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“Words don't do this place justice”

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Simbambili Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 5, 2013

We came here as the first part of our honeymoon and wished that we stayed here for the full 2 weeks! As soon as we arrived we were so overwhelmed by the very laid back vibe of Simbambili and how friendly all of the staff were. If you want exclusivity and a real intimate atmosphere then look no further! The rooms were out of this world! The day follows the formats others have talked about with a 5am wake up, quick coffee then onto the first game drive of the day where you will stop for a leg stretch and a hot drink. You get back to the lodge and are having breakfast for about 8.30 / 9 ish and then you have the whole morning and early afternoon to yourselfs to laze about by the plunge pool and snooze on the amazing bed outside as long as you arent invaded my monkeys like we were on one day! The afternoon starts with a late lunch and another game drive, stopping for sundowners which again gives you chance to stretch your legs and have a drink. Reviews on here havent been overly positive about the food. We had no complaints! There was a decent selection, everything we had was cooked really well and on one evening we had the inroom dining combined with candle lit bath and champagne to celebrate our honeymoon! It was amazing and we happened to have the most spectactular thunder storm that really lit the whole sky up.
The safari itself was fantastic. We had Richard and Celebrate / Mumps on our game drives and we couldnt get over what we saw and the ridiculous eyesight that the trackers have, pointing out things no regular person would even see! We learnt so much, and enjoyed every second of it! Cannot wait to return. Thank you so much

Room Tip: Be careful of the monkeys! They are after the sugar from inside the room - very enertaining though
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank s3ema1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 - 195 of 359 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was my last "family" holiday with my 20 yr old son and wow, what a way to end! It is a long drive from the airport, but well worth it. The game lodge, staff, food and most of all the wildlife is fantastic. My son made friends with our night porter, the same age and had a whale of a time! Our ranger and tracker Richards and Celebrate were fantastic, they were so informative and fun to be with. I loved the little touches of the lodge and had a fabulous 3 night stay there. I will be back!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank jcr1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

This was a unbelievable room with large balcony including plunge pool, day bed, and many other accompaniments. The staff was great and very attentive. The dining area overlooks a watering hole which attracts animals while you are eating. We saw a large Rhino walk through the area at lunch. The ranger (Pierre) was very knowledgeable on flora, Fauna, birds, and all other wildlife we encountered. We saw the big 5 and had some very unique wildlife encounters. We would definitely stay here again!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Our Tracker was Vosi and Ranger Ryno. They were fantastic. We saw tons of animals allof the Big 5 plus leopards. The room was great, the service excellent. Yes I would recommend it and return for a second trip. Only change I might make is to have luggage carts for those of us with more luggage. The staff did help us get Otto the room but we ended up bringing it by ourselves to the lobby.

Room Tip: Our room was off the beaten path so it was nice and quiet.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank fablous3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Simbambili does a great job of the South African game lodge experience with competent and friendly staff, especially ranger Richard and tracker Celebrate. We saw the big five game animals and many more. We saw the ranger and tracked use their skills in tracking game for our viewing pleasure and photography. The meals were good and served by friendly staff. Our evening meal in our room could have been hotter but some of the rooms, including ours, - #6, was a few minutes walk form the main lodge so could explain why the meal had cooled a little. Our room seemed a little tired with sticking patio doors to the deck and a bathroom sink tap that didn't work, was mentioned to the front desk on arrival and wasn't fixed on departure. There seemed to be some limitations of the properties that the daily safaris could access and it appears Simbambili is the smallest of the properties in the region. While not a big deal, it is suggested that Simbambili may want to reconsider their full board plan vs the all inclusive plan we experienced at another lodge, It seems to be false economy to not include drinks in a game lodge plan considering the overall cost of the stay. I doubt it is the intention of most guests to take advantage of an all inclusive plan while staying at a game lodge. As a final comment, the approximate 20km of dirt road to and from the lodge was without doubt the roughest drive ever and it is a wonder the mini vans used for the transfer can survive many of the punishing trips.

