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“Simply an amazing experience - WOW!”

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Simbambili Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
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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280 - 286 of 336 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2011

Beautiful lodge with fantastic service and lovely food. Very knowledgeable guides and small groups - never more than 4 of us. Spa treatments were also very good and reasonably priced. We also loved spending the afternoons relaxing in our own plunge pool and outdoor areas. Can't recommend enough.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Smeeta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2010

This is the first time I've bothered to write a review on trip advisor (even though I read everyone else's review before going anywhere).
The setting: My honeymoon
Situation: Both Vegetarians, been on Safari in Kenya a few times so had high expectations
The Experience: In just one word...fantastic. The cleanliness of the lodge, the service, the ambiance created by the staff, the vegetarian food, the superb game drives and bush walk were all of extremely high standard.
For those who are thinking of going on Safari, this lodge has a limited capacity which means you are looked after and catered for, the way you would expect to be when spending a fair amount of money. We saw the big 5 in our first 2 game drives which gives you some indication of how good animal sightings are here.
I just want to re-iterate that the chefs here know how to keep you well fed. We were the only vegetarians there and we were looked after very very well...in fact i think they must get a lot of vege's there as their dishes were well made. The meat dishes I was told were great too and the portions were just massive!
This is a place which excels beyond expectation and would definitely recommend to both honeymooners and families. D & K from the UK

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lurve2travel_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2010

My husband and I went to Simbambili on our honeymoon and it was the most incredible experience. First of all, the accomodations were wonderful. Our villa was so beautiful and comfortable. I loved our deck with the plunge pool, the bathroom was nice and clean and our bed was so comfortable. They even gave us a gorgeous honeymoon turn down service complete with candles, champagne and a bubble bath! I have to admit, based on some of the previous reviews, I was worried about the food, but there was nothing to worry about. The food was spectacular - I loved every single meal that I ate. The lunch platters were a favorite and the final night we had a gorgous group dinner with a fire and the most incredible buffet. The service was also impecable. Our butler, Pretty, was so kind and helpful and the rest of the staff were incredibly friendly. Finally, the drives themselves were outstanding. Our tracker, Doc, and ranger, Matt, were so kind and knowledgeable. We saw all of the big 5 as well as some other rare sightings (like a pack of wild dogs!). Each drive was incredible and unique and probably the most amazing experience of my life. I loved my time at Simbambili and it was the perfect choice for our honeymoon.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CCNYC80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2010

There may be a better place to see wild animals, sleep in luxury, and eat outstanding and interesting food, but I do not know where. The lodge and bungalows have gone through major renovation in the last 3 or 4 years and are absolutely stunning. Your "room" is an elegant bungalow in modern bush style, has an enormous and extremely comfortable bed, big beautifully designed bathroom with shower looking out over the savanna and a huge deck with large day bed and private plunge pool. Baboons and little monkeys swing through the trees in front of your bungalow and sometimes on your roof; water buffalo, nyala, impala, and sometimes larger animals wander around the watering hole in front of the lodge and sometimes through the lodge, and because there are only 8 bungalows (16 guests maximum) you really feel the quiet and privacy of the reserve and the reality that these are wild animals that you are viewing.

From the moment we arrived -- greeted with cool moist towels and cold fruit drinks -- we felt pampered. The delicious meals were made to order and elegantly served. A polite "wake-up" knock on the door at 5:30 am was offered (and gratefully accepted). We were escorted to our rooms after dark each night (lest a stray animal endanger us). All of the staff were unfailingly helpful and cheery.

The animal viewing was nothing less than spectacular. As a Sabi Sands lodge, Simbambili has the advantage of having no fences to separate it from the huge adjacent Kruger National Park. So all of the animals can move freely between Kruger and the Sabi Sands. Furthermore, there are reciprocity agreements among the various Sabi Sands lodges that permit each to travel over the terrain of the others. As a result, the viewing area is huge and the viewing opportunities nearly unlimited.

The Simbambili touring schedule is well-conceived. The day begins just before dawn with a quick cup of coffee, juice, and a biscuit, then it's off to watch the sun rise over the African bush in a Land Rover with guide, tracker, and anywhere from 2 to 8 guests. After 1.5 to 2 hours you stop for a coffee and biscuit break, then continue with the safari for another hour. Around 9, you head back to the lodge for a delicious breakfast. Bush walks are a late morning option that we declined, preferring to nap to get ready for lunch (more yummy food) and the afternoon tour which begins at about 3:30 or 4 and lasts until sunset or occasionally an hour past. (Naturally, there is a break in the afternoon trip as well, with "sundowners" served from a tray that miraculously appears at the front of the Land Rover.) The hours just after sunrise and just before sunset are best for animal viewing, as most animals -- as well as sensible humans! -- nap during the midday. The evening meal was highlighted by varying locations -- once in the dining room, once on the veranda, one a "braai" out in the bush. Every one was elegant and delightful.

It is hard to convey how much our guide, Grant, and our tracker, Mumps, added to our tours. Grant is an incredible guide. As a trained zoologist (undergraduate and graduate degrees), he was a font of information about animal ethology. Even more importantly, he was able to convey this information in a compelling and articulate way. I'll never forget his account of the hardships of the life cycle of the lion -- the "king" of the jungle. And Mumps's ability to locate the animals was nothing short of amazing.

Simbambili is expensive, no doubt about it. But the three days we spent there were far richer and more memorable than the six days we spent at a lesser lodge in KwaZulu Natal -- at about the same total cost. One small indication of this is that the number of photographs I took at Simbambili -- many of them priceless -- was about double the number I took in twice as many days at the other lodge. If you travel this far to view the wild animals of South Africa, it would be foolish to settle for anything less.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank orcascoho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2010

My wife and I arrived at The Simbambili Game Lodge after four cold nights in Kruger Park. What a welcome relief to have warmer weather! Karen, the flaming-redhaired
manager, and her assistant Anton met us at the entrance with cool towels and a soothing drink. Once going over the procedures/schedule of the lodge, she took us to our beautifully appointed bungalow complete with outdoor plunge pool and view of the
watering hole and river bed (which was unfortunately dry). The accommodation was perfect, large rooms, giant soft bed, plenty of storage space, huge bathtub, lots of lighting. Wonderful, gourmet meals are served throughout the day and they will go out of their way to make sure you are content when dining. "Pretty" was our waitress and house
cleaner, she was absolutely charming.
Our expert guide/tracker team was Lazarus and Service--these two guys were great as well as warm, friendly, and funny--we loved our daily morning and evening safaris with them. We saw many animals including the "Big 5" (elephant, rhino, african buffalo, lion, and leopard) our first day. There is an abundance of wildlife in the Sabi Sands area including wild dogs, which unfortunately we did not see during our 5 day stay. We also went off the road quite often to track and view the animals, something we could not do at our previous lodge in Kruger Park. We loved our time at Simbambili and hope to return someday. Just a terrific experience all around!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LBK32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2010

In contrast to a tented camp, Simbambili is a luxury hotel in the midst of an amazingly beautiful game reserve. The appoitnments are as advertised and the proximity of game viewing is superb. Be sure to stay at a private game reserve - it's worth it to go off road in search of animals.

The rooms are well taken care of and the outdoor spaces well maintained. Dining is top notch. It's a little odd that they bother to keep track of basic liquor and soft drink sales.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank PHXJeremy
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 #19 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £1,038 - £1,279 (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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