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Simbavati River Lodge

Our rating


Price guide


- Family Friendly Lodge
- Swimming pool & play area
- Superb family accommodation
- 2 Game Drives each day

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Located in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, Simbavati River Lodge offers an excellent safari experience for families at a great price. For couples, there are 8 safari tents and for families there are 3 spacious chalets with 2 bedrooms, a spacious en-suite with bath and shower and large deck to relax on. This type of spacious accommodation is quite a rarity for families at this budget. The lodge also has a pool (unheated), children's playground and children's room where there are toys & board games, which will keep more active children entertained in betweeen game drives. The lodge overlooks a river bed, which is currently dry, but nonetheless offers lovely views from both the chalets and the communal areas and the opportunity to spot game from the comfort of a relaxing chair!. As the lodge is unfenced, animals can (and do) wander through the lodge area, so don't be surprised if you wake to the sounds of hippos rather than an alarm clock. Meals are served in a communal dining area (either inside or outside on the deck) or around the fire in the boma. Eating is a communal affair, with children's appetites and tastes catered for. If you are travelling with children, it can usually be arranged for them to eat earlier, or they can eat with you and then retire to the sofas in the communal lounge area.

You will have 2 game drives each day; one early in the morning and one in the late afternoon. You will be in a 10 seater open 4 x 4 vehicle. You will most likely be sharing a vehicle with other guests, or you can pay extra for a private vehicle. You will have a guide as well as a tracker who will both do their best to show you the fantastic array of wildlife to be found in the area. With over 53,000 hectares of bush, Timbavati is one of the larger private game reserves in the Greater Kruger area. Unfenced to Kruger, there is an abundance of wildlife, with excellent chances of sighting the big five. Your guided game drives will last around 3 hours and you will stop for refreshments breaks along the way.

Suggested Itineraries for Simbavati River Lodge

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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