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All reviews day bed plunge pool our honeymoon sabi sands water hole three nights safari experience amazing experience wild dogs private dinner african bush every meal different locations hour drive private deck every aspect every evening
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Reviewed February 11, 2011

Where to start - Accommodation was superb, stunning views overlooking waterhole, sensational food (thanks Jessie), attentive, yet discrete service, and the game drives - magnificent.

My wife and I travelled with my parents (70's), and kids (teemagers) and had an absolute ball. We did 7 drives all up and every one there was something new and exciting. We even managed to see the big 5 on one drive. One word to decribe Simbambili - WOW

The onlyr problem is after visiting Simbambili, then everything else on our African holiday didn't measure up to the standards, service, sights of Simbambili.

Cant wait to get back there.

Date of stay: January 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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2  Thank thegarvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

Beautiful lodge with fantastic service and lovely food. Very knowledgeable guides and small groups - never more than 4 of us. Spa treatments were also very good and reasonably priced. We also loved spending the afternoons relaxing in our own plunge pool and outdoor areas. Can't recommend enough.

Date of stay: March 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Smeeta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2010

This is the first time I've bothered to write a review on trip advisor (even though I read everyone else's review before going anywhere).
The setting: My honeymoon
Situation: Both Vegetarians, been on Safari in Kenya a few times so had high expectations
The Experience: In just one word...fantastic. The cleanliness of the lodge, the service, the ambiance created by the staff, the vegetarian food, the superb game drives and bush walk were all of extremely high standard.
For those who are thinking of going on Safari, this lodge has a limited capacity which means you are looked after and catered for, the way you would expect to be when spending a fair amount of money. We saw the big 5 in our first 2 game drives which gives you some indication of how good animal sightings are here.
I just want to re-iterate that the chefs here know how to keep you well fed. We were the only vegetarians there and we were looked after very very well...in fact i think they must get a lot of vege's there as their dishes were well made. The meat dishes I was told were great too and the portions were just massive!
This is a place which excels beyond expectation and would definitely recommend to both honeymooners and families. D & K from the UK

Date of stay: October 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lurve2travel_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2010

My husband and I went to Simbambili on our honeymoon and it was the most incredible experience. First of all, the accomodations were wonderful. Our villa was so beautiful and comfortable. I loved our deck with the plunge pool, the bathroom was nice and clean and our bed was so comfortable. They even gave us a gorgeous honeymoon turn down service complete with candles, champagne and a bubble bath! I have to admit, based on some of the previous reviews, I was worried about the food, but there was nothing to worry about. The food was spectacular - I loved every single meal that I ate. The lunch platters were a favorite and the final night we had a gorgous group dinner with a fire and the most incredible buffet. The service was also impecable. Our butler, Pretty, was so kind and helpful and the rest of the staff were incredibly friendly. Finally, the drives themselves were outstanding. Our tracker, Doc, and ranger, Matt, were so kind and knowledgeable. We saw all of the big 5 as well as some other rare sightings (like a pack of wild dogs!). Each drive was incredible and unique and probably the most amazing experience of my life. I loved my time at Simbambili and it was the perfect choice for our honeymoon.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Christina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2010

There may be a better place to see wild animals, sleep in luxury, and eat outstanding and interesting food, but I do not know where. The lodge and bungalows have gone through major renovation in the last 3 or 4 years and are absolutely stunning. Your "room" is an elegant bungalow in modern bush style, has an enormous and extremely comfortable bed, big beautifully designed bathroom with shower looking out over the savanna and a huge deck with large day bed and private plunge pool. Baboons and little monkeys swing through the trees in front of your bungalow and sometimes on your roof; water buffalo, nyala, impala, and sometimes larger animals wander around the watering hole in front of the lodge and sometimes through the lodge, and because there are only 8 bungalows (16 guests maximum) you really feel the quiet and privacy of the reserve and the reality that these are wild animals that you are viewing.

From the moment we arrived -- greeted with cool moist towels and cold fruit drinks -- we felt pampered. The delicious meals were made to order and elegantly served. A polite "wake-up" knock on the door at 5:30 am was offered (and gratefully accepted). We were escorted to our rooms after dark each night (lest a stray animal endanger us). All of the staff were unfailingly helpful and cheery.

The animal viewing was nothing less than spectacular. As a Sabi Sands lodge, Simbambili has the advantage of having no fences to separate it from the huge adjacent Kruger National Park. So all of the animals can move freely between Kruger and the Sabi Sands. Furthermore, there are reciprocity agreements among the various Sabi Sands lodges that permit each to travel over the terrain of the others. As a result, the viewing area is huge and the viewing opportunities nearly unlimited.

The Simbambili touring schedule is well-conceived. The day begins just before dawn with a quick cup of coffee, juice, and a biscuit, then it's off to watch the sun rise over the African bush in a Land Rover with guide, tracker, and anywhere from 2 to 8 guests. After 1.5 to 2 hours you stop for a coffee and biscuit break, then continue with the safari for another hour. Around 9, you head back to the lodge for a delicious breakfast. Bush walks are a late morning option that we declined, preferring to nap to get ready for lunch (more yummy food) and the afternoon tour which begins at about 3:30 or 4 and lasts until sunset or occasionally an hour past. (Naturally, there is a break in the afternoon trip as well, with "sundowners" served from a tray that miraculously appears at the front of the Land Rover.) The hours just after sunrise and just before sunset are best for animal viewing, as most animals -- as well as sensible humans! -- nap during the midday. The evening meal was highlighted by varying locations -- once in the dining room, once on the veranda, one a "braai" out in the bush. Every one was elegant and delightful.

It is hard to convey how much our guide, Grant, and our tracker, Mumps, added to our tours. Grant is an incredible guide. As a trained zoologist (undergraduate and graduate degrees), he was a font of information about animal ethology. Even more importantly, he was able to convey this information in a compelling and articulate way. I'll never forget his account of the hardships of the life cycle of the lion -- the "king" of the jungle. And Mumps's ability to locate the animals was nothing short of amazing.

Simbambili is expensive, no doubt about it. But the three days we spent there were far richer and more memorable than the six days we spent at a lesser lodge in KwaZulu Natal -- at about the same total cost. One small indication of this is that the number of photographs I took at Simbambili -- many of them priceless -- was about double the number I took in twice as many days at the other lodge. If you travel this far to view the wild animals of South Africa, it would be foolish to settle for anything less.

Date of stay: September 2010
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Eleanor H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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