Overview of Simbavati River Lodge

Set in the northern Timbavati Private Game Reserve, Simbavati River Lodge offers over 12 000ha of wildlife-rich wilderness to explore. The perfect destination for safari enthusiasts, it’s prime Big 5 country – Timbavati adjoins the unfenced western border of the Kruger National Park, and animals can move freely between the two reserves. Relax in the spacious lounge or on the extensive decks which provide lovely views of the Nhlaralumi River, a place where regular wildlife sightings are recorded.

Early morning, afternoon and evening game drives at Simbavati River Lodge ensure excellent opportunities to spot the Big 5 and with 360 species on record, the bird watching is very rewarding too. Simbavati is a family-friendly camp and provides kids programmes and amenities.

Highlights & Activities

What's on offer whilst on this itinerary?
  • Excellent river front location - one of the best in the Timbavati
  • Welcoming and relaxed atmosphere
  • Expansive deck and lounge to relax
  • Perfect for families, with 2-bedroom chalets
  • Fantastic value for money
Bird watching

Bird watching

Game drives

Game drives

Game viewing

Game viewing

Night drives

Night drives

Rooms at Simbavati River Lodge

Unwind and relax, in your own private luxury
  • simbavati-river-lodge-tented-suite-interior
  • Luxury Tented Suite interior.
  • simbavati-river-lodge-luxury-safari-tent-bathroom
  • simbavati-river-lodge-visitor

    Luxury Safari Tent

    The Luxury Safari Tents feature a king-sized bed (or twin) and an expansive game-viewing deck overlooking either the river or bush. Each tent is equipped with a generous en suite bathroom and dressing area with ample storage space, a shower, double vanity, enclosed toilet, and access to an outdoor rain-shower.

    • simbavati-river-lodge-2-bed-family-tent-main-bedroom
    • simbavati-river-lodge-family-suite-second-bedroom
    • simbavati-river-lodge-family-suite

      Two-Bedroom Family Chalet

      For families with children, this is the perfect option. The Two-Bedroom Family Chalets each have a main bedroom with a king-sized bed and an en-suite bathroom with a double rain shower and free-standing tub. Connected by a cosy living area, is a second bedroom with twin beds. The suite opens out onto a game viewing deck with views out over the river.

      • simbavati-river-lodge-pool-suite-ext
      • simbavati-river-lodge-lux-safari-tent
      • simbavati-river-lodge-pool-suite
      • Elephant and other species enjoy a drink from the Pool Suite plunge pool in the drier months.

        Tented Pool Suite

        The Tented Pool Suites offer more seclusion and the added luxury of a solar-heated private plunge pool. This luxurious hideaway is perfect for honeymooners and couples.

        General Facilities

        Relax in the spacious lounge or on the lodge’s large wooden decks as you read a book or watch animals at the nearby waterhole.

        Simbavati offers its guests a swimming pool and bar as well as a curio shop, and children have access to a games room, books and special kids safari programmes.

        Bar

        Bar

        Boma

        Boma

        Curio shop

        Curio shop

        Spa

        Spa

        Swimming pool

        Swimming pool

        Dining

        Start the day at Simbavati River Lodge with tea, coffee and rusks before your morning drive, after which an extravagant breakfast/brunch is served buffet-style on the outside wooden deck.

        High tea is served just before the afternoon game drive while festive dinners are enjoyed in the evening around the campfire in the open-air boma or in the thatched dining area.

        Indulge in a menu of African and Western cuisine and choose your drinks from a fully licensed bar and the large selection of fine South African wines.

        Why Travel With Go2Africa?

        Based in Cape Town, our team of experts are all born and raised in Africa. When you travel with us you’re assured of the Big 5 Guarantee.

        Over 25 Years’ Experience

        Since 1998 we’ve tailored unforgettable African safari holidays for over 200 000 travellers, that leaves a lasting positive impact.

        We Know Because We Go

        We have first-hand knowledge of every destination, lodge and activity we recommend from our 1 000+ carefully selected safari partners.

        We Are With You All The Way

        We take care of every detail, offering 24/7 assistance and local know-how from the right time zone, until you return safely home.

        You Are In Expert Hands

        With the most awarded Top Travel Specialists in Africa by Conde Nast Traveler and led by one of Travel & Leisure’s A-list specialists, you are in expert hands.

        Complete Financial Protection

        Our clients are fully covered by our supplier default insurance, and our accreditation bond with the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association.

