The 10,000 hectare Bateleur property is located in the heart of the world renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, an exceptional safari location. All artificial barriers between the Timbavati and the adjacent Kruger National Park have been removed and the Bateleur property itself shares unfenced borders with Kruger, allowing free animal movement.
This prime wilderness area boasts the Big Five, a large diversity of antelope species, the entire range of smaller predators, over 500 bird species, and a tremendous diversity of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The landscape is typical of the undulating granitic Lowveld basin with large broad-leafed trees dominating the uplands, followed by Acacia woodlands, which give way to the large trees that form the riverine vegetation in the valley bottoms. Highly productive and open sodic areas dominate along the sandy riverbeds.
Bateleur’s traversing area extends over 10 000 hectares of the Timbavati Reserve.
The camp is surrounded by a 2-strand electric ‘elephant fence’ which is merely in place to prevent the elephants from destroying the en-suite bathrooms, central showers, or swimming pool in the dry season, or the camp’s beautiful trees whenever the mood takes them. Everything shorter than an adult elephant can and does walk freely in and through the camp area and you will receive a full safety brief on arrival. At night it’s best to remain in your safari unit after you’ve turned in for the night! This is untamed Africa at its best…
ABOUT THE OWNER & FOUNDER
Andreas Liebenberg has owned the property since 1991. He has been instrumental in creating what Bateleur is today and has been involved with every aspect from the design of the new safari camp, to guiding groups and implementing the more specialist itineraries.
At the beginning, there was no camp at all – guests simply arrived with the backpack, sleeping bag and food and the ‘camp’ comprised a spot under a shady tree!
Great pride is taken in keeping the property in a pristine condition – erosion sites have been successfully rehabilitated, all artificial water holes have been closed and roads are constantly maintained.
Twice, he has received the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve’s conservation award for the most eco-sensitive land owner.
Andreas has been involved in the conservation industry for over 20 years, with a background in man and animal tracking; self-protection and combat training; and wilderness guiding.
He is a partner in Counter Insurgency Tracker Training (CITT) which specialises in training field rangers across Africa in man-tracking and counter-poaching.
- Founder member of Peace Parks Foundation
- Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) registered assessor
- CATHSETA and SASSETA registered assessor
- Cybertracker assessor
- Senior Tracker
- Specialist Track & Sign
- Specialist Trailing
- FGASA Level 3
- SKS DG
- Combat firearms instructor under new act
- Unarmed combat instructor
- Operational experience in anti-poaching
- Minimal impact on the surroundings was a key focus when Bateleur Safari Camp was built and renovated.
- The camp is hidden amongst the trees in riverine vegetation.
- If the entire camp would be broken down, within 12-18 months, the area would recover, as though no camp ever existed there.
- The entire camp and staff village, run on solar power.
- A series of solar panels harvest energy from the sun, which is stored it in a 24-battery bank.
- Operation of the system is self-sufficient, with a silent generator automatically kicking in on poor solar absorption days (ie. when it is cloudy/overcast).
- All tents are equipped with:
- Indoor and outside lights
- Multiple 220V power plugs including 3-prong, 2-prong & USB points
- Ceiling fans
- The solar system has limitations with regards to how much power is drawn. As a result, all kitchen appliances must meet certain specifications and all fridges/freezers are specially sourced, drawing a maximum of 90W each.
- Light bulbs throughout the camp and staff village are 4W or less to ensure a low power pull.
- Unfortunately, no hair dryers can be used as these overload and trip the system.
- The pressure pump for the water systems runs only when needed.
- The swimming pool pump operates on a timer limiting the running time to just 4 hours a day.
- Camp linen and laundry items are taken to a company in Hoedspruit to be cleaned. This company only uses eco-friendly, biodegradable, hypo-allergenic products to wash and care for guest and staff linen & towels.
- Water supplied in the camp is derived from an underground aquifer. Tests have shown that this water is brilliantly clean, fresh & pathogen free, making it safe for all to drink.
- Microbes are used in the toilets and grey water to assist in breaking down waste.
The production & recycling of plastic water bottles involves a huge waste of water and adds to increased accumulation of litter. Bateleur Safari Camp
- does not use bottled water, opting instead to loan guests a stainless steel water bottle, to be used for the duration of their stay. This bottle is cleaned, filled & refreshed twice a day and will keep water cold for up to 24 hours.
- All the camp’s water is heated by gas geysers.
- A salt water chlorination system is used. This is a natural way of converting salts into chlorine without the use of any harmful chemicals and with minimal to no impact on the surrounding area.
- Water drained from the pool is used to irrigate surrounding plants.
- Store-bought, shower gels, dishwashing liquids & ammonia-based cleaning products are no longer used
- All cleaning products and shower gel/hand soaps are 100% eco-friendly
- These products use ‘beneficial bacteria’ to actively biodegrade dirt in the process of cleaning, thereby eliminating chemical and dirt transfer to the environment.
- These products are locally produced and not tested on animals.
- Bateleur Safari Camp has an animal-proof vegetable & herb garden, in which a variety of veggies are grown, including: leafy greens, herbs, berries, lemons & limes, cherry tomatoes.
- Natural garden compost is mulched on site.
- Future plans include an earthworm farm to be used in conjunction with the camp’s compost, to provide organic nutrients from the kitchen’s vegetable cuttings.
- Microbes are also used in the veggie garden, to prepare soil naturally without the use of chemicals & harsh fertilisers.
- An animal-proof rubbish cage stores waste, until it is removed from the property by a recycling company.
- Plastics, paper, tin & glass are separated as items are used. These recyclables are then removed for recycling at a local community based plant.
- Besides cuttings required for the veggie garden earthworms, all kitchen wet-waste is collected and taken to surrounding communities, to assist in feeding their livestock.
- Many of the roads on the property have been closed, to create large “wilderness blocks”.
- This creates undisturbed walking opportunities, through untouched bushveld, without the hum of passing vehicles or the constant crossing of man-made roads.
- Much rehabilitation and field restoration work has been undertaken on man-induced erosion sites.
- There are no artificial water holes Game drives are conducted with minimal impact on the environment. No driving on sensitive soils, erosion areas, fragile riverbanks or sodic areas is permitted – regardless of game viewing opportunities.
- In these instances, the vehicle will be stopped and guests will be guided in approaching the animal on foot.
- Bateleur Safari Camp promotes walking as much as possible, allowing guests the opportunity to track & trail animals.
- For big cats & other predators, a maximum 100 metre off-road policy is applied
SUMMER AND RAINY SEASON
During the period October to April the days are warm with temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius or sometimes higher. The days are often partly cloudy or overcast and warm and humidity levels can be quite high. At night the temperature can drop to 18 degrees Celsius.
WINTER AND DRY SEASON
During the period May to September the days are a lot cooler with low humidity. The temperature generally sits around 22 to 28 degrees Celsius and the days are often sunny and clear. The nights and early mornings are often very cool and temperatures can drop to about 5 degrees Celsius, sometimes even lower. The odd cold front may blow over the area bringing cool, windy and overcast conditions with soft rain.
The Timbavati is considered a low risk malaria area, however clients should consult their local travel clinic regarding prophylaxis. The highest risk time for malaria is December to April