Event Info

The 2024 event will present a 45km ultra-marathon run, a 21km half-marathon walk as well as a brand new 21km half-marathon run within the Timbavati wilderness. All tracks will journey through pristine Big 5 country and expose some of the hidden gems within the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve.

The 45km ultra-marathon run will be open to only 20 runners in one “herd”/group, and the 21km half-marathon run will be open for 40 runners, split into two “herds”/ groups for safety as well as for pace preference and the 21km half-marathon walk will be open for 20 walkers in one “herd”/group.

We must emphasise that this event is not a race but rather a run/walk where all runners/walkers get to experience an intimate connection with nature and exercise for a cause. Groups will run at split time intervals and the group will run together to ensure the safety of each participant.

Safety is our priority. Support vehicles and bicycles will accompany participants during the full duration of the run/walk and competent medical personnel will be on call & present at all times.

Safety Timbavati Traverse

What’s included?

Participating in the Timbavati Traverse is a once in a lifetime experience which provides you with an exclusive run/walk through a world renowned nature reserve. During your run/walk, you will be guided by qualified guides who aim to ensure your ultimate safety as well as provide an educational experience to the wonders of the African bush.

R10 000.00 per ultra-marathon runner | R 8 000.00 per half-marathon runner | R 8 000.00 per half-marathon walker

Your entry fee includes:

  • Access to the exclusive and stunning setting of the beautiful and pristine Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in the heart of the Greater Kruger National Park.
  • Conservation levy to enter into the reserve.
  • Pre-event registration on the 20th September snacks and drinks when collecting goodie bags.
  • Post-run event lunch with beverages for runners and a plus one. (All dietary requirements will be catered for.
  • Goodie bag with some amazing items inside. Boasted as the best goodie bag received by participants!
  • Full kit of branded Timbavati Traverse running sports shirt, shorts cap, buff and even a pair of UV sleeves.
  • A raffle ticket for the Timbavati Traverse runners raffle, giving you a chance to win a free entry into the 2025 event.
  • Five-star snack platters as well as hydration points will be provided throughout the day while you are out on track on Saturday.
  • Weekend ticket for the runner & his/her family into the world-class Graeme Naylor Museum.

The entry fee does NOT include:

  • Accommodation. A contact list for accommodation establishments link can be found under the FAQs page.
  • Other runners’ apparel. A branded runners t-shirt will be provided. See under FAQs on what to pack. Other merchandise can be purchased at our store.
  • Transport to start or from finish to accommodation. Parking is available at the event.
Kids and Dancers

Families are welcome and will be able to join in on the festivities throughout the day at the Timbavati Headquarters. Unfortunately, no spectators will be allowed along the route for safety reasons.

While your family waits for your arrival, they will be entertained to the full. They will be given chance to explore the spectacular Timbavati’s Graeme Naylor Museum as well as be entertained by organised activities for the whole family throughout the day.


The Timbavati Traverse routes expose beautiful tough rugged dirt track terrain which puts runners & walkers to the test. The routes highlight some of Timbavati’s unique features such as giant Baobabs and breathtaking mountain views but most of all showcase some exhilarating sightings of general plains game as well as some of the big five animals such as elephant, buffalo, lion and even leopard!

The 2024 event offers three unique opportunities to either walk 21km, run 21km or for the brave, run 45km. These routes have been designed to not only challenge the participant but also expose the beauty of the Timbavati and its magic. Each route will have water points set up at every 7km which are fully catered for with energy-boosting snacks, water & energy drinks.


“It was great to meet so many other runners, also running as a group was really fun, it made it feel like you went really running in a way. I normally run alone or when I’m at home running there will be a maximum of 5 of us so running with this many people was a really different experience for me. I also really enjoyed the drink/snacks stops on route, this broke up the run nicely. The scenery was really nice and we saw a lot of general game, the experience with the Elephants was great and I also was one of the runners who saw the male Lion, although I think the Lion was just as surprised to see us as he was already running away as we ran in that direction.”

– Remember

How to get here

The event takes place from the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve’s headquarters. Travelers have two main ways of getting here either by car or by airplane.

Self-drive directions from Gauteng / Polokwane / Nelspruit to the Timbavati. See map.
Daily flight info from Johannesburg & Cape Town to Eastgate Airport, Hoedspruit.
Carriers – SA Airlink & Cemair
TT Directions Map
Half-marathon runner
Water table runner
Runner 45km

Read all about our event held in 2023 and its successes!