        Interested to know more? Click the link to find out all about Go2Africa’s Big 5 Guarantee

        Feefo logo

        Traveller Reviews

        • MC

          Our flight to, and transfer from, Hoedspruit was quite easy. The Simbavati River Lodge was lovely with very nice facilities, plus truly personalized service in an exclusive, peaceful and uncrowded environment. The staff was especially attentive and our guides were exceptionally knowledgeable about the abundant wildlife all around us. The whole safari constituted an amazing few days that we won’t ever forget. It was truly special to experience as a family. The food at the lodge was fantastic!

          Michael Corcoran
        • CB

          Great rooms, great service, good food. Our game drive guide, was good (not the best we’ve had, but good).

          Christine Bolan
        • FOR

          Overall, it was a great trip. I think we both enjoyed the safari camp the most, but it was close. We did see the “Big 5,” including doing it in a single day. Simbavati was great. The tent accommodations worked fine. Although I do use a wheelchair, I was able to manage the couple of steps down to the bathroom. If a person was confined to a wheelchair, it wouldn’t work. Our guide was very good & the food was very good as well.

          Friends of Regina Blackburn
        • LM

          Simbavati River Lodge. Great. A nice way to start the trip. It felt like a luxury safari camp which was what we wanted. Clean, comfortable, great food and nice people. Would definitely recommend and return again.

          Larry Moffitt
        • DF

          Simbavati was magical and perfect for our initiation into the safari schedule. We did see the big 5 and met wonderful people and all the staff were quite friendly.

          Denise Finney
        • JH

          Simbavati – We absolutely loved the safari and were very happy with the lodge.

          Julian Herbert
        • KN

          We stayed at Simbavati Lodge when we visited Kruger National Park. Kam and I felt very welcomed by the staff there. Staff at Simbavati Lodge were polite, warm and very helpful at all times of the day. The tent/room we stayed at was fantastic, we were particularly excited about the shower outdoors overseeing the wilderness. There’s no fencing around Simbavati Lodge so when the elephants came to graze near our tents, it gave us both a really “real” experience. We were able to see all the big-5 in just 3 game drives. The drivers and trackers at Simbavati Lodge were really accomodating, trying their best to let everyone see the big-5 at their stay. The game drives were in an open vehicle and they get really close to the animals, unbelievable. It is particularly fun and exhilarating when the driver tries to chase an animal and we go off the track into the bush and knock down small trees. The food was served in sessions, everyone ate at the same time. I thought the variety and taste of the food was ok, could be improved, but the portions were sufficient.

          Kamasen Nayager
        • MW

          We were met by Elmarie, who thought we were staying for 3 nights. Maxine showed her our itinerary of 4 nights and matters were resolved in seconds. All the staff were excellent, the game drives with Christof & Daniel were outside of our imagination! Food marvellous, Charlie’s BBQ the highpoint. On Mothers Day, Charlie & Elmarie led some of the staff members in a singing greeting, after they had sung Happy Birthday to a guest; we could have cried. Inspired selection!

          Maxine Whittaker
        • MW

          We were met by Elmarie, who thought we were staying for 3 nights. Maxine showed her our itinerary of 4 nights and matters were resolved in seconds. All the staff were excellent, the game drives with Christof & Daniel were outside of our imagination! Food marvellous, Charlie’s BBQ the highpoint. On Mothers Day, Charlie & Elmarie led some of the staff members in a singing greeting, after they had sung Happy Birthday to a guest; we could have cried. Inspired selection!

          Maxine Whittaker
        • JF

          The Simbavati River Lodge was fantastic, two room accommodation with complimentary Rhino swimming in the river and baboons walking past was unbelievable. Food was terrific although almost too much. The expert knowledge of Christof our guide and Daniel our tracker was wonderful and we have many pictures and videos of our drives to remember our trip with. On my recommendations for the lodge I did suggest some form of additional activity in the middle of the day, the 3 or 4 hours between breakfast/lunch and the afternoon drive was a little hard for us although I am sure others would not have this trouble.

          Jennifer Foston
        • JF

          The Simbavati River Lodge was fantastic, two room accommodation with complimentary Rhino swimming in the river and baboons walking past was unbelievable. Food was terrific although almost too much. The expert knowledge of Christof our guide and Daniel our tracker was wonderful and we have many pictures and videos of our drives to remember our trip with. On my recommendations for the lodge I did suggest some form of additional activity in the middle of the day, the 3 or 4 hours between breakfast/lunch and the afternoon drive was a little hard for us although I am sure others would not have this trouble.

