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Simbavati River Lodge
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Reviews (521)
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Reviewed 28 August 2016 via mobile

The Simbavati River Lodge provided the most amazing experience for our family safari. The luxury tents were comfortable, beautifully decorated and provided an authentic African experience. The food was delicious and I couldn't wait until all the meal services. The BOMA especially was a delight. Last but certainly not least, the service at Simbavati was impeccable and faultless. All staff were professional, kind and incredibility friendly. Our guide, Steff was knowledgeable, charismatic and passionate about all flora and fauna. I could not rate my stay any higher or recommend this premises enough! Thank you Simbavati for the memories!

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
1  Thank Neesha 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 reviewResponded 6 September 2016

Dear Neesha S

Thank you for the lovely review and awesome compliments we will definitely pass them on to the team.

We are thrilled that we could provide you with a memorable safari experience and that we managed to wow you with our service, the food, our lodge and the game drives.

We appreciate your recommendation and we hope you will come back and visit again.

Regards Nadine

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2016

This property is very beautiful and right on top of a watering hole where animals can drink from. We saw hyenas at night but others mentioned seeing elephants, baboons, and more. In the front of the resort, we saw a group of warthogs.

The good: food selection for every meal was great, especially the buffet breakfast. For our private dinner they offered 3 choices (fish, meat, and vegetarian) and it was beautifully presented. Our guide (Stefan) and tracker (Nicholaus) were the highlights - Stefan was extremely enthusiastic and wasn't afraid to go "off-road." Stefan also took us on a bush walk, which I didn't think I'd enjoy as much as the game drive, but I did. He's clearly excited about the bush walks so highly recommend going on one with him if you can.

The bad: we were in the very last room. Because it's not a fenced-in property we had to be escorted to and from the main areas, and we had to wait a while one night before dinner. Recommend asking for a room closer to the main area.

There actually isn't a lot of 'bad' with this resort - it's very pretty (loved the inside and outside showers), has excellent food, and the service is good. I think I just prefer a smaller, more intimate lodge (this one accommodates up to around 30 people) where we could get to know our guides and the other guests a little better. I could see myself returning if I was with a large group of people, like 8 or more that would appreciate the numerous amenities. If you like to be more anonymous and do your own thing, this is a good choice. If you want more interaction with your fellow travelers or guides, or more personalized service then this might not be a good fit.

I also feel like there are other lodges that are a better 'value.' We stayed at a non-Timbavati property that was less expensive but also included alcoholic and soft drinks. I even think Simbavati's sister property, the Hilltop Lodge, might have also been a better value - it's more expensive than the River Lodge but the room is stunning and it includes all 'house' beverages.

Room Tip: Choose one close to the main area
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank JasmineSP
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 reviewResponded 6 September 2016

Dear JasmineSP

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your bush walk with Stefan, thank you for recommending the bush walk and Stefan this is something that he is very passionate about.

We are happy that we could tick most of your boxes (according to your preferences) during your stay at our lodge. We wish that we could have reached 100% however we understand that people have different tastes and what one person likes another may dislike. We will take your comments into account as we value our guests feedback and if there is a better way to provide our guests with a memorable safari experience we will definitely do our best to find it :)

We hope you will come back with your friends and family.

Kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed 14 August 2016

We enjoyed a wonderful 4 days at Simbavati under the care of Corbert & Derrick who ensured that we had amazing wildlife encounters at almost every turn.
The game drives were fantastic & obviously the reason for our trip but we enjoyed the lodge & its surrounding also.
Meals were enjoyed on the deck, at the Boma & one fantastic night right in the bush.
You do need to be escorted to & from you rooms after dark as demonstrated by the large buffalo quite close to our room one night.
The added bonus of a minibar & tea & coffee making in your room was great as we had a nice deck to "rest" between games drives!
Roy at reception always provided a happy smiling face & could answer any questions as needed.

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank QueenslandHappy
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 reviewResponded 6 September 2016

Dear QueenslandHappy

Thank you for the lovely review we really do appreciate it.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our lodge in the bush, that you had amazing game drives and that you enjoyed our various meals that we provided, giving you a memorable safari experience.

We hope that you will come back and visit again.

Regards Nadine





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Reviewed 6 August 2016

We are a family of four - 2 adults and 2 children, ages 10 and 11 - who were visiting South Africa for the first time. We went to 2 lodges during our stay, and Simbavati River Lodge was our favorite of the two. We had about a 30 minute drive from the airport and on that drive alone, we saw elephant, giraffe, and antelope! What a wonderful welcome! Our boys were given little gift bags on arrival, and the property was very family friendly - there was a little playground, a pool (chilly in winter but our kids went in nevertheless), and a kids menu for each meal. Our butler, Obedient, entertained the kids with "magic" tricks. We stayed in a family chalet which had a king size bed, a smaller bedroom for our boys, plus an enormous and beautiful bathroom. We also loved our little deck where we could watch animals closely next to the comfort of our room. It was the perfect size. We had warthogs stroll out from underneath the deck one morning, which my sons thought was fantastic. Our tracker and guide - Derrick and Colbert - were knowledgeable and FUN! They kept us laughing and entertained the whole time. We were a little worried about how the kids would tolerate 3 hour game drives twice a day, but our boys had the best time ever. Derrick and Colbert ensured we saw the big five plus many more animals. We had wonderful sightings of animals on every drive. There is a watering hole with a spotlight right near the dining area which was very active. This feature was particularly attractive as animals were drawn to the spot, and we could game watch at night - we learned that not all lodges have this attraction. This was absolutely a wonderful lodge and we would love to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Megan19712004
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 reviewResponded 12 August 2016

Dear Megan19712004

Thank you for the lovely detailed review. We are so happy to hear that you and your family had a great time at our lodge.

It was our pleasure to make your stay at our lodge memorable and fun.

Please come back and visit us again, we would love to see your family again.

Keep well, regards Nadine

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Reviewed 4 August 2016

I went on this trip nearly a year ago and still dream think about it! Going on an African safari was always on my bucket list, and Simbavati was truly able to bring it to life. Everything about our stay was so perfect, and they kept pleasantly surprising us at every corner. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating, the chalet we stayed in was lovely, and the lodge as a whole was picturesque. There's a watering hole right in front of the dining area, which means you get frequent visits from the wildlife -- sometimes they even walk right up to your deck! The food was also amazing. You can tell they really care about what they serve; even the morning muffins were deliciously moist. But the best part of the experience was the drives. Clement and Caswell were so knowledgable and engaging, and made every trip worth it. We only got to stay there 2 nights, which means we had a total of 4 drives. And because of their expertise, we got to see all of the Big 5! The highlight was when we were the first jeep to spot a leopard (the hardest one to track), and we followed it through the bush, trampling over some trees just to keep it in site. So worth it! And it's definitely something you can't do when within the formal Kruger Park, which is another huge benefit to staying with Simbavati! They're on private land right outside the unfenced national park line, which means you get more adventurous drives. But it's all cautiously safe and you're constantly in good hands. Thank you so much for the unforgettable memories, Simbavati! Can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Pajaymees
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 reviewResponded 12 August 2016

Dear Pajaymees

Thank you for choosing to stay at our lodge and allowing us to be part of your bucket list. We are thrilled that we could live up to your dreams and provide you with unforgettable memories.

We appreciate your detailed review and we look forward to your return visit.

Keep well, regards Nadine

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