• Simbavati River Lodge

Simbavati River Lodge | Timbavati

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An intimate and friendly camp built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River in the heart of the world famous Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. Experience over 12 000 hectares of pristine South African bushveld for the ultimate safari experience. Home to the legendary Big 5 and White Lions. Shaded by age old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Simbavati 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.

Rates inclusive of 15% VAT • South African Rand • Subject to Availability

Description 1 Nov 2018
to 31 Oct 2019
Luxury Safari Tent Single R8 645
Luxury Safari Tent PP Sharing R6 500
Family Chalet PP Sharing R6 500
Family Chalet | 3rd - 4th person R4 875
Family Chalet | 4 -11 yrs R3 250

  • icon Gallery
  • icon Activities
  • icon Rooms
  • icon Spa
  • icon Terms

Game Viewing

The lodge offers Big 5 Safari game drives in the early morning and evening for exceptional game viewing when the animals are most active. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats, are regular sightings at night. Game drives are conducted by experienced field guides and shangaan trackers in open 4X4 vehicles, with excellent photographic opportunities.

You traverse over 12,000 hectares of the big-5 game country, with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as other species such as wild dogs, cheetah, kudu, zebra, warthog, giraffe, and monkey to name a few. Bird viewing is spectacular, with over 360 recorded species including various eagles, vultures, kingfishers, woodpeckers, buzzards, herons, egrets, owls, weavers.

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve was initiated in 1956 by a group of landowners who were 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.


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 or take a dip in our swimming pool.

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.

Photographic Safaris

Unmatched in the wildlife photographic industry is our specialized photographic game drive vehicle –based in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Northern Region of the Kruger National Park. With no fences between the two reserves, the animals move freely within more than 20 000 square kilometres of the wilderness area.

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is renowned for its great wildlife sightings some of which are the endangered white lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah and many, many more – combined with our photographic vehicle, a professional wildlife photographer and Simbavati River Lodge – it promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Our professional photographer will ensure that you benefit from one on one instruction on everything from how to achieve the best position for the ultimate wildlife shot to professional tips on image editing, including both a pre-game drive and post-drive briefing.

2 Bedroom Family Chalet

Simbavati River Lodge is a child-friendly safari camp and offers three thatched chalets ideal for families, each accommodating four in two individual twin bedded rooms and sharing one full en-suite bathroom. One of the chalets can accommodate five guests. Each chalet also features their own private game-viewing deck.

Children of all ages are welcome. There is a children's activity centre that offers a selection of toys/board games and a staff member will keep children entertained with special activities.

Luxury Safari Tent

Our luxurious, contemporary furnished tented accommodation features twin beds, an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower and offers generous bush or water views from your own private viewing deck. Tents are spaced adequately far apart to ensure privacy, and they have all of the amenities to ensure a luxurious and comfortable stay.

Children of all ages are welcome. There is a children's activity centre that offers a selection of toys/board games and a staff member will keep children entertained with special activities.

Property 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
  • Open air boma
  • Informal meeting room/activity room
  • Swimming pool
  • Wi-Fi in reception, lounge & deck (but very little cell phone reception)
  • Spa
  • Wheel chair friendly

Room Facilities

  • Double vanity basin
  • Wardrobe with coat hangers
  • Air-conditioning
  • 2 point plug converters
  • Complimentary room amenities
  • Private game viewing deck
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Eco-friendly insect spray
  • Hair-dryer
  • Filtered cold water
  • Mini bars with drinks and snacks
  • Electric blankets on beds for the winter
  • Laundry service
  • All rooms are non-smoking rooms (smoking is permitted on your private deck of your room)

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.

Rejuvenation Herbal Oil Massage

Full Body Treatment

You may choose from a range of Africology® aromatherapy infused massage  oils, which are warmly applied and massaged deeply onto the body. This therapy is for relaxation as well as combatting tension in stiff, aching bodies. Your therapist will assist you in choosing the oil best suited for you from one of the
following blends: Relaxing, Energising, Skin Conditioning and Vetiver.

60 min: 
90 min: 

Majestic Awakening

Back, Neck, Shoulders & Head

The treatment is a perfect way to rest and relax. Starting at the feet, working all pressure points connected to the rest of the body, it leads up to the back, neck
and shoulders. This specialised treatment will ease tension and stress through touch and aromatherapy.
60 min: 
90 min: 

Foot Massage

This foot treatment concentrates on the delicate areas of the feet, back, neck and shoulders. The therapist uses natural techniques of pressure points derived
from traditional African medicine to stimulate and balance the body.
30 minutes: Feet and up to the knee sitting on a chair
60 minutes: Foot and full leg done lying down: 

Hot Stone Massage

While providing additional pressure, the stones infuse muscles with warmth while easing up knots of tension and help rejuvenate the body. Oils are chosen by the therapist best suited for your skin with added hydrating properties.
60 min:
90 min:

Full Body Treatment

Intonga Amasatchi® is a deep tissue and stress-relieving treatment. Skilful movements are performed with the hands, and differently sized wooden sticks
are used to stretch tight muscles and ease toxic overload from daily stress. Symbolically, the stick or staff represented wisdom and direction to the healer.
Created from yellow wood, the traditional healer knew that the energy of earth was a valuable tool.
75 min: 

African Yoga Treatment

Full Body Treatment

Inspired by traditional yoga movements, this massage works effectively with body re-alignments of the spine by performing stretching movements. This
allows for more free flow of energy whilst gentle pressure is applied to specific areas. This treatment is performed on a specially designed floor mattress.
Dressed in a light weight suit, the massage is done in the absence of oil but client may request oil to be used on the back.
60 min:
90 min: 

Africology® Manicure and Pedicure

For a beautiful relief from the high-energy nature of everyday life, join us for an experience with a difference. Your hands or feet will be massaged, your nails
shaped and your skin richly hydrated with our all-natural products designed to undo environmental damage to your skin.
Manicure 60 min:
Pedicure 60 min:
French R 100 extra

Please note: A surcharge of R1,250 pppn will be added for 2 pax wanting to book a 2-bedroom chalet.