Basic itinerary

The itinerary for the day is subject to change, however runners and their families may plan around the one below.

12h00 -15h00
Timbavati traverse goodie bags

Pre-event registration & collection of goodie bags from the Timbavati headquarters. Anytime between these times.

05h00 – 06h00
Runners arrive

Runners & walkers start arriving & warm up

Race starts

Timbavati Traverse 2023 start!

08h15 – 10h30
Family activities

Family activities

10h00 – 11h00
Runner finish

Runners & walkers to finish

11h30 – 12h00
prize giving

Prize giving, and raffle draws

12h00 – 15h45
more activities

More fun activities & live music for the whole family.


End of event

* Food available from 08h00 till 15h00

“The Timbavati Traverse was filled with many unique features for me. I liked the fact it was limited to a very small field, it enabled me to meet and run with every participant and created a very intimate and personal atmosphere. The fact that we all were running for a common purpose, conservation, also created the feeling of being a team. The relaxed nature of the runners and the fact that it was also not a race created a unity amongst the participants, who could go out and run in the wild for the pure enjoyment of their love of running, passion for conservation and exhilaration of being in nature amongst it’s wild inhabitants. I enjoyed the comradery of the entire event, from the pre- briefing the evening before, through the event and until the music stopped and last beer was consumed at the post event. It was a relaxed unique event in nature with the experience of the bush and all it had to offer taking main stage, love, love, loved it and can’t wait till next year.”

– Grant Murphy


How should I train for this event?
Runners should try and train mainly on dirt roads and uneven terrain to prepare themselves for the run/walk.
What should my average pace be?

Runners entering into the ultra-marathon herd should be able to keep an average pace of 6:15 – 6:30mins per kilometer. Runners entering into the half-marathon herd should be able to keep an average pace of 6:15 – 6:30mins per kilometer. Walkers will need to maintain an average pace of 11min per kilometer. The walk is simulated as an active exercise walking pace and not a leisure walk.

What safety measures are in place while I run/walk?
Armed guides will accompany the running & walking ‘bus’ groups for safety as well as to share knowledge of the beautiful environment in which you will be running in. All guides are qualified and registered to guide with years of big five walking experience.
What is the weather like during July in the Lowveld?
The weather during this time of the year starts with a bit of an icy chill (10-12 degrees Celsius) but is usually followed by the warming Lowveld sunshine to defrost the body. Note average day temperatures can peak at 31 degrees Celsius.
What should I pack?

Runners/walkers please make sure you pack running shoes that are suited for off road terrain. The rugged dirt roads will not do well with slick tar road running takkies!

For the early morning start be sure to have something warm. If you get hot, extra clothing can be loaded onto the support vehicle.

Is Timbavati a high Malaria risk area?
Malaria is not much of a risk in the winter months. We do however stress that the Timbavati Nature Reserve is a low risk malaria area and incidents of this ailment are very rare. Please consult your medical practitioner if you feel precautions are needed.
Do I need to run with a hydration pack?
You are welcome to run with one if that is what you are used to, however we will have water points at every 5km/7km along the route with delicious treats and fresh drinking water and juice.
Is accommodation included in my entry?
No it is not.
Where do we stay?

The Timbavati has 18 all-inclusive lodges and 4 self catering options. Many of the lodges will be offering packages for this event specifically so be sure to follow the Timbavati Traverse facebook page to see who is.

If these lodges are above your budget, we have hand picked a few options in the Hoedspruit surroundings which you can contact to book your stay.

See list here

Are our families allowed to come out for the day?
Absolutely! There will be many activities available while you are enjoying your run/walk so please bring them along from the start!
Will spectators be allowed on route?
Unfortunately not due to safety reasons, however parts of the event will be live streamed so your families are able to watch you.
Will there be food and drinks available at the event?
Yes, most certainly. Please bring cash along as signal is limited therefore card machines may not always be available.
Can we buy additional raffle tickets?
Yes please do! There will be amazing raffles up for grabs. You can add this to your online cart or purchase on the day too.
Can I buy additional merchandise?
Yes, please visit our online store to purchase. You will need to be a participant of the event to place an order. All orders will be available for collection on the day.