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“Outstanding in every aspect” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbambili Game Lodge

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Simbambili Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Outstanding in every aspect”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

This was our first visit to a reserve and we did not know what to expect but we were blown away by the entire experience. From the time we were met at Elephant Plains air strip (dirt runway) we were on bush time. Our tracker and ranger were able to find all the big 5 plus many birds. Each evening you have a sundowner drink before dark and your return to the lodge. One night after dark we stopped and just looked at the stars. Our ranger had a great pointer and showed us the Southern cross among others. Food was outstanding, great breakfast and lunch with an over the top dinner each day. Would love to return

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled 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 careyhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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322 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

Our Simbambili experience started with a local charter flight to Simbambili from OR Tambo airport in Joburg (highly recommend this mode of transport). We firstly dropped off some guests going to another lodge in the Sabi Sands at Jackalberry airstrip after having to buzz the runway to chase away the warthogs, and then on our approach to Elephant Plains airstrip watched a ranger in a jeep chase two giraffe off the airstrip so that we had a clear path to land for Simbambili.

After a short drive from the airstrip, we arrived at the lodge where a herd of Elephants were at the lodge’s waterhole to greet us. The lodge setting, delicious meals, staff and facilities of the lodge were incredible and we were lucky enough to stay in the Waterhole Suite which enabled us to watch the game from our own deck as they came down to drink and play in the mud.

The sightings we experienced on our game drives with our driver Liam and tracker Mamps were nothing short of phenomenal – and their tracking, bush skills and bush knowledge were very impressive! We came for the leopards and were not disappointed, seeing 5 different leopards on different drives, including a leopard kill and a huge male leopard drag a warthog up a tree - followed by his mate climbing up the tree to eat whilst he went away for a drink.

Best of all was that we felt as though we could watch the game without feeling like we were being pushed along for another group of tourists to get their turn (in my experience this is quite rare in private game reserves).

We saw three different prides of lions including a male courting a female - which was quite nerve wracking but also exhilarating. We saw many, many ellies and one group at a waterhole with a baby trying and failing to drink with his trunk (so cute), a hippo yawning, rhino rolling in the mud, jackal, hyenas with weeny cubs, beautiful birds and the wonderful buffalo, wildebeest, kudu, bush buck, water buck, duiker, impala, zebra, giraffe and more. We also met some great people as our drive companions and were very, very sad when the safari came to an end!

I cannot recommend this lodge highly enough and will definitely return – hopefully sooner rather than later! Thanks to Liam, Ali and everyone at Simbambili for making our stay so special.

Room Tip: All the rooms were lovely, but if you can pay the extra, the Waterhole Suite is very special
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank PerthJMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Benoni, South Africa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

We travel often to luxury lodges in either KNP or surrounding concessions, this, I must say, is up there with the best. The one disappointment was our arrival. After a long journey, we were told there were photographers there and we would be "inducted" shortly (the photographer was a SA celebrity) however, Nox, who we learned was to be our "Butler" during our stay, made up for everything, wow what an asset, I wanted to take her home to look after me!!!! She was constantly there, topping up the wine glasses, getting the beers (I requested a specific beer, which they has in copious supply), making sure the electric blanket was not on, too hot, unusual for August. The food was great, ample portions and in various locations in the evening, river bed, boma, deck. Louis and Celebrate, our guides were extremely knowledgeable, finding the big 5 in one day, and that was after only seeing Impala for the first hour and half of the morning drive, they actually proved that they do track (thought this was purley for the tourists, but they did it!!) The prices of the bar was extremely reasonable for a Lodge. The rooms were lovely, but I do enjoy the outdoor shower, which they didn't have. But the bed in the Sala was comfortable and relaxing. Take a trip to the Spa, excellent massage.

Room Tip: We had a little walk, room 6, but after all that food.............
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled 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?
1 Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

It is the highlight of our 2 weeks vacation in S Africa and Zambia. Everything from the accommodation, the service, dining arrangements and the safari is simply out of this world.

We arrived not expecting much and left at the end of our 4 nights stay with the best holiday experience we ever had. Our suite has all the tappings of luxury despite being isolated in the game reserve. The chalet we had is spotlessly clean, spacious and all the comfort of a 5 star hotel minus the television which is definitely not missed. With full day activities and the quietness of the savanna grassland, this is the place to enjoy the wonders of nature and the countless number of stars in the sky.

We learned that being on private property in the Sabi Sands reserve, we are able to drive off track and this makes the safari exciting, adventurous and fun. Pierre, our guide and Service our tracker deserves special mention for making every safari trip ( twice a day) a different experience. Stopping for our morning coffee breaks and sundowners in the bush is an exhilarating experience, either watching the animals or out in the open listening to the sounds of the animals in the distance.

Dinner is never the same. Being in the winter season, we had camp fires on 2 evenings in the open areas, a romantic candlelight dinner served in our suite with wine, flower petals and tea light candles decoration. On the last night, dinner was held at the Bomba, an enclosed outdoor area much like the "Survivor Series" setup.

We enjoyed the food which is very delicious and of high quality. Every meal is a dining experience and the dishes are never repeated. The extra drinks we had at the lounge was so reasonably priced for a luxury game lodge.

What can we say about the Simbambili team who took care of us and catered to our every needs during our stay? A very big thank you for the warmth and hospitality and for making our first African holiday a memorable and fantastic one.

This is the place you start to miss when it is time to depart and you look forward to your next stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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 travelbug32_00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2013

This lodge was definitely luxury. The facilities were absolutely beautiful. The staff were lovely. The food was gourmet and absolute delicious with lovely choices. The game drives were excellent and fun. I saw all of the big five on the safaris. The tracker and guide were knowledgeable and fun. I can't say enogh about how pleased I was with every aspect of my stay. I would love to return.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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 pgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
73 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2013

Stayed 5 wonderful days at this fabulous lodge. Very high standard of the facility, the rooms and especially the safari. Very big thanks to Liam and Mamps for fantastic safari. They have a very high knowledge of the animals and the area and a very large commitment. This made our safari unforgettable. Getting to see leopards during all tours were fantastic. For several days we saw leopards and lions were mated. The food was wonderfully delicious and varied. Sitting in the cozy restaurant and see the animals at the floodlit waterhole was wonderful. Will never forget the evening when we saw a rhino during dinner. All staff were very service oriented without being intrusive. This is a place we will come back to

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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?
3 Thank GBGGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2013

My husband and I styayed here for 5 nights for the first leg of our honeymoon. Given it was such a speical occasion we spent a lot of time deciding on the lodge. Firstly the Sabi Sands is first rate; it's private, managed well and is full of game we love (esp leopards). So, this was an easy decision to make - the next was the lodge. Simbambili was then the obvious choice in the area - it has first rate service, but no pretentions unlike the look of the other lodges. The loodge is beautiful, the rooms splendid, the food delicious and varied (we esp loved the lunch buffets) and the ebst part are the rangers and trackers. We had Richard and Celebrate and we can't rate them highly enough. They are both very connected to the land they live in and relish showing visitors the wonders of the animals, plant and birdlife round them.
The only thing we'd chnage would be more room to sunbathe as we had glorious weather!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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 Putney_resident
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

Property: 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 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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