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“Great value for money introduction to safari - I think!”

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Simbambili Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 July 2011

We stayed in Simabambili for 3 nights, with our 2 teenage children, and this was our first experience of Africa. Before we left, we just weren't totally sure it would work for us all as a holiday, but we had a wonderful time.
It's a very intimate camp- just 16 guests at a time- but that added to the experience, and made it seem more special. There are 2 game drives each day, one early morning - wake up call from your ranger at 5.30am; and one early evening. Much to our surprise we all really enjoyed the mornings - even our 15year old son, and boy can he sleep! The drives were really productive, and our ranger Richard was very knowledgeable about everything we saw. (Lions, leopards, rhino, giraffes, hyena, water buffalo, hippo, elephants in abundance!.)
The food is tasty and plentiful, and the cakes and pastries in particular were super. We found the prices for drinks exceptionally good value, and certainly received wonderful service from our butler, Pretty. Of particular note was the braai on our final night - great fun and a very unique experience!
The rooms are nice, with large decking areas - a plunge pool, large sala and 2 loungers. The children were next door and that worked well for us.
In short, we enjoyed our time in Simbambili. The weather is cool in July, but not beyond a Scottish family, and the dress is incredibly informal throughout the whole trip. We loved our trip, and all agreed it was great value for money.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank reallyfussyfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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289 - 295 of 355 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2011

Perfect place and the best for a quality safari. Watch out for the extra bill when you leave though. They insist on plying you with alcohol at meal times, even when you decline and cover your glass. They still bill you for every drop when you leave though. Costly!

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank Malkied1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2011

The good:

*Staff are very friendly
*Rooms are comfortable ... Day bed outside on the balcony is the best
*Food was brilliant - amongst the best we've ever had
*great value for money so long as you are not paying full rack rate

The not so good

*avoid the waterhole suite ... It is right next to the kitchen and public areas ... Sound carries and thus your idyllic tranquility is quickly spoiled by the sound of staff and guests alike talking

*game viewing seems to be a bit hit and miss in the northern sabi sands compared to the western sector. In my personal experience - the quantity and quality of the viewing can't be beat in the western sector

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank mitchmagi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2011

We stayed at Simbambili as part of our honeymoon. We enjoyed it very much. The game viewing was excellent and our ranger, Matt, was extremely knowledgable. He just knew everything about everything we saw, whether it was birds, plants or animal behavior. He also was a very capable driver and would get us into the thickets so see things you would not think possible. The food was excellent, in particular breakfast and lunch, even compared to much more expensive places.

The service at the lodge were generally very good, in particular from our butler Pretty.

A few drawbacks; the layout of the room was not optimal, and therefore no room for a lounge area. The plunge pool on our deck was not heated and the water was too cold for us to use it. While we were there between the game drives we had little sun on our deck. This is too bad because the deck it self had a beautiful layout with a day bed, sun beds and a plunge pool. We were also somewhat disappointed when the management could not provide us with proper reading lights. The room is not very brightly lit.

All in all a memorable stay, and I would not hesitate to recommend this lodge to others.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Watersound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2011

Tracy Payne from Go2Africa
In terms of the arrangements you made for us I have only the highest praise. The drivers were great and answered my endless questions about how they and their families lived. The driver who drove us to Sun City, Simon, was particularly great. We later met him in the Jo’burg airport as we were heading to Cape Town. The other drivers were really great as well. The vehicles were clean, they answered lots of questions and they were very polite. Our last driver, Andrew, accommodated my constant requests to stop for pictures of the markets and other interesting sites. He even stopped to introduce us to his daughter, Colleen, at her market stall in Acornhock.

The lodge we stayed in, Simbambili, was 5 star. We saw all of the big five in the first two days. We saw at least two leopards every day. We were in the middle of a herd of Cape Buffalo our guide thought numbered more than 1000 animals. We saw leopards eating Impala in trees at night. We even had a rhino join us for happy hour which caused a bit of a scramble to get back into the trucks. Because they could go off road I think we saw much more wild life than we would have in Kruger.

A particular treat was the wonderful staff at the lodge. We were under the care of a “butler” named Pretty. She was absolutely fabulous. She was very accommodating, helpful, gentle and had a sense of humour. She and the kitchen staff were very sensitive to my need for a gluten free diet.

Room Tip: Thee rooms rated from 5 star to 5 star.
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  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Go2AfricaFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

I was exceptionally fortunate to spend my birthday at Simbambili. From our arrival to our departure, everything received a 100% rating. The staff were all amazing and their hospitality at all times was exceptional. Our room was fantastic with it's own pool, deck and a large "outdoor bed" to lie and watch the birds right in front of us. The drives were amazing and we saw the Big 5 and such rare sights as a pack of 7 wild dogs. Meals were an absolute treat with the staff going out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed (and all so healthy). The bush walks were so informative and a thrill too. Whether you are a South African or a visitor making their way to Africa, ensure Simbambili is on your "must do" list. Thank you to management and staff for the most amazing stay.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MIssB26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 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.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank thegarvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simbambili Game Lodge

Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park 1363, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £1,233 - £1,477 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Simbambili Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simbambili Game Lodge is a highly individualised destination for the discerning traveller located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park. Set in magnificent trees along the meandering Manyeleti River, with views over an extensive savannah grassland, that teems with wildlife visiting an ever popular water hole. Sophisticated yet simple, each suite has spectacular views whether from the unique en-suite bathrooms, outside salas or individual private plunge pools. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the extraordinary and unique wildlife of Africa, whether it is your choice to linger at a close encounter with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo or to be amazed by the extensive array of birds and insects, or simply relax in the Sanctuary Spa. Your ranger and tracker team will astound you with their ability to track big five game, either on foot or from an open safari vehicle. The amazing safari experience is complimented by elegant cuisine, a selection of fine wines andthe warmth of true African hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simbambili Game Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Simbambili Game
Simbambili Game Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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