          Jennifer Foston
        • CC

          Just wanted to thank you for a terrific trip! Everything went smoothly and we had a great time. You were right, the Simbavati Lodge was truly something special. Thanks again!

          Colin Cox-Steiner
        • CC

          Just wanted to thank you for a terrific trip! Everything went smoothly and we had a great time. You were right, the Simbavati Lodge was truly something special. Thanks again!

          Colin Cox-Steiner
        • BT

          We had there a great time, great Safari and a great vacation.

          Boaz Tasa
        • BT

          We had there a great time, great Safari and a great vacation.

          Boaz Tasa
        • BM

          Simbavati Lodge was the most amazing experience. The comfort levels of our “tent” were better than some of the 5 star hotels we have stayed in around the world. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the food sensational and the animals were the stars… all making for a lifetime memorable experience.

          Brian Mccann
        • BM

          Simbavati Lodge was the most amazing experience. The comfort levels of our “tent” were better than some of the 5 star hotels we have stayed in around the world. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the food sensational and the animals were the stars… all making for a lifetime memorable experience.

          Brian Mccann
        • PW

          Simbavati River Lodge was great, such a nice location on the river and the staff and guides looked after us extremely well. The Leopards were great.

          Peter Webb
        • PW

          Simbavati River Lodge was great, such a nice location on the river and the staff and guides looked after us extremely well. The Leopards were great.

          Peter Webb
        • JW

          All the transfers, trips, hotels and locations were excellent – We particularly loved Timabavati/Simbavati and seeing leopards at close quarters was my personal highlight.

          John Wakeman
        • JW

          All the transfers, trips, hotels and locations were excellent – We particularly loved Timabavati/Simbavati and seeing leopards at close quarters was my personal highlight.

          John Wakeman
        • RB

          The stay at Simbavati was everything we could have hoped for in our first safari. Again, the accommodations were wonderful, the people were very friendly, and the food was great. It really gets a top rating.

          Regina Blackburn
        • RB

          The stay at Simbavati was everything we could have hoped for in our first safari. Again, the accommodations were wonderful, the people were very friendly, and the food was great. It really gets a top rating.

          Regina Blackburn
        • HB

          Kruger was fantastic .We saw leopards, cheetahs, lions making a kill and lots more besides .One day we saw all the big 5 on one morning game drive and 4 out of 5 in the afternoon!

          Helen Belcher
        • HB

          Kruger was fantastic .We saw leopards, cheetahs, lions making a kill and lots more besides .One day we saw all the big 5 on one morning game drive and 4 out of 5 in the afternoon!

          Helen Belcher
        • GT

          Simbavati River Lodge – brilliant choice! The people there and the place, just marvelous. I enjoyed every minute of it and am, truly amazed.

          Gabriella Trabucchi
        • GT

          Simbavati River Lodge – brilliant choice! The people there and the place, just marvelous. I enjoyed every minute of it and am, truly amazed.

          Gabriella Trabucchi
        • EC

          Simbavati: we all really loved it here. The staff were all very kind and helpful, and really tried their best to make sure we had a good time. The camp is lovely, and it really felt like we were out in the bush. Our tents were right in front of the river, and during the night hippos could be heard nearby. The food was excellent. The highlight of course was the game drives, and we had some excellent sightings, including a very close encounter with two female lions, one of which was suckling 3 or 4 cubs – terrifying but absolutely amazing. We managed to see 4 of the big 5, but just missed out on the rhino. We were very sad to leave Simbavati, but plan to return some time.

          Edmund Cheesman
        • EC

          Simbavati: we all really loved it here. The staff were all very kind and helpful, and really tried their best to make sure we had a good time. The camp is lovely, and it really felt like we were out in the bush. Our tents were right in front of the river, and during the night hippos could be heard nearby. The food was excellent. The highlight of course was the game drives, and we had some excellent sightings, including a very close encounter with two female lions, one of which was suckling 3 or 4 cubs – terrifying but absolutely amazing. We managed to see 4 of the big 5, but just missed out on the rhino. We were very sad to leave Simbavati, but plan to return some time.

          Edmund Cheesman
        • FK

          The Simbavati River Lodge was excellent. In particular the team for the private game (driver + guide) was extremely professional with explanations, findings animal, efforts to show us as much as possible etc. It was very good.

          Fabio Kahn
        • FK

          The Simbavati River Lodge was excellent. In particular the team for the private game (driver + guide) was extremely professional with explanations, findings animal, efforts to show us as much as possible etc. It was very good.