Check In Times

  • Check in time shall be from 14h00 onwards (unless otherwise agreed)
  • Check-out time shall be before to 11h00

Rates Includes

  • All standard meals,
  • accommodation,
  • two game drives per day and a sundowner drink

Rates Excludes

  • All other drinks,
  • baby-sitting,
  • transfers,
  • gratuities,
  • laundry service,
  • other items of a personal nature,
  • Timbavati Conservation Levy


  • a 10% deposit is due within 7 days (for FIT) or
  • 25% within 14 days (for Groups) from date of reservation to guarantee the booking.
  • Easter and Christmas periods’ bookings require a 25% non-refundable deposit.
  • The balance is to be settled 30 days prior to the arrival of the guests.

Child Policy

Children of all ages welcome.

  •  Between 0 – 3 years; no charge and includes all meals
  •  4 – 11 years: 50% of per person sharing rate when sharing with parents in family chalets
  •  12 years & older sharing with parents in family chalets; 3rd/4th person rate applicable
  •  Child sharing with a parent in our Luxury Tents; per person sharing rate applicable

NB: Children 6 years & over are allowed on Game Drives. Families with younger children can arrange a private vehicle prior to arrival. Please ask us for our Children’s activities, if you require further information.

 Minimum stay: 2 nights

Complimentary Scheduled Transfers

We offer scheduled transfers at set times to coincide with the scheduled flights into and out from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport. Please note that this is a scheduled transfer and you will be sharing with other guests coming to the lodge. If you are planning to drop a rental car at Hoedspruit Airport, please ensure that you arrive well before the flight arrival time as unfortunately we cannot wait for late arrivals.
The transfer time is approximately one hour in and one and a half hour out. Please note the complimentary transfers exclude the vehicle entry fee of R140 (subject to change) payable at the gate. For VAT purposes, the transfer is zero rated and valued for 2019 at R1440, R730 and R440 for single, sharing and 3rd/4th person respectively per room. No discount/refunds are applicable for transfers not used.

      • Scheduled Collection Times from Hoedspruit – 11:20 & 13:20
      • Scheduled Departure Times from Simbavati – 09:30, 10:30 & 11:30
      • All complimentary transfers need to be pre-booked as we only meet flights if we have guests on that flight.

Private transfers from Hoedspruit, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Phalaborwa Airport or the Timbavati Gate, can be arranged should your arrival not coincide with those above. Please ask for our Transfers Rate Sheet. Private transfers are not available to Trails Camp guests.

Private Vehicle/Photographic Vehicle 2019:

Available on request per stay, charged per night (evening and early morning game drives) when either a Family Chalet or a minimum of 2 Luxury Safari Tents are booked.

Payment | Cancellation Policy

1.All cancellations must be given in writing.
2. Cancellation policy per booking:
2.1. If cancelled up to 61 days prior to arrival, a 10% cancellation fee of the full booking value (inclusive of VAT) will be charged.
2.2. If cancelled 31 to 60 days prior to arrival, a 25% cancellation fee of the full booking value (inclusive of VAT) will be charged.
2.3. If cancelled 15 to 30 days prior to arrival, a 75% cancellation fee of the full booking value (inclusive of VAT) will be charged.
2.4. If cancelled 14 days or less prior to arrival, a 100% cancellation fee of the full booking value (inclusive of VAT) will be charged.
3. Cancellations of 4 rooms and more, group cancellation policy will apply.
4. Guaranteed reservations will be held for the first night only, after which the accommodation will be released.


Need Assistance.

image RSA +27 87 820 4160

Business Hours:
Mon - Fri (09:00 - 17:00)
Sat (09:00 - 13:00)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
E-mail: Reservations
E-mail: Safaris

Why Book With Us?

  • Personal inter-action
  • Lodges with high standards
  • Stay in control of your booking
  • Most special deals by far
  • Secure payment process (SSL)
  • South African based
  • Superior knowledge
  • Expert advice
  • No booking fees


  • Game Viewing +

    Game viewing is offered either from an open vehicle, or on foot in the company of experienced rangers.
  • Timbavati Wildlife +

    The wildlife is particularly rich and boasts not only the Big Five experience but an extraordinary profusion of bird and
  • Timbavati Experience +

    Timbavati comprises a number of private concessions, which offer a selection of accommodation services and safari experiences.
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Why Book With Us?

  • Personal inter-action
  • Lodges with high standards
  • Stay in control of your booking
  • Most special deals by far
  • Secure payment process (SSL)
  • South African based
  • Superior knowledge
  • Expert advice
  • No booking fees

Conservation Levy

  • Fly in & Transfers R300 Per Person and Per Vehicle R160 per entry
  • Self drive R300 Per Person , Per Vehicle/Aircraft R160 per entry
  • Entry and exit to the reserves, via self-drive, will need to happen through the same gate.
  • Timbavati Conservation levy R 368 per person per day,
  • R184 per child under 12 years old per day
  • R 160 per vehicle


1. Conservation levy - R400 per person per night 
2. Conservation levy - R200 per child per night (under 12)
3. Self Catering Camps - R100 per person per night (Adults and Children)
4. The conservation levy as quoted is VAT Inclusive.