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“Bush Trip”

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Timbavati Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
“Bush Trip”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The best place on earth! The staff were all so friendly, the food was delicious and we had a fabulous game drive! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bush getaway. Plus it is on a few KM from the Kruger National Park.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank philippa h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, September 29, 2013
Hi Philippa,
Thank you for your reviewing your stay with us. Its great to hear you had an awesome game drive and the staff made you fell welcome. We look forward to your next stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This place was absolutely fantastic. If you want a genuine safari bush experience, this is the place to go to and at such a great price.

Being able to wake up in your own lodge right on the edge of the Kruger National Park, in the middle of the lodge's own reserve, to monkeys, warthogs and wildebeest walking past your patio was incredible. The individual lodges dotted around the reserve are basic, but well fitted out with all you need, each has its own patio for you to relax on at night with a glass of wine, or if you dont fancy that the pool/bar area always had people you could go and mingle with.

The pool bar area is fantastic, with its own fire pit and a hidden entrance to a traditional African Boma, where a traditional braai (bbq) with african dancing is held during some nights of the week.

The food was incredible, real hearty SA grub and served by the most friendly staff who are willing to help you with anything you could want. Same can be said for the two barmen, ready to serve you with a local beer or glass of wine, and a story or two.

The couple who run this place really have put their whole lives into making it into the experience of a lifetime for all their guests. My friends and I felt so welcome, as if we were part of the Timbavati family.

Organising game drives in the Kruger National Park (only 20mins drive to one of the main gates) or in the Timbavati Game Reserve was so simple, just let the staff know when you want to go and they organise it all for you, including lunch or a sunset picnic in the park.

When I visited Timbavati, it was my first trip to SA, and first on and SA safari and it could not have gone better. It was everything I expected and more and would recommend anyone and everyone to visit Kruger and stay at Timbavati Safari Lodge...you wouldn't find a better, more genuine South African safari experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Kerrishh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Hi Kerrishh,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. The team here take great pride in knowing we were able to make your first trip to South Africa such a memorable and well organized experience. We hope to see you back!!
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Mount Pocono, PA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We've stayed in hundreds of accommodations in nearly 40 different countries and throughout the US over the past 30 years, but the Timbavati Safari Lodge has to rank near the very top of our list of favorites. We spent two nights here recently during the South African winter - the off peak season. We couldn't have been more graciously welcomed and treated by the entire patient and knowledgeable staff. Everywhere we walked on the huge property we were greeted with not just smiles but genuinely friendly words too. Our group had plenty of questions that the employees have no doubt had to answer hundreds of times before, but each time the crew was extremely eager to answer and explain.

Bordering on the immense Kruger National Park all different manner of African game wander onto the property both at night and during broad daylight. Had we not done one of the exciting game drives through the actual park we would still have been quite pleased seeing the variety of animals walking on and next to the resort: Wildebeest, monkeys, zebra, giraffe, impala, warthog and even the shadowy image of a leopard walking back to our semi-isolated (but secure) hut one evening. Our first night we heard the sounds of the jungle outside our lodge right after dinner. Courteously, the animals shut up shortly after we went to bed.

The rooms are big, comfortable, clean and most importantly, safe. Mosquitos were not a problem in July but it was still fun to cover ourselves with netting over our beds at night. The bathroom was very very clean with a nice array of shower products and modern fixtures. It might take a minute or two for the hot water to make its way to the shower, but when it did it was piping hot and welcome. Thick canvas screens allow the cool outside air and animal sounds to filter in but no bugs were sighted in any of our accommodations.

Included in our tour package were two dinners at the resort. Both were among the best of our entire South African jaunt. Both were big buffet meals with a wide selection for both meat lovers and vegetarians. Local fare and food for the less adventurous were available in huge quantities.

Every evening before and after dinner we spent far too much time in the bar. Prices were amazingly cheap compared to American hotel booze products. The friendly bar staff introduced us to a wide range of South African wines, beers and liquors that most of us loved so much that we poured more American dollars into the South African liquor industry as the trip progressed.

Although tiny compared to other souvenir shops we experienced elsewhere, the Timbavati shop was nicely stocked and kept our lady tour group members busy. The lodge-sponsored tour of the village across the street was fascinating and eye-opening as was the early morning bush walk just a few yards from the overnight accommodations.

