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“The staff will find a way to make your trip excellent!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbavati River Lodge

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The staff will find a way to make your trip excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

I've been to Timbavati numerous times in the past. I love this reserve for the numberous lions and leopards as well as excellent sightings of other wildlife. This was my first stay at Simbavati River Lodge. I was with a party of 8 staying 5 days, 4 nights and we had 4 tented rooms ... but don't let the term 'tent' fool you. Hardwood floors, concrete walled baths, large tub and also a shower, air conditioning and heating as well as large porches. The lodge has a new head chef and the meals were simply fantastic. Fellow travelers referenced food options and availability as "better than on a cruise". We used two guides, Christof and Jimmy. Both were excellent at both finding game and sharing information about the bush. Our group consisted of photographers and we had several special requests. All were accommodated with a smile by lodge management. This was an excellent stay for us.

Room Tip: Tented rooms have either an inside soaking tub/outside shower or outside tub/inside shower. I loved...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank buddy4344
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Buddy 4344

Thank you for your review and for the special mention of our new Head Chef.
We will pass on your compliments :)

We are glad to heat that you had a memorable trip and that our staff exceeded all expectations.

Please do come back and visit us again.

Kind regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

439 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    350
    68
    19
    2
    0
See reviews for
169
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (75)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

We stayed here for four nights in May, 2014 and had a wonderful experience. The lodge is very nice and the tent/room was unlike anything we've ever stayed in before. Even though it's a tent, it still offers every comfort of home - A/C, heat, mini-bar, etc. I also loved the outdoor shower, but you'll definitely only be using during the day! Not only was it pretty cool, we were also visited by many hippos once the sun went down. However, there is a bath tub in doors.

We met so many wonderful people while we stayed here - many travelers from different countries, not to mention the warm and friendly staff. We really enjoyed getting to know our guide and tracker (Colbert and Nicholus were wonderful!). They keep you with your same guide/tracker the entire time so you really feel like you have a rapport with them by the end of your trip.

I was worried that the game viewing in Timbavati wouldn't be as good as Sabi-Sands from my research. I can't compare, but I can say that we saw the Big 5 and then some. We saw more than we possibly could have wished for and it was the most amazing experience to see the animals in their natural habitat.

When it's dark, there are always staff members to walk you back to your tent. However, this lodge doesn't have guns (not that I ever felt like we needed more protection) but if that is something you're looking for with a camp/safari, just be aware they don't have them (yet).

Just a note - this "river" lodge really isn't on a river anymore - it's just a dry riverbed. It's not bad - we still saw animals crossing and playing, but I was surprised when I got there and there was no water since all their photos still have the river in them. Evidently they had a massive flood in 2012 and it brought in all this sand where the water used to be.

Room Tip: We stayed in Wild Dog - all the tents are identical, but this room is further away from the main lod...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, 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?
1 Thank AshleyCVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Ashley

Thank you for your detailed review, it is greatly appreciated.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and that you got to see the Big 5.

We will pass on your compliments to our staff as they love to hear when they have made the guests feel welcome and that they were part of your Simbavati safari experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lodge in the near future.

Kind regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2014

A wonderful experience.Saw the big five. Great guide & tracker team of Moshie & Nickolas.
Stayed in the luxury safari tent which was rather unique & very clean & comfortable. Elephants walked past the tent at night. A thrilling viewing!
Food,& hospitality was very good & attention to detail was apparent.
Would recommend this lodge.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Ashley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Ashley

We are so glad to hear that your 1st safari experience was a memorable one and that we got to be a part of it.

Thank you for recommending our lodge and for writing a review on our lodge it is greatly appreciated.

Please do come and visit us again.

Kind regards Nadine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Estes Park, Colorado
Level Contributor
84 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

Our stay at Simbavati River Lodge was wonderful. The accommodations were comfortable and quiet. The luxury tents are definitely NOT camping; rather they are an elegant stay in the woods. The food was very good. The breakfast buffet had lots of choices, the lunches were multiple smaller dishes that allowed you to sample more flavors. Dinners were large and tasted great. The local flavors made eating more exciting. The 2 daily game drives were exciting and rewarding. The rangers and trackers were fun to be with and made our visit most enjoyable. We had multiple encounters with the “Big 5” and many, many other animals.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • 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?
Thank TravelingM-L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Traveling M

Thank you for the great review, it is greatly appreciated.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed ALL of what we have on offer at our lodge.

We hope you will come and visit us again in the future.

Kind regards Nadine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

We had the best time, the food was incredible, the animal sightings so special and they really made our Birthday so special. The staff are so friendly and made our stay so absolutely incredible. Thanks

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Stevensmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Stevensmel

Happy belated birthday!
May all your dreams come true for the year ahead!

We are happy to hear that you had a memorable birthday at our lodge and that you had an incredible trip.

We hope you will come and visit us again!?

Thank you for the review.

Regards Nadine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

A very comfortable and well organized lodge. Food and service was excellent. The two safaris each day were great, with a knowledgable and eagle eyed guide in comfortable modern vehicles. Safety of guests was paramount. All-in-all we had a great time.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 4 June 2014
Dear Ann B

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our lodge.

Thank you for writing a review for us, it is greatly appreciated.

We hope to see you again, soon!

Regards Nadine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alphen Aan Den Rijn, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

Great place, super hospitality, nice people. We had the luck to enjoy a birthday song and typical south african dance! Ranger Christof Schoeman took us on great gamedrives with his enthousiastic way of sharing his knowledge with us. Showering outside with wildlife around you is quit an experience :). Certainly worth to recommend this lodge!

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Renze L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 26 May 2014
Dear Renze L

Thank you for writing a review for us and for recommending our lodge.

We are happy to hear that Christof made your game drives memorable and that you enjoyed your outside shower.

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Keep well, kind regards Nadine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simbavati River Lodge

Property: Simbavati River Lodge
Address: Northern Sector of the Timbavati, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Simbavati River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simbavati River Lodge is situated in the northern sector of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and surrounded by 12 000 hectares of wildlife and rich wilderness in which you can experience an authentic and affordable African safari.The design of this 4-star lodge is contemporary, warm and welcoming. Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned lounge, bar, boma and extensive decks with breathtaking views overlooking the Nhlaralumi river where regular wildlife sightings take place and guests can unwind.Accommodation consists of eight luxury tents and three chalets; all are privately situated, comfortably furnished and with en-suite facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simbavati River Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Simbavati River Lodge South Africa/Kruger National Park

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