A huge thank you for our stay at Simbambili Lodge. Our stay was a roller coaster of good, better, best all the way. The staff (reception, administration, kitchen, cleaning and game viewing ranger & tracker) Food and accommodation was excellent from start to finish - so much so that we wished we could stay longer (Maybe never leave!). We found our game drive adventures, with intelligent, knowledgeable, often funny information from both our ranger (Sipps) and tracker (Service). They always made us feel safe, gave us best photographic opportunities and made sure we knew about the detail applicable to either fauna or flora. Tracks were explained in detail and our bush walk was "Wow!!". Thank you Simbambili for our stay, adventure and all the love - We will be back!
Excellent game viewing, knowledgeable game guide and excellent reception staff, but the accommodation facilities are suffering from poor quality maintenance. With a little effort this can easily be rectified. Overall an enjoyable stay and would recommend it to others.
When you go to Simbambili, you will never want to leave - you will understand why my wife said, "I've never been more relaxed in my entire life..." - you will understand why she had to wipe away tears when it came time to say goodbye. It really is an experience that you will find yourself totally absorbed by, whether you're stalking prey at sundown alongside a beautiful female leopard, or sipping morning mimosas after breakfast in the bush. Simbambili made everything truly special from the first game drive through the last.It's hard to choose a favorite moment. Many were romantic, all of them were awesome, some funny, some exhilarating....There was our first game drive and very first sighting, a dominant female leopard no less, literally less than 30 minutes after we'd arrived at the lodge. We saw 5 different leopards in all.
There was the lamp-light dinner in the dry riverbed, surrounded by nocturnal animal noises, new friends, and old stories of our guide's close encounters in the open bush.
There was the morning we woke up to find our books, which we'd left on private deck, chewed up by the monkeys.
There was the old buffalo, known to hang around the lodge, who we found waiting for us one night no more than 10 feet from the door to our suite!
There were the hyena calls in the distance, motivating you to roll out of bed for that first morning game drive.
There was the spa, where my wife had one of the best massages of her life.
There was the giraffe fight, an older male teaching a youngster to defend itself by wildly swinging their necks.
There were the lions, lazily napping away the late afternoon flat on there backs.
There was the Milky Way and the stars, literally millions of them that even the clearest of nights here in the States cannot rival. The Southern Cross! Scorpio!
There was The Big 5. The Small 5. The Guide. The Tracker. The service. The boma. The sundowners and the sunrises. The bush walk and the beer. Waterhole views and fresh-pressed perfect coffee. Bread. Salad. Salmon. Springbok. Pasta. Cookies. Cheesecake!Am I rambling now... ?Honestly, our only regret is that we didn't stay longer. Pierre was our Guide and not only was he chock-full of knowledge and experience when it came to the animals, the bush, African culture, and photography, he was the kind of guy you'd gladly share a drink with and just rap about life --or anything! Service was our tracker (sorry if that's not spelled right!) who you just know is an absolute sharpshooter with that slingshot! He was a true professional and greeted each game drive with a smile and a nod. Arnold provided the best service I've had at any resort. Every request was fulfilled with a simple word: "pleasure" -- and I can't begin to say how much he improved the overall experience when the time called for a cold drink or an amazing meal.Simply put, I want to thank Simbambili for being the absolute highlight of an incredible African honeymoon. Anniversary holiday planning will now begin immediately...
Amazing experience from start to end. We took the chartered flight option to the lodge to avoid the long drive from Joberg and it was well worth the extra cost.. Our 3 days were organised perfectly for us. The staff were fantastic and facilities are exactly as you see on the website. All lodges are identical with the exception. Of 1 which is bigger and used as a bridal suite. The tracker and ranger were also very good, their knowledge of the area and the wildlife is vast and they are only too willing to share it. We saw all the big 5 more than once as we'll as wild dogs and various other animals and birds...
I really don't know where to start with this review. I guess I should probably start from the beginning. Simbambili was the first stop on our honeymoon. We arrived via a flight to Hoedspruit and road transfer to Simbambili. When we arrived at the lodge, we were greeted with fresh hand towels and virtually all the staff came up to the entrance to welcome us. It was close to 3pm and with the first game drive at 3:30pm, they immediately sat us down for lunch and our bags disappeared to our room. They insisted that we not miss the afternoon game drive, which we're very happy we didn't. There's nothing like introducing us to the African wild like chasing a leopard through the bush after dark.We can't say enough good things about the staff and level of service at the lodge. Pierre, our ranger, spent countless hours talking with us about the different animals and their behaviors in the wild. He was also generous enough to teach me how to use my new Canon camera in manual mode, which made all the difference in the picture quality. If that wasn't enough, he also let me use his lens, which allowed me to capture incredibly close-up pictures of the wildlife. Our trackers, Service, Thomas, and Justice, were able to locate some great animals. I still can't figure out how they picked up on a footprint on the ground going 20 mph in a Jeep. The lodge arranged a private dinner for us in our room on our 2nd night there and our butler, Arnold, could not have provided better service.For our first few game drives, my wife and I were the only 2 people in the Jeep. Even when a few other people joined us, it still felt like a very intimate setting. In terms of the animals, it felt like we saw everything. Multiple leopards (and leopard cubs), a pride of 7 lions walking right by the Jeep, rhinos, buffalos, elephants, hyenas (some of which woke us up in the middle of the night), monkeys (who ran across our deck), giraffes, zebras, eagles, wild dogs, wildebeests, a porcupine, jackals, hippos, and more impala than we could count.We cannot express enough gratitude to the staff at Simbambili. They made our honeymoon truly unforgettable. A special thank-you to Pierre and Arnold for making us feel like part of the Simbambili family. We will no doubt be returning soon!
