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“cant ask for more”

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
travel agent, San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
141 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“cant ask for more”
Reviewed March 12, 2010

this is a great place. there is a family feel here. the staff/guides/resident managers are all
great. Omega and Aurela, the guide and tracker are wonderful. Elmarie and Charlie, the managers do a great
job and seem to really care about your comfort.
food was very good. They have 8 tents and 3 chalets. The tents are comfortable with a big bathroom area and outdoor
shower. they also have air conditioning.
The chalets are buildings and are closer to the main lodge. they are set up for families as they are bigger
and have 2 bedrooms.
They also have a pool that is very nice.
there is a lot of game to see. we saw 8 leopards in 4 days. I would highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank christy2064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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448 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
172
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26
5
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 (76)
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English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2010

I stayed at the Lodge on the 27th-1st March and organised the tour with Go2Africa with the help of Lianne Sowdon. I am very happy with chossing the lodge as I had the most relaxing and the most comfortable stay in a very long time. This was my first Safari expereince and I thoroughly enjoyed the game drives. As soon as you enter the lodge you are made to feel very welcome and the staff are very attentative and very friendly. The lodge itself is very spacious and luxurious. The Chalets and the Tents are also very comfartable and comfort at its best. My luxury tent was very clean and very well kept and when you come back in the evening the staff make sure your room is set up with insect repellant.
The game drives were fantastic and Omega and Aurleis were the best driver and tracker you can ask for, i felt very safe with them. The food was very good and the whole atmopshere was relaxing, I would highly recommend the Simbavati Lodge. I will definatley return this year. I was very sad to leave as you were made to feel part of the family but i left with a smile on my face.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank sabrinaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2010

We stayed here for 3 nights in Jan 2010.

Right from the warm welcome we received to our sad departure we were treated like royalty. Nothing is too much trouble here.

The accommodation, food, location and game watching are all as good as you would expect in such a competitive field in this area of Africa but where Simbavatia excels is in its approach to its guests.

This can all be summed up when we came to get in our car to drive back to JoBurg someone (and we still don't know who) had washed it for us without being asked or directed.

We will take many great memories away from here and can only say to you that if you are looking for somewhere to go on a safari then Simbavati is amazing.

We will be back.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LHTEC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north wales
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 17, 2009

we stayed for 3 nights, which was nowhere near long enough. The staff were courteous, friendly & interested in our thoughts & travels. We saw 4/5 big 5, the elusive rhino managing to avoid us! Had fabulous guide & tracker who were both very knowledgeable & found us 5 leopards (even 1 with a kill & another ina tree - fairytale stuff!). The lodge has recently undergone a refit & rooms & chalet were spotless. We travelled with 10yr & 70yr old, both thoroughly enjoying early morning game drives & sitting on verandah wtaching the widllife just yards from us.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank beak255
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2009

Stayed 4 nights the end of October, early November. Excellent location on the riverbank - beautiful, with lots of wildlife gathering there. Nicely appointed rooms and common areas. Excellent game viewing - saw the Big 5 on our first day. Our guide Diff was terrific - highly recommend him. Excellent food when Johnson cooks. The lodge caters to families. Many lodges don't allow children under 12 and there were 7 - 11 children at any given point during our stay. For that reason I recommend the lodge for those travelling with children, those travelling without may want to consider that there may be many young children and there may not be as much adult socialization as other lodges. Be aware that the tents do not have air conditioning. Chalet 3 is the nicest as both bedrooms overlook the river. Chalet 1 is closest to the common areas and for that reason has no privacy on the deck or river view bedroom and also gets some noise from the common areas during the day when you may be trying to nap. Also be aware that there are no game walks at the lodge yet as they are still waiting on their license.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ktg0715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2009

We stayed at the Simbavati River Lodge for 2 nights. Elmarie, Charlie and our ranger Arend and trekker "Stick" are very nice especially Arend, because of his determination, we get to see the rhino before we left the lodge that morning. He even did something really special. On our way back to the lodge at night, he stopped in the middle of a bridge, turned off the engine and light, all of a sudden, very quiet. We were surrounded by the fireflies, and lots of twinkle stars in the sky, so romantic. It's like staying with a family. Our tent is luxurious with everything you need, the bed is comfy. There is a river in front of the lodge, so there are elephants, waterbuck, hippo, impala, etc. that come around the area. The food were delicous and nicely presented. It's beyond our expectation. Will come back to stay here for sure in the future.

Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank PING228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2009

Mia Schoeman [--] from Go2Africa arranged our booking and driver and I highly recommend her. We had less than two weeks to arrange this safari and all this was done via e-mail (and with a 9 hour time difference) and she responded to questions promptly and clearly.
The lodge is a 6 hour drive from Jo'Burg. Simbavati is completely open - meaning that the animals come very close to your tents (we loved it). Our tent was small but very comfortable. Twin beds, a separate bath with some having the shower or bathtub outside (our shower was inside which I think we preferred although I didn't hear any complaints from others. The food was very good: breakfast after morning drive and excellent: tea at about 3 pm with quiches, salad, sweets, etc.; dinner at about 8 with some of the best soups I have ever had and then dinner and dessert - again very good (we even had warthog and it was quite good) although that was the only unusual dish we had.
Small lodge so you get to meet the others although you stay with your same guide/driver for the duration of your trip. Diff (guide) and Welcome (tracker) were terrific - many of our rides were almost 4 hours depending on what we saw and how far we went. Our last drive was simply amazing - saw almost every animal that day - each time we made a turn in the road - something else including the elusive white rhino appeared. On one evening ride our guide spotted a cameleon on a branch (and this was in total darkness!)
The owners and staff are very pleasant and helpful.
I would highly recommend this lodge. It is much more personal and you get a chance to get to know the others on the drives and in the lodge - it is a small place so there were only about 15 or less there). And you are really up close to the animals - no fences or barriers which we loved.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lynn90
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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