Timbavati picnic site

imageTimbavati picnic site

If you stay at Satara Restcamp you are sure to visit either Timbavati or N’wanetsi picnic site. If you chose morning Coffee at Nsemani Dam and thenTimbavati River road towards Timbavati Picnic site you are in for a treat at the Picnic Site. Elias Chauke, who lives and works at Timbavati picnic site will take care of your every need. From the minute you arrive – either helping you with your picnic basket, to ensuring you have enough chairs to brining you your gas and skottle for your morning fry up, Elias is hands on.

Added to his attention to detail, he has an incredible knowledge of the surrounding area and the location of many of the animals. Many times he has told us the lions roared last night from the west – and many times we think we will drive a short distance down the road to the west – and voila their are the lions right where he said they where heard. Without the use of vehicle he can accurately tell you where the animals are. Call it intuition, knowledge of the bush or the fact that they passed the picnic site earlier that day – Elias is 99% spot on with his route suggestions.

Don’t forget to ask him about the wildlife around the picnic site, owls, bushbuck. Water birds in summer season, breeding vultures nearby or resident lion pride or leopard in the area. Besides his own knowledge, people visiting the picnic site are always eager to share their sightings with him – so always be sure to ask.

Elias has worked in Kruger Park for over 39 years, some of you might know him from Baulue, Skukuza and Pretoriuskop restcamps. He has been working at Timbavati Picnic site for the last 8 years. His favorite animals is a lion. Which he sees often from the picnic site sometimes up too 2 sightings a week. One month he had a lioness hide her cubs in the reeds of the dry river bed and on regular occasions she would be spotted walking up the dry river bed to the Cubs hiding place. He even witness her move them twice, once for hyenas and then for the rains.

His favorite bird is a francolin. Out of all the Kruger birds, we asked him why. Many times once all the visitors have gone home and he is busy cleaning up and making his way to his lodging, a francolin has warned him against predators in the area.


Although he has no matric his knowledge of the bush and its surrounds is amazing. And when his family comes to visit in the school holidays, you will see him teaching his 6 children what they will not learn in school. The love and appreciation of the bush. Be sure to spend some time chatting to Elias next time you visit the Satara are and find yourself near Timbavati picnic site,

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