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is the Ultimate Safari Destination 

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Fondly known as "Umfundisi" by the Simbavati Camp George family, Innocent epitomises the understated and assured professionalism that guests relish during their time at Simbavati Camp George.

He is a master mixologist and the soul of the Simbavati Camp George bar, where his humble grin touches everyone he serves.

Being a longstanding resident of the surrounding area and having spent a lifetime in the bush, he also has an incredible understanding of animals which he shares, in his gentle manner, with everyone who connects with him during their stay.

Charles Hudson, shares a poignant and perfect description of him in this character tribute:

“Nostalgia is a funny thing. It evokes a strong attachment to a memory, however distant, of a place, person or experience that touched us and remains embedded in our minds.  Often, we reminisce about these encounters and it is almost as though we can see the person or place conjured to life before our very eyes. They, or it, become lasting apparitions of those things which left a beautiful impression. We think, we smile, we remember. 

During the dappled light of midday, when there is a peaceful lull in activity at Simbavati Camp George and the cicadas hum their November hum, you may see such a person sitting quietly in the shade of a sausage tree, the swing bench rocking slowly and forth as if in tune to the calmness of the person gazing out over the bushveld.  

Affectionately referred to as “ Umfundisi “ by the rest of the Camp George family, Innocent is the very embodiment of the quiet and confident professionalism that guests have come to savour here. He is the soul of the Simbavati Camp George bar and his humble grin has touched all those who have been fortunate enough to have him remember – down to the last ice cube – what you had to drink when you were here last. A week, a month, a year. He remembers. Painstaking and immaculate in both approach and execution, there is pride in every sweeping movement of the cloth across the silvery sheen of the espresso machine and he is a master mixologist. 

His talents do not only extend to the bar, however. Being a longstanding resident of the surrounding area and having spent a lifetime in the bush, he has an understanding of animals that comes only with countless hours of quiet observation. Should you be lucky enough to see Umfundisi sitting in his swing chair, you may well walk up to him and ask him what he is thinking about. He probably won’t make eye contact or respond immediately, but he will eventually tell you that he has been pondering the movement of a bull elephant that is on its way to the waterhole. You look at the surrounding landscape, your eyes straining to see the animal. There is no elephant in sight. You ask Umfundisi “ what elephant, Innocent ? "And when you lift your gaze, there, as if it had appeared out of nowhere, stands a bull elephant on the bank of the river. The animal sees you, and Innocent, still not making eye contact, nods and softly murmurs “that elephant“. "

Discover more about Simbavati Camp George:

https://www.simbavati.com/lodges/camp-george/

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Camp George

Kruger Klaserie

Meet Innocent, the Soul of the Bar at Simbavati Camp George