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“Lovely place, (relatively) great value”

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

Just completing a 3 night stay with our 2 kids (14 and 11) and have loved this Lodge.

Not as "super luxury" as some we looked at before booking but still luxury with all the trimmings as far as I am concerned. The size of the pool (v small) is the only thing that falls below my expectation of a 5 star; the 2-room family suite is fabulous (the main bedroom opens up completely to the huge verandah overlooking the river bed), the food has been really good and the welcome and level of service has been lovely.

The atmosphere is perfectly relaxed with no stuffiness to make you wish you hadn't brought the kids and with enough wifi and local power converters to help them stay in touch and while away the time between game drives.

We've really enjoyed the morning and evening drives (though I think 3 days worth is enough). Diff and Caswell have been really helpful and have worked v v hard to make sure we've seen a whole range of game (which we have). Amazing the team work that goes into sharing sightings but without ever feeling the game is being mobbed by vans - the virtue of a private reserve I guess. But, honestly, just driving the bush in their awesome landrovers would have been enough fun for me and the kids.

All in all, I can't recommend enough - definitely glad we pushed the boat out for a private lodge and picked this place.

Stayed: November 2013
Thank Pangers-on-tour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear Pangers on tour

Thank you for your lovely review and for choosing our lodge for your safari holiday.

We are glad to hear that you had a great time at our lodge and that you recommend it for others.

We hope that you can come back and visit us again.

Keep well, kind regards, Nadine

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239 - 245 of 480 reviews

Reviewed November 2, 2013

Our guide/driver Christof and tracker Daniel created an incredible experience for my family. We stayed 4 nights and had 10 safaris. And seeing the Big 5 was a blast along with other wild birds and common antelopes.

The advantages of Simbavati over other game reserves is that Simbavati has no fences and abuts the Kruger National Park so animals roam freely and is more authentic, not a glorified zoo. One day, over 100 Cape buffalo were crossing through. What a site!

Rainy season was just beginning in our mid October stay, so one morning drive was rained out, and another one have to be shortened. If it weren't for the rain a 3 night safari would be suffice, otherwise I recommend 4 nights if able. The trackers are good but they can't control the animals activities and the rain.

The food had enough variety to please my 13 and 10 year olds. Our tracker also spent an hour teaching our kids about identifying dung.

We rented a bungalow and accommodations were excellent. Our new friends stayed in both. Their children loved the teepee. The beds, linens, and bathrooms are the same, but the adults preferred the bungalows due to less bugs and better sleep during rain and windy weather.



  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank AroundTheWorldStop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear AroundThe World

Thank you for the great feedback and the lovely review, it is greatly appreciated.

We are glad to hear that you and your family had a great safari experience and that you got to see the Big 5, the migration of over 100 Buffalo's and much more.

We are also happy to hear that our chefs manage to tickle your taste buds :)

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Keep well, kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed October 26, 2013

Our family had an amazing time. Our guide Christof and our tracker Daniel were excellent. We saw all of the big five and much more! The lodge is very clean and well appointed. The food and service were very good. The staff is very friendly especially the staff member, Obedience, he was great! Book this place now I doubt you will find a better safari experience anywhere else. Cheers!

Room Tip: Book a chalet they are wonderful.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Chuck S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Chuck S

Thank you for the great review and for the awesome subject line "stop looking this is the place!"

We work hard to make our clients holidays the best and we love to hear from our clients when we achieve this.

We hope to welcome you back again in the future.

Keep well, kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed October 26, 2013

They had a bad flood in 2012from which they seem to still be recovering. The tents were dark, cramped and lacked storage. My wife unpacked but I had to live out of my suitcase with my things spread out on the floor. Meals wer good, bar was fun to hang out at and share stories. Staff very nice and accommodating. (iPad does not allow corrections on mis types)

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Dear Jon D,

Thank you very much for your time and effort in reporting back to us on Tripadvisor.

We are delighted to hear that you acknowledge the hard work and effort that our staff put into looking after our clients at the lodge, and this will surely be conveyed to them.

The lodge currently has an average client stay duration of 3.2 nights per client, and therefore we cater for packing space in our tents for a comfortable 5 nights per guest. Your comments about storage space will definitely be investigated.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lodge in the near future.

Kind regards, Nadine

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Excellent service, very friendly staff, wonderful room (buffalo), wooden terrace with view into the wilderness, excellent meals - nicely represented, very good organized jeep-trips! Everything was just perfect!!! I hope we´ll have the possibility to stay there again!


  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Martin B

Thank you for the great subject line "best accommodation during our SA-holidays".
That means so much to us! We are pleased that you were happy with our lodge and that we exceeded your expectations.

We too hope that you can come back and visit us again!

Keep well, kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed October 23, 2013

We really loved it. Excellent service, friendly staff, good food and drinks as well as top equiped and beautiful rooms. Highlight - of couse - are th Game Drives, each one. So closed to animals, 4 of the Big 5 first evening, last one next morning.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Michael & Ilka E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Michael & Ilka E

Thank you for the review it is greatly appreciated.

We are glad you had an awesome trip, that we managed to wow you and that you got to see the Big 5.

We do hope you can come back and visit us again.

Kind regards, Nadine

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Reviewed October 20, 2013

We enjoyed an excellent African experience at Simbavati River Lodge. In fact, the lodge we stayed at prior to Simbavati was much more luxurious, but we enjoyed the casual and more informal atmosphere of Simbavati. Guides, trackers and safaris were fabulous. Food was delicious and staff friendly. Thanks very much for a great stay..!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Randy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Dear Randy D

We are so glad to hear that you had an excellent African experience at our lodge!

Thank you for your great review and we are thrilled that we could be part of your memories.

It was our pleasure having you at our lodge and we welcome you back any day!

Keep well, kind regards Nadine

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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 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 #8 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $832 - $1,101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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