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“Amazing place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbambili Game Lodge

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Simbambili Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

This was my last "family" holiday with my 20 yr old son and wow, what a way to end! It is a long drive from the airport, but well worth it. The game lodge, staff, food and most of all the wildlife is fantastic. My son made friends with our night porter, the same age and had a whale of a time! Our ranger and tracker Richards and Celebrate were fantastic, they were so informative and fun to be with. I loved the little touches of the lodge and had a fabulous 3 night stay there. I will be back!

  • Stayed September 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?
Thank jcr1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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321 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    4
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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
Greer, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013 via mobile

This was a unbelievable room with large balcony including plunge pool, day bed, and many other accompaniments. The staff was great and very attentive. The dining area overlooks a watering hole which attracts animals while you are eating. We saw a large Rhino walk through the area at lunch. The ranger (Pierre) was very knowledgeable on flora, Fauna, birds, and all other wildlife we encountered. We saw the big 5 and had some very unique wildlife encounters. We would definitely stay here again!

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco,CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

Our Tracker was Vosi and Ranger Ryno. They were fantastic. We saw tons of animals allof the Big 5 plus leopards. The room was great, the service excellent. Yes I would recommend it and return for a second trip. Only change I might make is to have luggage carts for those of us with more luggage. The staff did help us get Otto the room but we ended up bringing it by ourselves to the lobby.

Room Tip: Our room was off the beaten path so it was nice and quiet.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 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 fablous3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

Simbambili does a great job of the South African game lodge experience with competent and friendly staff, especially ranger Richard and tracker Celebrate. We saw the big five game animals and many more. We saw the ranger and tracked use their skills in tracking game for our viewing pleasure and photography. The meals were good and served by friendly staff. Our evening meal in our room could have been hotter but some of the rooms, including ours, - #6, was a few minutes walk form the main lodge so could explain why the meal had cooled a little. Our room seemed a little tired with sticking patio doors to the deck and a bathroom sink tap that didn't work, was mentioned to the front desk on arrival and wasn't fixed on departure. There seemed to be some limitations of the properties that the daily safaris could access and it appears Simbambili is the smallest of the properties in the region. While not a big deal, it is suggested that Simbambili may want to reconsider their full board plan vs the all inclusive plan we experienced at another lodge, It seems to be false economy to not include drinks in a game lodge plan considering the overall cost of the stay. I doubt it is the intention of most guests to take advantage of an all inclusive plan while staying at a game lodge. As a final comment, the approximate 20km of dirt road to and from the lodge was without doubt the roughest drive ever and it is a wonder the mini vans used for the transfer can survive many of the punishing trips.

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the lodge if you want to avoid long walks to and from the main lodge and to...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tfbb0541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013

We are a couple of French people and we spent 5 days in Sambibili. We  chose this lodger because it was recommanded by our friends (two couples) that have been delighted by their stay there. It was our first safari experience
Simbambili is located in the Sabi Sands reserve, about a 1.5 hour drive from the aiport. It is a private game reserve not fenced that means open and connected to Kruger Park.
When we arrived, we were warmly welcome. The staff is really friendly and we enjoyed the hospitality of Allisson and all the team.Our "butler" was really nice and was taking care of us with great attention. We really felt like at home and as we were a part of this "family"
Regarding the accommodation, we were very lucky and happy as we were upgraded to the Water Hole suite. This suite is composed of two rooms : the large suite with a very large bathroom and an additiononal room (salon/drawing room) that you reach from the terrasse. There, you can read and relax in confortable sofas and you have a breathtaking view of the bush
The suites are nicely appointed. The decoration is made of natural/wood materials. There is a very charming and authenthic atmosphère
Our suite had a magnificent and direct view of a the water Hole and each day we could admire 20 to 30 elephants. Some of them went even in front of our door:) There are no fences so you are living inside the natural life and it is a superb experience and The large terrase is equipped with a plunge pool and confortable bed/deck chairs.
There are a dining room, a library with fire places where you can relax, read, use Internet Wifi, discuss with the other guests or enjoyed a glass of wine. Very nice atmosphere

