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n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Houston, Texas
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95 posts
27 reviews
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n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Can anyone compare these two camps? Thanks.

Johannesburg, South...
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1. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Hi tshelto,

Those 2 lodges are in different reserves. Simbavati River Lodge is in the Timbavati and Nthambo is in Klaserie which has on open boundary with the Timbavati reserve. Both are popular value for money lodges, and I think in a very similar rate range. Timbavati is the more renowned reserve, and is famous for its white lions.

I'm not sure if this helps your decision in any way.


Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

I wish I had seen Simbavati. It's the one place in the Timbavati Reserve and nearby areas I don't know. But I do know nThambo.. really like it.. the elevation off the ground, and the thatched roof give it a distinctive 'feel'. Managers are terrific. I'll be spending part of my vacation there in late October. And paying for it, in case anyone gets the wrong idea.. hahaha...

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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3. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Just to advise here not to choose your lodge in the hope of seeing the above mentioned white lions of the Timbavati.

The young males have split up and are rarely sighted now within Timbavati. In fact they have been more often seen in the Klaserie reserve, although again extremely rarely.

And in fact unless something has recently changed the only place you can currently see a magnificent fully grown white male lion is still in a zoo.

Edited: 25 July 2013, 03:08
Randburg, Gauteng...
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4. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Hello, they are both super lodges. Simbavati i like because the tents are right on the water, but each one is private, and birdlife is prolific (i am a birder so just love it) but also the hippos are sometimes close to the camp, i have seen lion drinking water down on the waters edge, Buffalo, giraffe and antelope walking around the camp. Game viewing is fantastic, and this one is my choice, just a small edge over the other one.

Lyn - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

United States
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5. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati


Thanks for mentioning the birds in your camp description. Few do, and I am happy to hear that Simbavati is a good choice for birds.

Kruger National...
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6. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

Hi there!

Just to add to the above comments:


nThambo Tree Camp is located in the Klaserie Reserve (more bush/shrub terrain) and offers treehouse style chalets that over look the African plain. The walls are tented, and the roof is thatched. The rooms are medium sized with a large comfy bed and an en-suite bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. The usual amneties (cupboard etc) are also in the room.

The deck outside is private with two chairs and a table to enjoy.

The lounge & dining area are both decorated with a traditional African flair, and whilst very comfortable and by no means rustic, they ensure that over the top luxuries are not part of their experience, choosing instead to focus comfort and good value.

There is also a pool and a sundeck, where you can watch animals from; On both of the occasions we have been there, the elephants have come down to drink from it right in front of us. So much fun!


The food at nThambo is tasty and home cooked, with both local and international flavors. Breakfast is a combination of hot and cold with eggs, bacon, pancakes, toast, sausages, mushrooms (it will differ each morning) and cereals, yoghurt, muesli and fruit. There is also juice available.

Lunches are usually light, with options such as salad and quiche.

Dinners are a three course affair, buffet style (except for dessert, which is plated).


With a traversing area of 6000 hectares, nThambo has a lot of terrain within it's area, and thus a great variety of wildlife. Further to this, the camp is also unfenced, allowing the wildlife to wander right up close.

The trackers and game rangers are excellent; Fun, outgoing, highly knowledgeable and always with a good joke.

I really can't say anything bad about nThambo at all; It has a special place in my heart due to the amazing experience that they offer.

The rate there is R2,950 per person per night including all meals, two game drives daily, optional walking safari daily, snacks on safari, tea/coffee and all local beverages (alcoholic and non). Alternatively, there is a reduced rate of R2,450 per person per night if you take out the unlimited beverages.



Located within the Timbavati Reserve (more open plains style), Simbavati is a river facing property with modern family chalets or luxury tents right on offer. Both of the options are well sized with en-suite bathrooms too. The family chalet has a lounge within it for relaxation.

The view from the tents is absolutely outstanding; As mentioned above, the bird life is fantastic, and many different bird and mammal species can be viewed right from your room. The private viewing deck is gorgeous too. The bathrooms are either an indoor shower and an outdoor bath, or an outdoor shower and an inside bath, which makes bathing quite fun.

A main difference between nThambo and Simbavati is that Simbavati accepts children under 12, while nThambo doesn't - this may affect your choice.

The lounge and dining area of Simbavati is quite a bit larger than nThambo, but this is to accommodate more guests.


The food at Simbavati has more of a fine dining vibe, however they follow the same agenda as nThambo; Hot & cold breakky, lighter lunch, heavier dinner.


With a HUGE traversing area of 12,000 hectares, Simbavati also offers a large variety of game and habitats. Another difference between them and nThambo though is that Simbavati do not yet offer bush walks.

The rate at Simbavati starts at R3,340 per person per night, and includes all meals, teas/coffees, snacks on safaris and two game drives daily.

Hope this has helped!

Warm regards

Jacqui Sive l Owner & Founder l Lodge Trackers l South Africa

7. Re: n'Thambo Camp and Simbavati

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