Simbavati Trails Camp

Simbavati Trails Camp

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About

4.5
#3 of 4 campsites in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Simbavati Trails Camp is Simbavati’s luxury-but-back-to-basics walking trails camp. Located in a secluded area of the Timbavati, Simbavati Trails Camp borders an unspoilt wilderness area of 11, 000 hectares in the Kruger National Park.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Pool
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Airport transportation
Room features
Room service
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.5 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Quaint

Location

Kruger National Park 1380 South Africa
Getting there
Ngala Airfield
14.7 km
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Hoedspruit Airport
39.1 km
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17Reviews0Q+A4Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
John A wrote a review Sept 2021
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa26 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spent two wonderful days and nights in the trails camp which allowed for four separate guided hikes from the Base Camp - 3hr walks in the morning leaving at sunrise and 2 hr walks in the afternoon getting back at sunset.

We encountered elephant on a few occasions, and were very fortunate to even see Wild dog whilst on foot. Our guides CJ and Geoff immediately gained our trust demonstrating their knowledge and experience in the bush. They helped get us in to position for some great photos especially of the dogs, and elephant. Another highlight was getting close to a pair of Tawny Eagles.

The camp was very well appointed and the luxury tents were really comfortable. Meals were of a very high standard and Chef Thomson took exceptional pride in preparing delicious meals tastefully presented.

All staff including our butler Donald were very welcoming and went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed a memorable stay at Simbavati Trails Camp.
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Date of stay: August 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sally L wrote a review Aug 2020
3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Rustic, simple and very comfortable tents and camp. It caters to a max of 8 guests, and tents are very private. It has a happy feel, with staff who are thrilled to make your stay perfect. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Exciting having elephant, hyena and leopard near the unfenced camp. Walks are guided by two experts. The tracker has an amazing depth of knowledge, and he turns the walks into a fascinating exploration of nature. We were able to get close to elephant on many walks, and to a leopard taking his evening drink at the dam.
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Date of stay: August 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: If you like to be close to the wild, Lourie tent seems to be closest to the wild visitors
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Grumpiest Matt wrote a review Jul 2022
Delaware113 contributions29 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I really enjoyed the Trails Camp experience. First the staff are a great group of people, highly engaged and eager to make sure everybody has a great time. We used this property as a middle stop between two other lodges. It was great to stretch our legs and walk and take a break from the safari game cars. Walking is very different from the car: the level of detail is much greater. Geoff our guide gave super lessons in track identification, local trees, birds, plants etc. Maybe you give up seeing large quantities of animals, but the deeper experience was unique, I liked it.

The camp is 4 “tents”, that run on a solar platform. There are solar lanterns charged during the day. Yes there is a toilet in the tent. The food was superb, especially giving the limited utilities given to the kitchen. The dining tent is 1 main table for all 8 guests. It facilitates spending time with the other guests and meeting new people. We met some great travelers too.