The food is ok. We enjoyed dinners in the bush around the fire with grill meat. The food is of good quality and home made.We are French and concerning the food we are difficult to please and sometimes the food did not meet completely our expectations. the breakfast is perfect with a lot of choices and the home made meals (bread cakes for instance) were delicious
Regarding the safaris, we could not imagine how exceptional they have been. After the 2 first safaris, we have seen already the Big Five and it is not as "normal" as we thought (we had no safari experience). Later on, after discussion with other tourits in other Kruger park reserve, we  realized that we were so lucky. The game drives with Liam and Mamps are outstanding. They are so professional, dedicated  so knowledgeable and enthousiastic. You can feel as they love the animal, the nature and they like to share their passion with you. Tou feel that they are not making their job as a routine. For instance, one night during dinner, our tracker Liam heard a buffalo and he rencognised  that there were some hunting and the buffalo was attacked. He proposed to take the car to find our what was happening. So at 10 pm we were in the bush and after a passioning "search" we managed to see an incredible hunting scene with several hyenas and the buffalo
We highly recommand this Private Reserve for all these reasons. It is a very romantic place.
Thank you to Liam, Mamps, Allisson and all the staff that did all their best to make our stay so memorable

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CKGParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandurah, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2013

We had 3 days at this resort and saw each of the big 5 and had wonderful guides and tracker. For the morning drives we were given hot water bottles and blankets to keep out the chill, but once the animals were sighted and the adrenaline kicked in they werent needed.Sundowners in the bush on the evening drives were fun. One evening we had a hyena join us at the restaurant which was a bit of a laugh. The staff were wonderful, meals were great and the rooms immaculate.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BarryMPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2013

We stayed at Simbambili for 3 nights on our honeymoon in the beginning of September. We were provided with a warm welcome from Allison and Reinas who gave us cool towels and a refreshing drink as we went over the lay of the land. After unpacking in our room we went on our first game drive with our ranger, Liam, and our tracker, Mamps. They are an absolutely superb team. Liam carries with him a vast knowledge of the area and the local wildlife. He was able to answer any and all questions we threw at him. Mamps is a phenomenal tracker with superb vision and hearing (he literally saw things with his bare eyes that I couldn't find with my binoculars, even after he told me where to look). He did everything he could to make sure we found the animals we were looking for and he was very successful. We found leopard every day that we went out.

The days are long but worth every minute of being out in the bush and they really give you a sense of getting what you pay for. We had our wake-ups at 5AM and we were on the jeep at 6AM. We spent 3.5-4 hours tracking and looking at the wildlife with a stop for coffee/tea. Afterwards we were dropped off back at the lodge for breakfast and then given the opportunity to go out for a bush walk with Liam. After a siesta after the bush walk, lunch was served at 2:30 and we were back on the jeeps from 3:30-7/7:30 for our evening drive. They would stop for sundowners and snacks every evening at one of many breathtaking locations.

After the evening drive they served delicious dinners. One evening we ate in the dried river bed behind the lodge and on our final evening we had a dinner in the bush. Dinner in the bush included singing and dancing by the staff an locals. One of my favorite parts of dinner was that the rangers ate with us and shared their stories of life in the bush. We found the food to be delicious and was always provided with options of what to eat.

The suites are well appointed with a giant bathroom, comfortable bed, and huge deck (with loungers, plunge pool, and day bed... perfect for siesta). The suites seemed perfect for the locale, nothing was too modern or over-the-top, keeping up with feeling of being out in the bush without being in a tent. We stayed in suite #7 which had a good view of one of the nearby watering holes where we could watch elephants drink on a daily basis.

The highlight of the lodge is definitely the game viewing, which is exactly why you go on safari in the first place.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kvandevoordt
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 #7 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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