Shindzela tented safari lodge

An Elephant Welcome to the Timbavati Reserve

I was lucky enough to go on my first ever Safari during my last holiday. As a family we all went to Shindzela tented safari lodge in South-Africa, where we spent 4 days, seeing some of the most beautiful animals! The Lodge is situated in the Timbavati Reserve which is open to the Kruger National Park.

An Elephant Welcome to the Timbavati Reserve
Playing with water!!

As we arrived at the camp we were met by a huge herd of elephants charging the small watering-hole of the camp. It is across the dry river bed but there is no actual fence separating the reserve from the camp.

Shindzela tented safari lodge
A Family of Elephants right on our doorstep!

I knew that Shindzela tented camp was set in an unfenced wilderness environment, but I never realised just how close the animals got to the camp. Being greeting by a herd of elephants was a great start to our amazing 4 day stay here.

An Elephant Welcome to the Timbavati Reserve
Watching as the whole family takes turns to go and drink water

Elephants display complex social and emotional behaviour, and are said to value their families more than most animals. It was such a fabulous experience getting to watch this family drink and play in the water. See them playing and interacting with each other in a loving and caring way.

It was amazing to see this for myself as I watched the baby elephants running around and quite obviously being covered and protected at all times. Female elephants actually babysit each others calves, greatly increasing their rate of survival.

I found the fact that females lead the herds very interesting. The matriarchal head of the elephant family is an older, experienced lady. A family usually consist of a mother, her sisters, daughters and their calves. The bulls are often on their own or form groups of their own.

`Shindzela tented safari lodge
Elephant love!

Did you know that elephants actually do walk in single file when they are on the move? The calves were surround by other female elephants to protect them from danger, which made taking photos of them quite difficult. But the rest of the herd seemed to move in single file as they head toward the watering hole.

Shindzela tented safari lodge
Walking in single file as they head away from the watering hole

Accommodation is in comfortable canvas safari tents, set on wooden platforms, each with its own bathroom. The main area of the camp features a kitchen, dining and lounge area, as well as a boma & small swimming pool.

Shindzela tented safari lodge
An elephant goodbye!

This was a fabulous start to our animal adventure. I couldn’t wait to see what else nature had to show us.


    • There are no fences and it is open to the \kruger National Park. We also had a leapard come and drink water here that night. You are not allowed to walk around the camp at night and if you do, an armed ranger walks with you as there has been lions and leaport up to the doors of the tents. It was a bit unsettling but amazing to experience.

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