Simbavati River Lodge offers spectacular sunsets over the river

Simbavati River Lodge offers spectacular sunsets over the river


Simbavati River Lodge

situated in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve –
part of the Greater Kruger National Park

An intimate and family friendly camp built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River, a beautiful watercourse in the summer months when rain is plentiful, and a dry riverbed in the winter months.

Awake to the sounds of the African bush, while staying in one of our 8 Luxury Safari Tents or 3 spacious Family Suites, elegantly decorated with sophisticated finishes. Both Tents and Suites provide en-suite bathrooms, eco friendly air-conditioning, as well as a private deck for game-viewing and sipping drinks while the sun sets over the African bushveld.


Enjoy the luxury of Simbavati in wild Africa
Enjoy the luxury of Simbavati in wild Africa

Simbavati River Lodge offers a truly unique setting, with magnificent views over the Nhlaralumi River where game can be viewed while sipping exotic cocktails, enjoying authentic African Cuisine or simply relaxing to the sounds of African Bush. Breakfast and Lunch is served daily outside on the wooden deck, set out under age old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, and combines African and Western cuisine offering exciting new tastes for the more adventurous as well as more conventional preferences.

An African traditional Dinner, served around the campfire in an open air "Boma" is an experience not to be missed. Additional facilities at Simbavati River Lodge include a relaxing lounge area with a selection of books and games, as well as a Curios shop offering exclusive memorabilia of your African Big 5 experience.


Simbavati River Lodge - time for relaxation - on the deck

Simbavati River Lodge - time for relaxation - in style on the deck overlooking the river


In-Room Facilities

The lodge offers Big 5 safari Game Drives in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when the animals are most active. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats are regular sightings at night. Currently there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big 5 of Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant as well as 360 species of bird life. Bush walks are also offered but restricted to those over 12 years old. The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve was initiated in 1956 by a group of land owners concerned about the degradation of this once pristine wilderness area. Timbavati is dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species and is also involved in different research projects.


Dining under the night stars alongside a crackling wood fire
Dining under the night stars alongside a crackling wood fire

About Simbavati River Lodge

Situated in the heart of the world-renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, this intimate, family-friendly camp is built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River – a beautiful watercourse in the summer months when rain is plentiful, and a dry riverbed in the drier winter months.

Shaded by age old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Simbavati River Lodge is warm and welcoming, with a generous contemporary design and accommodation for guests in luxury tented rooms or thatched chalets.

Simbavati takes its name from the local Shangaan language, translated as “the place where the lions come down from the stars”. The focus of the lodge is on the excellent big-5 game viewing, breathtaking views, friendly and knowledgeable staff in an environment where guests are made to feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment they arrive.

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.


Simbavati River Lodge luxury accommodation
Simbavati River Lodge luxury accommodation

Simbavati River Lodge Facilities

  • 8 Luxury en-suite safari tents
  • 3 Thatched en-suite family chalets
  • Lounge with a selection of books and games
  • Curio shop
  • Bar
  • Game viewing deck overlooking the river
  • Dining on the viewing deck
  • 8 Luxury en-suite safari tents
  • 3 Thatched en-suite family chalets
  • Lounge with a selection of books and games
  • Curio shop
  • Bar
  • Game viewing deck overlooking the river
  • Dining on the viewing deck

Pattern of Activities at Simbavati River Lodge

The lodge offers Big 5 game drives in the early morning and late afternoon/evening to ensure game viewing when the animals are most active. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats, are regular sightings at night.

Currently there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big 5 of lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant as well as 360 species of bird life.

  • Early morning tea/coffee overlooking the river on the deck
  • Game drive (approx 3+ hours) including a coffee/tea stop in the bush
  • Mid morning breakfast/brunch on the dining deck
  • Time at leisure (use of the swimming pool, books and board games on offer, relax in the lounge area and use the free Wi-Fi, cocktails on the deck or take a look around our well stocked curio shop)

  • Afternoon high tea (combination of high tea & Lunch) on the dining deck
  • Afternoon/evening game drive (approx 3+ hours). With a sundowners stop in the bush
  • Dinner on the deck or sometimes around the fire in the open air boma (weather permitting)

Dining at Simbavati River Lodge

Enjoy an early morning cup of coffee/tea with rusks before embarking on the game drive. After the morning game drive, breakfast is served outside on the wooden deck.

A light lunch is served just before the afternoon game drive.

Dinner is a festive event which is alternatively served around the campfire in the open-air boma or in the thatched dining area. Dinner consists of an African and Western cuisine with exciting tastes for the more adventurous as well as various conventional options.

The bar caters for alcoholic beverages and also includes a wide selection of fine South African wines.

Special dietary requirements will be catered for subject to prior notification (as the nearest shops are over one hours’ drive away).


Elephant - Gameviewing at Simbavati River Lodge
Rhino - Gameviewing at Simbavati River Lodge

Relaxing at Simbavati River Lodge

Simbavati River Lodge is an uncomplicated and down to earth safari experience and guests are encouraged to relax and feel at home. The lounge area is the perfect place to relax on a comfortable couch with a book or doze off on an afternoon siesta.

During the mid-day heat, recline in a sun lounger, take a dip in our swimming pool or treat yourself at our spa.

Children are catered for with an activity plan to increase their wildlife knowledge and there is a large selection of interesting books which are at their disposal.

The lodge has a curio shop in which to buy any necessities forgotten at home, or an African memento to remind you of your visit to Simbavati River Lodge.

Simbavati River Lodge General Information

  • Simbavati River Lodge is family friendly. Children of all ages welcome (please refer to our child policy)
  • Groups are welcome with an exclusive use lodge rate on offer
  • We offer photographic safaris with a specialised photographic vehicle
  • Filtered water is provided on game drives, in the rooms and at the lodge at no additional cost

  • Low risk malaria area
  • No pets allowed
  • Laundry service available
  • No bush walks are possible
  • Credit card facilities available
  • Wheel chair friendly

Simbavati River Lodge Child Policy

Children of all ages are welcome at Simbavati River Lodge.

There is a children’s activity room with a selection of toys/board games. Children will receive an activity booklet on arrival (coloured pencils available to use at reception). Children under the age of 13 will be taken to look at tracks and signs in the bush by a tracker after Breakfast. Board games and books available in the lounge area.

Simbavati Spa

To pay homage to our unparalleled cultural heritage, we bring you traditional African massage. Indulge in a selection of our country’s authentic and traditional massage techniques with our highly skilled and trained therapists who will relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.


Simbavati River Lodge - splendid wildlife viewing in wild Africa

Simbavati River Lodge - splendid wildlife viewing in wild Africa


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