          Fabio Kahn

        Traveller Reviews

        • MC

          Our flight to, and transfer from, Hoedspruit was quite easy. The Simbavati River Lodge was lovely with very nice facilities, plus truly personalized service in an exclusive, peaceful and uncrowded environment. The staff was especially attentive and our guides were exceptionally knowledgeable about the abundant wildlife all around us. The whole safari constituted an amazing few days that we won’t ever forget. It was truly special to experience as a family. The food at the lodge was fantastic!

          Michael Corcoran
        • CB

          Great rooms, great service, good food. Our game drive guide, was good (not the best we’ve had, but good).

          Christine Bolan
        • FOR

          Overall, it was a great trip. I think we both enjoyed the safari camp the most, but it was close. We did see the “Big 5,” including doing it in a single day. Simbavati was great. The tent accommodations worked fine. Although I do use a wheelchair, I was able to manage the couple of steps down to the bathroom. If a person was confined to a wheelchair, it wouldn’t work. Our guide was very good & the food was very good as well.

          Friends of Regina Blackburn
        • LM

          Simbavati River Lodge. Great. A nice way to start the trip. It felt like a luxury safari camp which was what we wanted. Clean, comfortable, great food and nice people. Would definitely recommend and return again.

          Larry Moffitt
        • DF

          Simbavati was magical and perfect for our initiation into the safari schedule. We did see the big 5 and met wonderful people and all the staff were quite friendly.

          Denise Finney
        • JH

          Simbavati – We absolutely loved the safari and were very happy with the lodge.

          Julian Herbert
        • KN

          We stayed at Simbavati Lodge when we visited Kruger National Park. Kam and I felt very welcomed by the staff there. Staff at Simbavati Lodge were polite, warm and very helpful at all times of the day. The tent/room we stayed at was fantastic, we were particularly excited about the shower outdoors overseeing the wilderness. There’s no fencing around Simbavati Lodge so when the elephants came to graze near our tents, it gave us both a really “real” experience. We were able to see all the big-5 in just 3 game drives. The drivers and trackers at Simbavati Lodge were really accomodating, trying their best to let everyone see the big-5 at their stay. The game drives were in an open vehicle and they get really close to the animals, unbelievable. It is particularly fun and exhilarating when the driver tries to chase an animal and we go off the track into the bush and knock down small trees. The food was served in sessions, everyone ate at the same time. I thought the variety and taste of the food was ok, could be improved, but the portions were sufficient.

          Kamasen Nayager
        • MW

          We were met by Elmarie, who thought we were staying for 3 nights. Maxine showed her our itinerary of 4 nights and matters were resolved in seconds. All the staff were excellent, the game drives with Christof & Daniel were outside of our imagination! Food marvellous, Charlie’s BBQ the highpoint. On Mothers Day, Charlie & Elmarie led some of the staff members in a singing greeting, after they had sung Happy Birthday to a guest; we could have cried. Inspired selection!

          Maxine Whittaker
        • MW

          We were met by Elmarie, who thought we were staying for 3 nights. Maxine showed her our itinerary of 4 nights and matters were resolved in seconds. All the staff were excellent, the game drives with Christof & Daniel were outside of our imagination! Food marvellous, Charlie’s BBQ the highpoint. On Mothers Day, Charlie & Elmarie led some of the staff members in a singing greeting, after they had sung Happy Birthday to a guest; we could have cried. Inspired selection!

          Maxine Whittaker
        • JF

          The Simbavati River Lodge was fantastic, two room accommodation with complimentary Rhino swimming in the river and baboons walking past was unbelievable. Food was terrific although almost too much. The expert knowledge of Christof our guide and Daniel our tracker was wonderful and we have many pictures and videos of our drives to remember our trip with. On my recommendations for the lodge I did suggest some form of additional activity in the middle of the day, the 3 or 4 hours between breakfast/lunch and the afternoon drive was a little hard for us although I am sure others would not have this trouble.

          Jennifer Foston
        • JF

          The Simbavati River Lodge was fantastic, two room accommodation with complimentary Rhino swimming in the river and baboons walking past was unbelievable. Food was terrific although almost too much. The expert knowledge of Christof our guide and Daniel our tracker was wonderful and we have many pictures and videos of our drives to remember our trip with. On my recommendations for the lodge I did suggest some form of additional activity in the middle of the day, the 3 or 4 hours between breakfast/lunch and the afternoon drive was a little hard for us although I am sure others would not have this trouble.