I recommend this property. I can’t say enough about the fantastic staff.
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Date of stay: June 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: We had tent 2, all 4 tents seem similar. We could see lots of birds mid day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sally C wrote a review Apr 2022
22 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As a family we took over the Trails Camp for 3 nights and had a truly unforgettable time. The walks were different each time - we were treated to some spectacular sightings, including a chance meeting with a grazing elephant! The guides were very experienced and so knowledgeable, so even in the company of wild animals we all felt very safe. The team looking after us at camp were outstanding and the food was unbelievably good! One of our party is gluten-free and they went truly out of their way to make sure she was well taken care of. The tents are comfortable and have everything you need for a rustic get-away. We all loved every second and were genuinely sad to be leaving.
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Simbavati Trails Camp, Marketing at Simbavati Trails Camp
Responded 27 Apr 2022
Thank you for the lovely feedback. We are truly happy to hear you enjoyed your time with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kevin wrote a review Jul 2022
Sandton, South Africa4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a quintessential glamming experience with 4 well equipped 2 person tents with comfy beds and hotel like amenities including toilet on suite and outside shower (with hot water filled “donkey “ system twice a day). The staff are excellent and a superb chef prepared delicious food more akin to fine dining then a tented bush camp. The walks whilst informative and enjoyable were however very disappointing from a game experience. Whilst as frequent visitors to game parks we are well aware that game is as bonus and sightings unpredictable and uncertain, there was a dearth of any form of game in the limited area where walks take place.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dahyah S wrote a review Jul 2022
Cape Town, South Africa4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Excellent service, authentic bush experience and unforgettable memories. Walking in the raw African wilderness brings a whole new perspective to a safari, one which we will never forget. Shout out to our excellent guides as well as the thoughtful chef for preparing halaal meat for us
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Amanda wrote a review Apr 2022
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
There were good and bad things here. Let's start with what's excellent. The staff are friendly. Raphael the chef and Donald the Butler are excellent. The food great and service good. The rooms were kept clean and operational by Linda and Nicholas. But, the toilet pumps stops working in the evenings and don't work until the following evening. Showers are outside which is nice when it's hot but not much fun when it's tipping it down with rain or cold!
The eating area again suffers here it's exposed and cold.
We didnt see much game at all and while that is disappointing and happens there is also hardly any buck or bird life around the camp itself. I really thought Edward was a good guide lots of information without too much showing off but the vehicle used to bring you back n from the main lodge is not covered and exposed so if it rains badly here there is no alternative and I think that is enough to really make this accommodation merit a 3.5 star
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Simbavati Trails Camp, Marketing at Simbavati Trails Camp
Responded 13 Jun 2022
Dear ‘Amanda’ Thank you for the time taken to submit your review following your stay at Simbavati Trails Camp. We have passed on your wonderful feedback regarding food and hospitality to our service team. Being a walking trails camp, many of the facilities of the luxury 5* lodge environment are purposefully forsaken for the pleasure of the authentic ‘one on one’ bush experience. That is really the essence of what this very unique product is all about. Trails Camp is eco-friendly and runs on solar power. This does mean that at times with heavy cloud cover, a back-up generator is required to power the pressure pump for water. This is a bit noisy, and therefore gets turned off once our guests are in bed. The rustic outdoor bucket showers under the stars are usually a highlight for our guests. We do appreciate that being one with the elements is not always ideal – such as when it rains – and have therefore been flexible in our approach when it comes to the times when guests would prefer to take their showers. As part of the rustic camp experience, our dining area is inside a tent when we are unable to eat outdoors (under the open skies and around the fire are always the preference). The sides of the tent will be closed when required to minimise wind and rain. Blankets are also available when the temperature drops to ensure a warm and cosy experience. Our safari vehicles for transfers are all open. In the event of rain, we do have waterproof ponchos to keep our visitors dry, and blankets to keep them warm in the cooler months. Perhaps we could entice you to visit one of our other luxury lodges in the Timbavati or Klaserie Private Nature Reserves? We are so fortunate to have a collection that truly does have something for everyone. We know that no two guests are ever the same, and have created lodges that are as uniquely distinctive in their appeal. Please come and stay again… I will personally assist you in choosing the best fit for you. Sincerely Natasha, JP and Maricha Camp Managers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Phil W wrote a review Mar 2021
Sandton, South Africa1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Fabulous 'rustic' tented camp with 5* accommodation and amenities; wonderful service and excellent food. Excellent guides who made every effort. A lovely camp with a great team to look after you.

The focus of the camp is walking, with no game drives on offer, but the walking is very limited.

We were there for 3 nights - 2 nights would have been enough if your focus is walking. The camp is situated on a small property with limited places to walk. We walked the same area on all three morning walks. No variety and mostly through mopani. No rivers to cross or a change of habitat and no koppies to explore or climb and see the view. While the lodge itself gets 5 *s, the walking was very disappointing (NO reflection on the guides who were excellent).
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Date of stay: March 2021
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Natalie M wrote a review May 2021
Cape Town, South Africa13 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent 3 nights at the trails camp and were absolutely blown away. Even though it was a walking camp, there was zero compromise on luxury, we were so spoilt by Donald and the team.

The walking was a once in a lifetime experience. CJ and JP were amazing guides and we learnt so much! I read a review that said the walking got a bit repetitive but we didn’t find that at all. Plus, they’re about increase the amount of property they’re allowed to traverse on (not that we needed a reason to visit again).

And the food, all I can say is thank goodness we were walking so much because Raphael spoilt us with the most delicious meals and treats - we’ve travelled a lot and have to say his food was up there with our favourites!

Cannot wait to do this again!
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bernard N wrote a review Nov 2020
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The camp is one of a kind: meticulously planned, exquisitely executed.

Man and culture are seldomly in harmony with the bush as much as this. The extensive conveniences never distract from experiencing the wild.
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Date of stay: November 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Nick N wrote a tip Sept 2023
Madison, Wisconsin161 contributions68 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"You will walk 17K - 20K steps a day. So be prepared."
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Grumpiest Matt wrote a tip Jul 2022
Delaware113 contributions29 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We had tent 2, all 4 tents seem similar. We could see lots of birds mid day."
Read full review
GustavFM wrote a tip Jul 2021
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa19 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Most privacy and closest proximity to wildlife"
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Sally L wrote a tip Aug 2020
3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you like to be close to the wild, Lourie tent seems to be closest to the wild visitors"
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve area.
LOCATION
South AfricaKruger National ParkTimbavati Private Nature Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
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SIMBAVATI TRAILS CAMP - Campground Reviews (Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Simbavati Trails Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Simbavati Trails Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Simbavati Trails Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Simbavati Trails Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Simbavati Trails Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Simbavati Trails Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Simbavati Trails Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Simbavati Trails Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Simbavati Trails Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.