We had 3 days at this resort and saw each of the big 5 and had wonderful guides and tracker. For the morning drives we were given hot water bottles and blankets to keep out the chill, but once the animals were sighted and the adrenaline kicked in they weren't needed. Sundowners in the bush on the evening drives were fun. One evening we had a hyena join us at the restaurant which was a bit of a laugh. The staff were wonderful, meals were great and the rooms immaculate.
This was a unbelievable room with large balcony including plunge pool, day bed, and many other accompaniments. The staff was great and very attentive. The dining area overlooks a watering hole which attracts animals while you are eating. We saw a large Rhino walk through the area at lunch. The ranger (Pierre) was very knowledgeable on flora, Fauna, birds, and all other wildlife we encountered. We saw the big 5 and had some very unique wildlife encounters. We would definitely stay here again!
My husband and I spent a total of 5 nights at Simbambili for our honeymoon. Our initial stay was 3 nights and then we went to another game lodge. However, we were so blown away by our experience at Simbambili and missed it so much that we cut the time at our other lodge short and returned to Simbambili for another 2 nights. Our stay at Simbambili was by far the highlight of our honeymoon. Liam and Alison are amazing hosts and we were overwhelmed by their warm hospitality. They went above and beyond to make our stay memorable and are such lovely, friendly people. The great thing about this lodge is that it's unfenced so the animals can roam wild. Your butler will escort you to your room at night, and one day we watched elephants graze past our lodge as we sat in our plunge pool. Liam was also our guide and Mumps was our tracker. We saw all of the big 5 plus wild dog on several occasions and we even saw a leopard drag an impala up a tree several times. Mumps tracking experience was exceptional, bashing through the bush after finding tracks is such an amazing experience. Liam's passion and knowledge of all of the animals and birds made each game drive equally exciting and unique. Each drive we went to different areas and you never knew what was around the corner, literally! For our group one evening we came across an elephant as we turned the corner and I think we scared him as much as he did us but such a great memory. We went on walks through the bush and you learnt a lot more on foot, and you certainly feel more vulnerable but a must do while your there! The rooms, food and service was top notch! By the end of our stay Alison and Liam felt more like friends than hosts. We cannot wait to return to Simbambili, we reminisce all the time and have such wonderful memories. Thank you Simbambili, we hope to see you again soon!
My husband, teenage daughter & I have just spent 3 nights at Simbambili -our first safari experience, it was WONDERFUL. We had an amazing experience -our Gude Sipps & Tracker Service were first class & ensured we have memories that will last a lifetime. The service at the lodge was of a very high standard - stylish rooms, plunge pools & comfortable beds on the deck, great food & drink.. What more could one ask for?
This was the second lodge we stayed at on our honey moon, our first was excellent, so Simbambili had a lot to live up to.We arrived around 7pm and evening game drives were finished for the day, so we were shown to our room clean up for dinner at 7.30pm. The room did not disappoint in anyway (once we figured out how to turn off the ceiling fan), expansive bed, beautiful bathroom room with a great bath and amazing shower. Our porter brought us up to the dining area overlooking the waterhole and the food was both plentiful and extremely tasty (thanks Dolly) and Reinas our butler was wonderful!5am come early for game drives, this was when we were introduced to Richard and Service our guide and tracker for our stay. Richard and Service were excellent, getting us lions and leopards on our first drive along with a host of other big game (seeing 4 of 5) on the first day alone!!!! Most mornings we returned to the lodge of breakfast around 9am, but we did have a wonderful bush breakfast.After our first game drive we returned to see the full extent of the lodge. It was absolutely beautiful over looking the river bed with a tree full of vervet monkeys. The plunge pool was great after a hot morning relaxing on the deck!We cannot express how wonderful the experience of Simbambili was in words and our pictures cannot even come close to showing how magnificent the place and game here are!Thanks to all at the lodge - Gabby, Richard, Service, Reinas and everyone else who's name I have missed or forgotten - truly unforgettable experience!
We have visited 4 times now and with each visit our anticipation grows for our return and with each departure we leave with a heavy heart and truly amazing memories! The lodge is a haven of tranquility with unsurpassed nature conservation and great animal sightings not of just the Big 5 but of birds, trees, flowers and the tiniest of creatures all making up a true African Safari experience! No matter if you a novice on your first trip or a weathered bush fundi - there is something for everyone to learn and see!The community project which they sponsor not only sees fresh vegetables been grown to feed the local community including the school children but also selling them commercially to surrounding lodges to economically support the community - an inspirational and humbling experience to see arid small scale farming that is such a success - truly worth a visit!Thanks to the whole team at the lodge for yet another AMA-ZING visit - hope to see you soon xxx Nick & Anitra Elliott-Fowles xxx
My wife and I only spent one night at Simbambili Lodge, but it was honestly one of the best times we have had. The staff were very warm and welcoming. The lodge is amazing and overlooks a watering hole. The game viewing is top notch!Before we arrived I had told them that it was our honeymoon and if they could surprise my wife with something special. The lodge certainly went beyond all expectation and arranged a private dinner for two in our room, a bubble bath along with a bottle of champagne and rose petals everywhere.
The rooms were elegant, the staff provided superior service. It was a dreamtrip come true.