Location

Masungulo Lodge is situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. It is located adjacent to the Kruger National Park, on the Western boundary. Today this great wilderness area is referred to as the Greater Kruger National Park as the boundary fence separating the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati was removed in 1992. This created a 2.2 million hectare (22 000 km²/ 8494 mi²) open natural ecosystem that would enhance and promote natural ecological cycles.

Masungulo can easily be reached by road from Johannesburg (approximately six hours drive) or Nelspruit (approximately 3 hours drive), making it a perfect stop before or after a scenic road-trip through the famous Panorama Route.

Timbavati Geography and Climate

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is located in both the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa and forms part of the Greater Kruger Conservancy.  It is bordered by the Kruger National Park on the east, the Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserves in the north and the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve in the west.  As there are no fences between Kruger National Park and the Timbavati, the reserve enjoys a wide variety of game, including the big five.

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is situated within the Savanna Biome of South Africa.  This biome covers 32% of South Africa.  In essence savanna is classified as a vegetation type consisting of both a tree and grass layer with complex interactions between these two structural layers.  The terrain is undulating with altitudes varying between 300 and 500 m above sea level.  The area is characterised as ‘savanna bushveld’ with 6 different landscape types: acacia woodland, open woodland, mopane woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld on Gabbro.

The Timbavati falls within the midrange with an annual precipitation of 550 mm – 600 mm per annum, with the wet season occurring between the months of November to March.  Summers are hot with a long term mean maximum temperature of 38°C in the months from January to April.

Species composition and structure of vegetation of an area are highly correlated to the underlying geology and soils of the area.  Weathering of the geological substrate will result in soils with nutrient characters inherited from the geological substrate.  Granite and Gneiss are the dominant geological formations of the Timbavati.  These rock types are rich in feldspar and quartzite which consist of silica and oxygen with very little iron (Ferro) and Magnesium (Ferro-Magnesium) minerals in them.  Due to these rock formations sandy soils characterise the landscape of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, in turn detraining the species composition and, with the rainfall, the structure of the vegetation.

Road Directions to Masungulo

GPS COORDINATES: S 24° 15’ 646” | E 31° 20’ 714”

Directions from Johannesburg to Masungulo

SELF DRIVE: ±6 hours from Johannesburg
• Take the N4 to Witbank.
• Take the Belfast off ramp (R33/R540).
• Once in Belfast town, turn right into Voortrekker Street and continue straight to Dullstroom on the R540.
• Drive straight through Dullstroom town and continue to Lydenburg.
• Once in Lydenburg turn left into Potgieter Street and continue straight to Ohrighstad on the R36.
• Drive straight through Ohrighstad and continue on the R36 until it turns left to Tzaneen. DO NOT turn, but continue straight on the R531 to Hoedspruit.
• In Hoedspruit, continue straight over the bridge crossing the train line to a four way stop. At the stop turn right and continue towards Bosbokrand / Bushbuckridge along the R40.
• 7km from Hoedspruit, note the Timbavati/Eastgate sign on your left.
• At the sign, turn left.
• Drive for 15km until you reach Timbavati Private Nature Reserve Control Gate. At the entrance gate, you will be required to pay an entrance fee of R140.00 per vehicle. (Fees subject to change).
• Once you have entered continue on for ±18 km until you see the Masungulo sign on your left. Turn right at the sign and follow signboards to the lodge for an additional 5km.

Directions from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to Masungulo

SELF DRIVE: ±3 hours from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
• At the T-junction leaving the airport, turn right.
• At the first stop street, turn left onto the Plaston Road, and drive straight.
• At the T-junction, turn right to White River. Once in White River, turn left at the second traffic light (at NTT Toyota), then right at the first traffic light.
• Turn left onto the R40, and drive straight towards Hazyview.
• Drive straight through Hazyview town, and carry on to drive through Bushbuckridge and Acornhoek while continuing on the R40 towards Hoedspruit.
• At the sign “Hoedspruit,” turn right and continue for approximately 17km.
• 8km before Hoedspruit town turn right at the sign “Timbavati/Eastgate.
• Drive for ±15km until you reach the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve Control Gate. At the entrance gate, you will be required to pay an entrance fee of R140.00 per vehicle. (Fees subject to change).
• Once you have entered continue on for 18 km until you see the Masungulo sign on your left. Turn right at the sign and follow signboards to the lodge for an additional 6km.

Directions from Sabi Sand Game Reserve to Masungulo

SELF DRIVE: ±3 hours from Sabi Sand Game Reserve
• Once leaving Shaw’s Gate or Newington Gate from the Sabi Sand Reserve, turn right onto the R536 towards Hazyview.
• At the first traffic light when entering Hazyview, turn right onto the R40, passing Perry’s Bridge Trading Post and Hippo Hollow Country Estate on your left to Bushbuckridge.
• Drive through Bushbuckridge and Acornhoek while continuing on the R40 towards Hoedspruit.
• At the sign “Hoedspruit,” turn right and continue for approximately 17km.
• 8km before Hoedspruit town turn right at the sign “Timbavati/Eastgate”.
• Drive for ±15km until you reach the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve Control Gate. At the entrance gate, you will be required to pay an entrance fee of R140.00 per vehicle. (Fees subject to change).
• Once you have entered continue on for ±18 km until you see the Masungulo sign on your left. Turn right at the sign and follow signboards to the lodge for an additional 5km.

Air Transfers

Fly SA Express

  • ORT International direct to Eastgate Airport Hoedspruit: two flights daily.
  • Cape Town International direct to Eastgate Airport Hoedspruit: daily.
  • Eastgate Airport is ± 1 hour drive to the camp. Transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.

Follow this link for updated schedules: Hoedspruit Airport Flight Schedules

Private Charter

Flight transfer or private charter directly into our private airstrip which is 30 min transfer time via open landrover through the bush to our lodge. Details will be sent on request.

Map of the Timbavati and surrounding areas

(Click to enlarge)

Timbavati and Masungulo Map