About the Owner and Founder of Bateleur
Andreas Liebenberg has owned his property in the Timbavati since 1991. He has been instrumental in creating what Bateleur is today and has been involved with everything from the design of the new main camp, to guiding groups and implementing the more specialist itineraries. Bateleur has evolved over the years to the excellent product which it is today. 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! Every day started off with an early walk, where guests were taught to track the big five on foot and identify marks and other signs left behind by the animals passing by. Guests each had a turn to do guard duty at night and everyone slept under the stars. In order to appeal to a wider market, numerous changes have been made with regards to the level of comfort provided, but the basic principles of creating as minimal a footprint on the environment as possible still remains, as does the focus of providing guests with exciting, memorable experiences rather than just on opulent accommodation. Andreas takes great pride in keeping his property in a pristine condition – erosion sites have been successfully rehabilitated, all artificial water holes have been closed and roads are constantly maintained. He has been the recipient of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve’s conservation award for the most eco-sensitive land owner twice.