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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 January 2017

As this was our first time on safari we really didn't know what to expect. Let me just say that we were already planning a return visit before we checked out! Viewing the "big five" and other large animals roam freely in their native habitat is truly "life changing" as another recent reviewer mentioned. You are able to get so close to the animals at times thanks to the highly trained guides and trackers. Kudos to our drivers Jimmy, Joe and our tracker Vincent. The level of knowledge and expertise that Simbavati's guides/trackers possess really enhances the safari experience. Also, Simbavati uses open air Land Rovers that seat a maximum 9 guests (no tops, no barriers, no 20 people in a vehicle). The entire staff really worked hard to ensure we had a pleasant stay. From our butler Andrew, who has a contagious smile, to Colin, the lodge manager, who met us with a chilled towel after each and every drive and lent us an adapter so we could charge our phones, to the chef and all the housekeeping staff - everyone was so hospitable. There are only 8 rooms at the property and each offers great views (we actually saw giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and elephants from the room/lodge) and comfortable accommodations.

In a typical "Hollywood" ending, we had seen four of the big five, and hadn't yet spotted a leopard so on our last morning drive, with about 10 minutes to spare, our guide spotted a leopard and while it was fairly quick glimpse before it scurried away, it was a leopard no less. Great way to end our stay at Simbavati.

Highlight: on one of our drives, we were lucky enough to see the African Wild Dog, which is a real treat as this animal is rare and very nomadic. It hadn't been spotted at the reserve for about one year. That's one of the exciting things about the game drives, you never know what you are going to find!

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank ChicagoTravelGuy9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2017

Dear ChicagoTravelGuy9

Thank you for the detailed review we really do appreciate it.

Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing stay at our lodge. I am thrilled to hear that you got to see the "Big 5". We actually planned it, the leopard was supposed to stay longer but she was being difficult on the day :) All jokes aside, we are glad that you got to experience all the animals including the wild dog, this is definitely a safari that you will remember forever.

We hope you will come back and visit us again.

Compliments of the year to you, may this be the year that all your dreams come true.

Kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed 4 January 2017

Service is beyond expectations, great safari drives, opulent african dishes.
The lodges are nicely decorated, some even have good wifi.
Our butler/ waiter Andrew was so nice, you would have taken him with you, if given the chance. Game keeper Joe went out of his way to offer us the best views of African wildlife.

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Lehuster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2017

Dear Lehuster

Thank you for the lovely words in your review they mean so much to us. It makes us so happy to hear that we exceed our guests expectations.

We work hard to provide our guests with a memorable safari experience and that is why your review means so much to us.

We hope you will come and visit us again as we would love to treat you, your friends and family to another unforgettable experience.

May 2017 be an amazing year for you.

Kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed 2 January 2017 via mobile

We had a wonderful stay at the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge. Saw all the big five and much more. Our hereos, Jimmy/guide and Vincent/tracker made big efforts to make us see as many animals as posible. It was magic!
Our flight was cancelled due to bad wether, so we rented a car in Jo-Burg, to get to the Lodge. We got there at 10 PM. Some parts of the road was good, but others full of bad poteholes. The road in the Kruger park was bad and dangerous at night. I recommend
You not to drive by uourselves.
At the Lodge the food and service was very good. Very gentle staff.
I Love the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge!

Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
Thank Helene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2017

Dear Helene S

We love that you love our lodge!

We are glad that you got to us safely and that once you were here you had an awesome stay!

We hope you will come back and visit us again!

Thank you for the review, kind regards Nadine

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Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

It has it all. All the animals that you ever dreamed of, the best staff you can imagine, wonderful rooms and great quality food and drinks. This is absolutely world-class standard place to see all the animals and the guides are amazingly helpful and give you many interesting facts about the animals in the area. We managed to see the big 5 in 2 days. I highly recommend this place and would return in a heartbeat.

Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
Thank davfog35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2017

Dear davfog35

Thank you for the review and the recommendation we really do appreciate it.

We are glad that you got to see and experience the "Big 5" in the "wild" it is very exciting!

We hope you will come back and visit us again.

Keep well, regards Nadine

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Reviewed 22 December 2016 via mobile

We stayed at Simbavati for 4 nights at the end of our honeymoon in SA and it was a fabulous end to a great trip.

The first thing to say is that the staff absolutely make this place what it is. They went out of their way to make our stay special. Our butler Aubrey, made us cry with laughter every day but the star of the show was our guide Colbert. If you are lucky enough to have him as your guide, you are in for a treat! His knowledge, enthusiasm and passion made each drive a treat and his catchphrases are still making us smile!

We were fortunate enough to see all of the big 5, but we also saw girrafe, hyenas, wilderbeast, hippos, a crocodile and even a black mamba (thankfully from the safety of the jeep!) to name a few. I would stress that the trackers and guides really know what they are doing and work as a team with all the others within the reserve so even when a drive seems quiet, be patient, they will find something interesting to see!

We stayed in December (summer) and over the 4 days we had glorious sunshine, heavy rain and strong winds, so be prepared for all weathers! Its also definitely worth doing a bush walk, for an alternative view to being in the jeep.

A fantastic experience, thank you!!

Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Lizanne N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2017

Dear Lizanne N

Thank you for choosing to stay at our lodge for your honeymoon. We are so happy that we could be a part of this memorable occasion and that we were able to make it extra special for both of you.

We will pass on your compliments to the staff, they love hearing when the exceeded our guests expectations.

We wish you both infinity happy years together filled we love, laughter and many wedding anniversaries spent at one of our lodges :)

We love your review and appreciate the detail that you put into your review.

Please come back and visit us again.

Kind regards Nadine



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Additional Information about Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Address: Mbali Farm, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: R13 271 - R15 304 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Simbavati Hilltop Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our accommodation is pure African safari, and comprises of individual pavilion-style luxury tents, arranged to create a unique village feel. Enjoy magnificent views of the bush, the Nhlaralumi River and the distant foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain Range at our lodge. ... more   less 
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