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“Great wildlife and setting”

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 April 2012

I stayed at Simbavati last september and really enjoyed it. The setting is great - right on a river, so with a lot of animals and birds coming to drink. From the main deck, restaurant and boma, you can enjoy views of the river. The bungalows (good for families and with direct river views) and tents are comfortable, with everything you need, but not as luxurious as in other places (not meant as critism). My tent had a nice big indoor bathroom with a tub, and an outdoor shower (other tents have a indoor shower, and a outdoor tub), which i really enjoyed. Its great to shower outoors, under the open sky, and observe a nyala or bushbock whilst showering.

I had some great sightings on the game drives whilst at Simbavati. Also, really tasty food, good athomsphere, lovely management couple (Elmarie and Charly). However - The most important part of a fantastic safari / lodge stay, is for me - the Ranger (and to lesser extent the Tracker). Chris, our Ranger, found us some amazing sightings, and was really nice, but - and I'm not sure how to correctly explain this in english - was giving us guests a little bit the feeling that we where in the jeep because we are paying guests and he had to keep us happy, but he would rather be driving around on his own.

Overall, I think if Simbavati was the first lodge in Africa I had ever visited, I would be giving 7 stars for it and would absolutely love it. Comparing it to the 20 or so other lodges I have visited in the last 4 years, I can say that it is very good value for money, a lovely place, but not on my top 5 list I have to visit again in South Africa.

Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
1  Thank nathalieyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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359 - 365 of 493 reviews

Reviewed 24 April 2012

Have never bothered to write a review of a property before but this was exceptional and really deserves a mention.
The accommodation was lovely and every member of the staff we met were terrific.
A special mention must go to Justice, the young waiter/barman who really did aim to give five star service every day.
The game drives were fabulous and thanks to the tracker and guide we saw all of the "big five" plus more.
A lovely experience

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Toone463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Our family stayed at the Simbavati Lodge for 4 nights in March, 2012. It was perfect. The staff was accommodating and professional, but not cloying. We saw amazing wildlife. Our guide, Chris and spotter, Daniel were knowledgeable, effective and fun to be with. They worked hard to get us to the animals. The accommodations were lovely. Comfortable and luxurious without pretension. Excellent food, as well. Also, the Simbavati is located on the water, so during our "down" time there were plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. We would go back in a heartbeat. Well managed and even the gift shop had a lovely selection of African crafts. We would definitely return to this gem.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank gillie921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Thanks to Bush Baby Safaris for booking us in to this great place and to Pierre, our guide for staying with us. The welcome was interesting and fun, the tents were terrific with air con and very fancy baths. Showers were outdoors but very private except for the occasional buffalo looking in. I have 27 different sightings in my journal from our first game drive. The highlight was being able to see the white lions of the Timbavati in addition to the Big 5...saw lions and leopards on both days of our stay. Pierre had told us a little about the white lions with their blue eyes but it was an incredible thing to actually see. Thanks Pierre and the terrific staff at Simbavati for a great start to our trip!

Room Tip: The rooms farther from the lodge require a longer walk but often have buffalo, elephants and hippos...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank RiverLadyMn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2012

Thanks for much for such a great birthday trip. Our guide Pete and tracker Noel went the extra mile to make the trip amazing. We saw all of the big five and loads more. The leopards were my favourite, so beautiful.

The lodge is comfortable and the staff couldn't be more friendly or helpful.

As well as seeing all the widllife on the drives, the river location means you see all sorts of animals at the lodge itself

Hearing the chorus of staff singing so beautfiully for me on my birthday was a memory that will live with me forever.

I can't recommend enough.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank jbelne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We had a really enjoyable stay at Simbavati - such a beautiful position on the river and we loved the luxury tents. Amazing to stand in our deck whilst watching elephants in the bush a few metres away. Great leopard sightings, loads of elephants, brilliant rhinos - only the lions were elusive! The lodge wasn't full when we visited so we had game drives with only one other couple which made for an intimate safari experience. Our ranger Diff had great knowledge of the local bird life which added a great additional interest. Food was tasty and plentiful and the drinks reasonably priced. Good service from all the staff.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank IBB241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

This is a really great place, the view of the river, the owners, the staff in general great people. All the guest seem to gravitate to one area and you get to meet and chat. The actuall safaris were great, we were there for 2 days and saw the Big 5 both days - COOL. We had 2 great guides. We could have stayed longer....... Really enjoyed......

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank mca2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 #7 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $1,009 - $1,283 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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