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“One of the nicest places I have ever stayed”

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“One of the nicest places I have ever stayed”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

As a traveler that has been a fair few places I must say that my headline is no understatement. We stayed here as part of a G adventures tour and it was an amazing experience. We stayed in the luxury tents which had all the amenities of a modern hotel but also provided such features as an outdoor shower, heated beds, universal power adapters, a reasonably priced minibar and staff that were unbelievable. Upon entry we were greeted and given a basket to make our stay more enjoyable as the staff showed us personally to our rooms. Added bonus was reliable wifi in the lobby areas.

We also took 3 game drives with Simbavati and it was an unbelievable experience. All of my family actually enjoyed these game drives more than Kruger. The guides were very knowledgeable and provided a great, safe experience with the animals.

The food was also very nice and unique every night of our staff. In the luxury tents you can actually hear all the animals around you at night. The tents are all separated so privacy is ensured as well.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Darren K
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, 11 August 2014
Dear Darren K

We are happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed their stay at our lodge.

We are thrilled to hear that our game drives are better than the Kruger!

We were glad to be a part of your safari experience and of your memories.

Thank you for the stunning review. Please do come back and visit us again!

Kind regards Nadine
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466 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We stayed in a great little house with two bedrooms and big bathroom. There were 8 of us, including our 4 grandchildren and 2 daughters with four of us in each house. The children enjoyed the pool, and loved seeing warthogs in the yard , and elephants in the parking lot, as well as the twice a day game drives. We chose what drinks we wanted on the breaks during the drives , such as hot chocolate and gin and tonics. Saw the big 5 on our first day. Everyone was very accommodating. The gift shop provided some good shopping, too. I highly recommend Simbavati.

Room Tip: We could access wifi when near the reception desk, after all this was rural Africa.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kay E
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 July 2014
Dear Kay E

Thank you for the review.

We are glad that you and your family had a memorable holiday as that is what holidays are all about.

Thank you for the recommendation we really do appreciate it!

Please come back and visit us again.

Regards Nadine
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mid-Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

An excellent facility for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Luxury tents with heat pads, turn down service, and impala watching from the shower! With three delicious meals, well stocked bar, and tempting gift shop, what else would you need and still be out with the wildlife? Wonderfully helpful staff and knowledgeable, experienced drivers, trackers (Daniel), and guides (Christoph) make the 2 daily safari rides unforgettable, memorable events.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A_sojournor
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 July 2014
Dear A sojournor

Thank you for your awesome review. We love the subject line!

We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing safari experience when you stayed at our lodge.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back to our lodge.

Keep well, regards Nadine
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Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We stayed in the luxury tents, which were very comfortable. Excellent game viewing during the game drives. Our game ranger, Christof, was very knowledgeable. It was very cold on the early morning and evening game drives.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Cristelle506
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 July 2014
Dear Cristelle 506

Thank you for taking time to give a review.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay in the luxury tents and that you had a good game viewing experience.

We will pass on your compliments to Christof.

We hope you come back and visit us again.

Regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rheinberg, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

My wife and I stayed in Simbavati River Lodge for two nights from June 27th – 29th  2014.

The accomodation is in big and luxury tents. All are built on platforms facing the river (which is totally dry in June). The tents have comfortable and large beds. Because June is winter time and nights get really cold it was a good service that the mattress pad is heated. There is lots of space for the luggage and some storage for the clothes. Atached to the tent is an indoor bathroom with a flush toilet, double-shower and double-sink and also an outdoor bathtub. There are two seats in front of the tents where you can sit and watch the river (in other seasons) or the game coming along like Wardhogs and Pukus. The tent and everything in the tent was clean and in good condition.

The main building and the sitting areas there were very comfortable to relax between game drives.

Food comes twice a day after the game drives (lunch and dinner) buffet style and some cakes and tea / coffee / juice before the morning game drive. Unfortunately it was a minus point and certainly the most loveless presented food that we have ever gotten in safari camps. The quality was only average and the refill too slowly. That did not meet the high standard of the camp.

But what matters most in a safari camp are the game drives and they were fantastic.

A lot has changed in Timbaviti area since our first visit there in 1995 because the fences between the concession areas and Kruger Park were torn down. So there was a lot more game to see than on our previous visit and especially the rarely seen. One day we had to decide whether we are looking for white rhinos or wild dogs (we choose the rhinos and saw a herd of seven!). We also spot three leopards (Iotombi and her two kids) and followed them more than 30 minutes offroad. That was just amazing. We also saw lots of elephants, Zebras, Giraffes, Buffalos. Pukus, Kudus, Steenbocks, Impalas …..

Our thanks go to our Guide Cristof, our Trecker Derek and Andy.

Even if there was something to criticize I recommend Simbavati River Lodge because of the very good accommodation and the excellent game drives.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ralfcho
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, 16 July 2014
Dear Ralfcho

Thank you for writing a review and for giving your feedback, it is appreciated and we will pass on your comments to our management team so that they are aware of where you marked us down and so that we can improve.

We are glad your stay was comfortable and the beds were warm especially as our winters do get a little chilly.

We will pass on your compliments to Christoff and Derek and we are happy the animals also played their part and that you got to experience more animals on your game drives this time round.

Thank you for recommending our lodge.

Keep well, regards Nadine
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Simbavati was the first of 3 lodges on our safari vacation. We had a wonderful time during our 3 night visit. We stayed in a luxury tent that was good size with attached bathroom, king size bed, heating and A.C. and heated mattress pad. Food was excellent but the highlight of our stay was the safari drives. Greg was a great ranger and we saw the big 5 by our second day. We hope to return in the future.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank flyer767
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, 16 July 2014
Dear flyer 767

Thanks for the review and we hope we were better than the other 2 lodges that you visited? :)

We will pass on the compliments to Greg, he will be thrilled to hear that you had a great time and that you were happy with his guiding.

We are also happy that you got to see the Big 5. We put in a special request just for you!

We look forward to welcoming you back to our lodge or our sister lodge.

Regards Nadine
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Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Despite the photos I really didn't know what to expect. The cabins are all different, all have decks with differing views and are all comfortable. My favourite feature of ours was that a warthog family would snuffle it's way past our deck around the same time every day! But all that is nothing compared with the excitement of the magical game drives you experience here. Lions aplenty, leopard marking territory, leopard with kill, rhinos, elephants, giraffe, the list just goes on and in the hands of great guides and drivers like Eddie, you just never worry for a moment. They constantly reiterate that seeing animals is a matter of chance every time you go out. Don't you believe it....these guys really know their stuff! You will never forget this place.

Room Tip: There is free wifi in reception. Rooms further away from the common areas are more private but requ...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wendy R
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, 9 July 2014
Dear Wendy R

Thank you for your great review.

We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing stay and that you will never forget us!

We are glad you got to enjoy the wildlife especially the daily Warthog visitors. We will pass on your compliments to Edrich.

Please come and visit us again.

Regards Nadine
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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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