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“INCREDIABLE SAFARI GAME,beautiful accomodation,excellent food” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbavati River Lodge

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
israel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“INCREDIABLE SAFARI GAME,beautiful accomodation,excellent food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2011

We stayed 4 nights at Simbavatti River Lodge with friends.
It was our first safari game and we got to see the Big 5 and a lot more, which was far above our expectations. We can't stop talking about it since returning home.
Our guide Christoff and tracker Daniel were well knowledged, professional and very friendly. The experience of being meters away from the animals was super exciting.
We stayed in 'BUFFALO' , a beautiful 2 bedroom lodge with many nice touches + a very special bathroom. The location on the river bank was perfect.
The food was excellent, plenty, extremely tasty and beautifully presented. To eat in the Boma at night by the fire was wonderful.

Our stay in Simbavatti was truly unforgettable!
Saddest check out ever!
Many thanks to Elmarie, Charlie and the whole team.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ramnat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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440 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2011

Simbavati Lodge is a great place to stay at, with a very pleasant setting right on the banks of a river where hippo bathe. Excellent service by the staff, and they have a great chef too. That said, we had a disappointing safari experience, In 3 outings we only saw 2 of the big 5: elephants (plenty) and rhino. No cats or buffalo insight! In fact we were surprised at the low desnity of animal population in general. Different people that we shared our vehicle had just come from Kruger park and said they saw a lot more animals, including the Big 5. We subsequently heard that some of the rivers in Timbavati have recently been dammed, causing changes to the ecosystem which might explain the absence of animals.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank soman_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2011

Having almost given up on finding a last minute break we found Simbavati through a Google search - and we're so pleased we did!

From the initial phone enquiry and right through the subsequent booking process Megan was extremely helpful - demonstrating a real customer focus, and a willingness and ability to address our various queries.

On arrival at the Lodge we were immediately made to feel very welcome, and Anny's professional yet relaxed style set the tome for our three day stay. All the staff were very friendly yet discreet.

Our Ranger (Jimmy) and Tracker (Collence) were great - their knowledge and skill were extraordinary, and this meant there was always something to learn. Our boys particularly enjoyed the tracking - learning to identify various prints and poos! Seeing the "Big Five" was fantastic, but there is so much more besides. The variety and unpredictability - and the natural surroundings in Timbavati - were an impoirtant part of the overall game viewing experience.

Our elder son has some food allergies and we had never before been away on a fully catered holiday. Anny and the kitchen staff made a special effort to prepare meals accordingly which was much appreciated. The regular menu - including the home baking - was very tasty too! (We even brought home a couple of recipes!)

The "Elephant" bungalow was perfect for a family of four - having double + twin bedrooms and an enormous bathroom! The views from the deck were quite awesome - overlooking the river, with plenty of hippo sightings. I miss their extraordinary grunting at bedtimes!

In summary, we all had a wonderful three days at Simbavati. It felt a good length of stay - certainly glad it wasn;t any shorter. Our boys (aged six and three) have talked about it a lot since returning home - and they love dressing up as Jimmy and Collence, complete with their Simbavati caps!

Thank you Megan, Anny, Jimmy, Collence and team for a very special holiday. We sincerely hope we'll be able to get back there someday...

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bobchamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2011

We stayed for 3 days and saw the big 5 on our first game drive! Fantastic place with wonderful staff. Accomodation (tent) very comfortable with all the luxuries.
Food was excellent. Thank you to Charlie and Elmarie, Dwayne and Collins, Obedience and all the other staff. Will surely go back!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NadiaCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2011

I can't recommend Simbavati enough - from the moment we arrived, the staff were so friendly and kind. I loved our safari tent accommodation overlooking the river - real luxury (I won't forget my al fresco bath in a long time!), serenaded by hippos nearby and the sounds of the bush. It was the perfect getaway to relax and unwind. The food was without fail superb: so wholesome and delicious. The focus was always on our enjoyment and the staff couldn't have done more for us. It was wonderful sitting around the fire in the boma during the evenings. Special mentions to Obedience who looked after our crowd so well with food and drinks and on the outstanding game drives (we saw leopard every day!) Diff and Vuyani impressed us so much and literally went the extra mile to show us spectacular Africa with much patience and dedication. I feel so lucky to have experienced this wonderful place and an already planning my next trip. Credit & thanks to all at Simbavati.

Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Bushbunny2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2011

As Australians we chose to drive from Johannesburg to Simbavati with our teenage daughter. (Highly recommend driving and advise a stop over to see the Blyde River Canyon.) From the first friendly welcome to our reluctant farewell we had an amazing time. We stayed in "Elephant" a 2 bedroom lodge which provided us with privacy and the security we wanted for our daughter for 3 nights.
Day 1 we saw the Big 5 so with that ticked off we could relax and enjoy our game drives in the capable hands of Dwayne and Noel. The morning coffee breaks and evening drinks in the Kruger were a special touch.
We braved the pool for a refreshing swim and the meals were amazing.
We would recommend this lodge for couples or families with teenagers and look forward to returning on our next trip to Africa.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ImpulsivePerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
finland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2011

After a long and exhausting trip, which included non existent snow at Heathrow and a late and hellish BA flight and without our our travel agents at GO2Africa, Gaby and Kerry, we would not have survived as a family, we arrived to heaven on earth, Simbavati River lodge!
Whole staff was so nice and friendly, the food was great - even according to our very picky teenager - our two bedroom villa was beautiful and location on the river bank was perfect. As a safari first timers we really did not know what to expect but after our first game drive we were hooked. We saw Big 5, and so much more! Never has waking up at 5 am been so easy, as it was before sun rise game drive.
We thank our ranger Arendt and tracker Noel who made our game drives so exciting, funny and enjoyable for our whole family!
We have been home now for a couple of weeks and already we are planning to come back, this time with a group of friends!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank loves-to-travel358
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Simbavati River Lodge

Property: Simbavati River Lodge
Address: Northern Sector of the Timbavati, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Simbavati River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simbavati River Lodge is situated in the northern sector of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and surrounded by 12 000 hectares of wildlife and rich wilderness in which you can experience an authentic and affordable African safari.The design of this 4-star lodge is contemporary, warm and welcoming. Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned lounge, bar, boma and extensive decks with breathtaking views overlooking the Nhlaralumi river where regular wildlife sightings take place and guests can unwind.Accommodation consists of eight luxury tents and three chalets; all are privately situated, comfortably furnished and with en-suite facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simbavati River Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Simbavati River Lodge South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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