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the lodge if you want to avoid long walks to and from the main lodge and to...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank tfbb0541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We are a couple of French people and we spent 5 days in Sambibili. We  chose this lodger because it was recommanded by our friends (two couples) that have been delighted by their stay there. It was our first safari experience
Simbambili is located in the Sabi Sands reserve, about a 1.5 hour drive from the aiport. It is a private game reserve not fenced that means open and connected to Kruger Park.
When we arrived, we were warmly welcome. The staff is really friendly and we enjoyed the hospitality of Allisson and all the team.Our "butler" was really nice and was taking care of us with great attention. We really felt like at home and as we were a part of this "family"
Regarding the accommodation, we were very lucky and happy as we were upgraded to the Water Hole suite. This suite is composed of two rooms : the large suite with a very large bathroom and an additiononal room (salon/drawing room) that you reach from the terrasse. There, you can read and relax in confortable sofas and you have a breathtaking view of the bush
The suites are nicely appointed. The decoration is made of natural/wood materials. There is a very charming and authenthic atmosphère
Our suite had a magnificent and direct view of a the water Hole and each day we could admire 20 to 30 elephants. Some of them went even in front of our door:) There are no fences so you are living inside the natural life and it is a superb experience and The large terrase is equipped with a plunge pool and confortable bed/deck chairs.
There are a dining room, a library with fire places where you can relax, read, use Internet Wifi, discuss with the other guests or enjoyed a glass of wine. Very nice atmosphere

The food is ok. We enjoyed dinners in the bush around the fire with grill meat. The food is of good quality and home made.We are French and concerning the food we are difficult to please and sometimes the food did not meet completely our expectations. the breakfast is perfect with a lot of choices and the home made meals (bread cakes for instance) were delicious
Regarding the safaris, we could not imagine how exceptional they have been. After the 2 first safaris, we have seen already the Big Five and it is not as "normal" as we thought (we had no safari experience). Later on, after discussion with other tourits in other Kruger park reserve, we  realized that we were so lucky. The game drives with Liam and Mamps are outstanding. They are so professional, dedicated  so knowledgeable and enthousiastic. You can feel as they love the animal, the nature and they like to share their passion with you. Tou feel that they are not making their job as a routine. For instance, one night during dinner, our tracker Liam heard a buffalo and he rencognised  that there were some hunting and the buffalo was attacked. He proposed to take the car to find our what was happening. So at 10 pm we were in the bush and after a passioning "search" we managed to see an incredible hunting scene with several hyenas and the buffalo
We highly recommand this Private Reserve for all these reasons. It is a very romantic place.
Thank you to Liam, Mamps, Allisson and all the staff that did all their best to make our stay so memorable

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CKGParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

We had 3 days at this resort and saw each of the big 5 and had wonderful guides and tracker. For the morning drives we were given hot water bottles and blankets to keep out the chill, but once the animals were sighted and the adrenaline kicked in they werent needed.Sundowners in the bush on the evening drives were fun. One evening we had a hyena join us at the restaurant which was a bit of a laugh. The staff were wonderful, meals were great and the rooms immaculate.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BarryMPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Simbambili Game Lodge

Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1363, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: $1,745 - $2,156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Simbambili Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simbambili Game Lodge is a highly individualised destination for the discerning traveller located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park. Set in magnificent trees along the meandering Manyeleti River, with views over an extensive savannah grassland, that teems with wildlife visiting an ever popular water hole. Sophisticated yet simple, each suite has spectacular views whether from the unique en-suite bathrooms, outside salas or individual private plunge pools. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the extraordinary and unique wildlife of Africa, whether it is your choice to linger at a close encounter with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo or to be amazed by the extensive array of birds and insects, or simply relax in the Sanctuary Spa. Your ranger and tracker team will astound you with their ability to track big five game, either on foot or from an open safari vehicle. The amazing safari experience is complimented by elegant cuisine, a selection of fine wines andthe warmth of true African hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simbambili Game Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Simbambili Game
Simbambili Game Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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