          Jennifer Foston
        • CC

          Just wanted to thank you for a terrific trip! Everything went smoothly and we had a great time. You were right, the Simbavati Lodge was truly something special. Thanks again!

          Colin Cox-Steiner
        • CC

          Just wanted to thank you for a terrific trip! Everything went smoothly and we had a great time. You were right, the Simbavati Lodge was truly something special. Thanks again!

          Colin Cox-Steiner
        • BT

          We had there a great time, great Safari and a great vacation.

          Boaz Tasa
        • BT

          We had there a great time, great Safari and a great vacation.

          Boaz Tasa
        • BM

          Simbavati Lodge was the most amazing experience. The comfort levels of our “tent” were better than some of the 5 star hotels we have stayed in around the world. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the food sensational and the animals were the stars… all making for a lifetime memorable experience.

          Brian Mccann
        • BM

          Simbavati Lodge was the most amazing experience. The comfort levels of our “tent” were better than some of the 5 star hotels we have stayed in around the world. The staff were so friendly and helpful, the food sensational and the animals were the stars… all making for a lifetime memorable experience.

          Brian Mccann
        • PW

          Simbavati River Lodge was great, such a nice location on the river and the staff and guides looked after us extremely well. The Leopards were great.

          Peter Webb
        • PW

          Simbavati River Lodge was great, such a nice location on the river and the staff and guides looked after us extremely well. The Leopards were great.

          Peter Webb
        • JW

          All the transfers, trips, hotels and locations were excellent – We particularly loved Timabavati/Simbavati and seeing leopards at close quarters was my personal highlight.

          John Wakeman
        • JW

          All the transfers, trips, hotels and locations were excellent – We particularly loved Timabavati/Simbavati and seeing leopards at close quarters was my personal highlight.

          John Wakeman
        • RB

          The stay at Simbavati was everything we could have hoped for in our first safari. Again, the accommodations were wonderful, the people were very friendly, and the food was great. It really gets a top rating.

          Regina Blackburn
        • RB

          The stay at Simbavati was everything we could have hoped for in our first safari. Again, the accommodations were wonderful, the people were very friendly, and the food was great. It really gets a top rating.

          Regina Blackburn
        • HB

          Kruger was fantastic .We saw leopards, cheetahs, lions making a kill and lots more besides .One day we saw all the big 5 on one morning game drive and 4 out of 5 in the afternoon!

          Helen Belcher
        • HB

          Kruger was fantastic .We saw leopards, cheetahs, lions making a kill and lots more besides .One day we saw all the big 5 on one morning game drive and 4 out of 5 in the afternoon!

          Helen Belcher
        • GT

          Simbavati River Lodge – brilliant choice! The people there and the place, just marvelous. I enjoyed every minute of it and am, truly amazed.

          Gabriella Trabucchi
        • GT

          Simbavati River Lodge – brilliant choice! The people there and the place, just marvelous. I enjoyed every minute of it and am, truly amazed.

          Gabriella Trabucchi
        • EC

          Simbavati: we all really loved it here. The staff were all very kind and helpful, and really tried their best to make sure we had a good time. The camp is lovely, and it really felt like we were out in the bush. Our tents were right in front of the river, and during the night hippos could be heard nearby. The food was excellent. The highlight of course was the game drives, and we had some excellent sightings, including a very close encounter with two female lions, one of which was suckling 3 or 4 cubs – terrifying but absolutely amazing. We managed to see 4 of the big 5, but just missed out on the rhino. We were very sad to leave Simbavati, but plan to return some time.

          Edmund Cheesman
        • EC

          Simbavati: we all really loved it here. The staff were all very kind and helpful, and really tried their best to make sure we had a good time. The camp is lovely, and it really felt like we were out in the bush. Our tents were right in front of the river, and during the night hippos could be heard nearby. The food was excellent. The highlight of course was the game drives, and we had some excellent sightings, including a very close encounter with two female lions, one of which was suckling 3 or 4 cubs – terrifying but absolutely amazing. We managed to see 4 of the big 5, but just missed out on the rhino. We were very sad to leave Simbavati, but plan to return some time.

          Edmund Cheesman
        • FK

          The Simbavati River Lodge was excellent. In particular the team for the private game (driver + guide) was extremely professional with explanations, findings animal, efforts to show us as much as possible etc. It was very good.

          Fabio Kahn
        • FK

          The Simbavati River Lodge was excellent. In particular the team for the private game (driver + guide) was extremely professional with explanations, findings animal, efforts to show us as much as possible etc. It was very good.

          Fabio Kahn