I traveled to South Africa not expecting much out of the trip, but came back interested in retirement possibilities there. I found it a warm welcoming nation on the cusp of great things. Never have I met friendlier locals, more interesting sights, a more pleasurable climate, tastier food and drink or prouder people. And my favorite memory is off the two days (too short a time) at the Timbavati Safari Lodge.

Room Tip: If traveling solo, request a room closer to the restaurant. If you're with someone else ask for...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Doug L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Hi Gluwein,
Wow ' Experience of a life time' !! Thank you very much for your positive and informative review. I have passed on your words about your experience to the Team and it really does boost the team to keep up the great work. We are so glad you enjoyed every aspect and look forward to hosting you again in the future!!
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Erie, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

It's the perfect lodge to experience Kruger National park and it's surroundings, your home away from home. First off, the employees, you could not ask for more. They instantly become your friends and make your time more enjoyable. The lodges put you right into the South African Safari and the food makes you feel at your kitchen table for family dinner. The food was traditional South African ingredients which kept you wanting to eat more. Then the bar; amazing, cheap drinks, and the next thing you know you tried all the shooters. You can't forget to schedule a game-drive through Kruger with Timbavati. My day there was an unbelievable, eye-opening experience and we owe it to their lodge's driver, Bob. That's not his real name but ask for him, he will get your the closest, best nature pictures that you can not get anywhere else. My group was lucky enough to see a lion take down a zebra 15 feet away, where we got to see lionesses teach there kids how to survive. That wasn't it, we saw the big 5 all and even up close. The cultural walk through the Shanghaan village was an incredible time as well. I became friends with the employees over my stay and was lucky enough to get invited on a night safari. It was incredible; a whole different kind of game-driving. The experience you get here will not be matched any where else and I promise that!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Hi Andrew,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Timbavati Safari Lodge. We take great pride in knowing you enjoyed every aspect of your stay and we are still talking about how lucky you guys were with your game drive!!!
We look forward to hosting you again in the future. Hopefully sooner rather than later :)
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Dakar, Senegal
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

My team and I travel a lot to this area as we work around Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands. As such, we can honestly say that we have stayed pretty much everywhere in the area. But nothing compares to our experience at Timbavati. It is without a doubt a home away from home as the warmth and hospitality we received was outstanding. The place has a unique energy which really makes you relax and unwind. The rooms are very neat and clean and it is obvious that they are in the process of renovating and upgrading all their facilities. This means that things can only get better as they improve their standards. With new linen and towels it will be faultless! The food is also exquisite! Really well prepared by a chef who obviously loves to cook. The braai at the boma was sooooo delicious!! We are fussy eaters and being away from home for long stretches of time can make people grumpy, but Timbavati really cheered us up immensely. We left refreshed, happy and with delightful memories of John and Luke at the bar who kept us highly entertained for hours:D
Ve vill be bak!!!!

Room Tip: The rooms on the side of the pool have been renovated so they are much better than the ones on the s...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Dani N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear Dani,

Thank you very much for your positive review. Being an experienced traveler we appreciate your feedback and comments. The team here are very pleased you enjoyed your stay and look forward to your next visit which im sure Luke and John will have plenty more stories to share around the evening fire. We would also like to let you know since your last visit we have renewed our linen and towels to ensure your next stay is even more comfortable than the last. Safe Travels and look forward to seeing you soon.
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Key Largo, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Seasoned African travelers highly recommend this place. It is a location to experience Africa, knowledgeable and friendly staff, quality food, great game drives and a pub that is second to none. We have stayed there numerous times and can't wait to go back again

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank KL2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear KL2 Travel,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Timbavati Safari Lodge. The team are pleased to hear you enjoyed your over all experience and look forward to having you back soon. Safe Travels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Mark treked us around quite a bit, but was always very accommodating, friendly, knowledgeable and made sure we were on time for all of our transfers etc. The kitchen staff was great!! and the bartender Luke always made sure we had what we needed. We missed dinner one night and the head chef made sure we got something to eat. It was a good experience and the people made it that way.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CStyles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan M, General Manager at Timbavati Safari Lodge, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Dear C Styles,

Thank you for your comments and feedback on your stay at Timbavati Safari Lodge. We are glad to hear everything went well with your stay and do look forward to a return visit if you are ever in South Africa again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Timbavati Safari Lodge

Property: Timbavati Safari Lodge
Address: (R 531) Orpen Road | Klaserie, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 104 Specialty Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Timbavati Safari Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
Timbavati Safari Hotel Hoedspruit

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