Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge has one of the finest settings in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, an unfenced but private part of the Kruger Park. It’s perched on the hillside with wide-angle views over the bush and views to the distant mountains of the Drakensberg escarpment. Simbavati Hilltop Lodge offers an exclusive, authentic, and unforgettable African safari experience.


  • Simbavati Hilltop Lodge has one of the finest settings in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve
  • Romantic ambience with luxurious, private suites overlooking the beautiful dam
  • Spacious private decks with a Sala pavilion with daybed for each suite

You should know

  • Children 12 years & older are welcome at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge.
  • Children under the age of 16 years have to share a room with an adult above 18 years of age.

The detail

Savor magnificent views of the bushveld, the Nhlaralumi River and the distant foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain Range from the comfort of the lodge.

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge boasts eight individual Luxury Tents that are positioned to offer guest privacy and comprise of two individual tents. One tent features the main bedroom and the other a separate bathroom, which is linked by a passage that can be opened up on one side – allowing for an indoor or private outdoor shower experience.    
The lodge facilities include a lounge that offers a selection of booked and board games, curio shop, dining area and bar, covered pool long, game viewing deck overlooking the river, Wi-Fi connectivity in the reception, lounge and deck area, and an infinity pool with views of the bushveld and Drakensberg Mountains.

Currently, over 40 mammal species reside in the Timbavati, including the Big 5 - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant, as well as endangered species including Wild Dogs and Cheetah. The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of the few places in the world where you have the opportunity to see the unique white lion in their natural environment. There is also an abundance of birdlife with a total of 360 species of bird recorded in the reserve.

Enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives conducted in open 4x4 safari vehicles and led by professional rangers.

For the more adventurous traveler, bush walks can be arranged prior to arrival and are is a great way to discover the smaller wondrous creatures of the bush and learn more about the fauna and flora.

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge is ideal for solo explorers, couples and families looking for an authentic tented safari experience.

Price includes

  • Accommodation, all meals, two game drives per day, selected local beverages, Emergency Medical Response and Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance.
  • Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our Agents for the best, most current rates available.
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Rates & Pricing

All promotions for this lodge are shown below, you can also view all current safari specials here.
Stay 4 nights, Pay 3 nights: Valid until 20 December 2023
Last minute SPECIAL
Stay 2 nights at any Simbavati lodge and receive a 30% discount at Simbavati Trails Camp, a walking safari camp in the Timbavati Game Reserve. Minimum 2 nights stay at any one lodge
Honeymoon SPECIAL
Stay 3 or more nights and one partner pays only 50%. Bottle of wine on arrival/in room
$ 620 USD
$ 470 USD
$ 620 USD
SPECIAL - Great news, you appear to be from a SADC country and can enjoy the discounted rate shown!
Rates are starting prices per person, per night sharing.
With specials, we always use the best promotion available, please contact our experts for more guidance.
We include travel insurance that will make this booking totally refundable.
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Get in touch with Nelia, our resident expert in all aspects of this accommodation who will not only help plan but also book flights, transfers and lodging for your trip. Remember, our price is the same as going direct - see our best price guarantee!

To find out more about our 100% fully refundable bookings, ask Nelia or click here.
We had and awesome experience at Simbavati. The service and food was excellent.
Belinda Minnaar
Exactly what we expected and more, what an experience. The local specials make it possible for us South Africans to also experience this type of quality experience as well. Keep it up!!
We had an amazing 3 night stay at Simbavati, staff was great. Rooms were amazing. I would definitely recommend this destination.
Fleetwood Grobler
All what we expected and more...
We had family from the UK and needless to say we wanted to show them as much of our beautiful SA as possible. Although hesitant at first, we drove from JHB to Kruger - it was a long drive but worth every minute of it. SA has the most amazing landscapes and backdrops.Simbavati Hilltop Lodge was amazing, we were treated like royalty from arrival to departure. The venue surpassed our expectations - it was everything and more.Beautiful beautiful beautiful, needless to say we did impress our guests.A quick shout out to Bjorn and his team, very professionally handled. Thank you.
As a South African, I am used to our wonderful natural beauty, but I have never experienced a better vacation in my life! Everything was of the highest quality, and the service was exceptional! Thank you to all the wonderful staff at Simbavati - we shall definitely visit again!
Krzysztof Duda
Top notch facilities,great food,wonderful atmosphere, excellent service...what else do we need to have a great holidays?! We only wish we could stay longer at this place, but now we've got another good reason to come back!!!
mike hancock
This is a relatively new camp (July 14) and everything within it remains pristine. The staff and management within the camp remain extremely enthusiastic and passionate to ensure that every guest enjoys full enjoyment of the Hilltop experience. My wife and I have been to many reserves in SA, Namibia and Botswana and this camp rates in our top two !! The road to the camp is a little "exciting" for normal cars, but well worth the effort. Suggest that intending visitors fast for several days before arrival as the quality and quantity of food and drink offered is superb. The main reason for our trip was to experience the wildlife, and in this we were not disappointed - seeing the Big Five and seeing Leopards on each of our first four outings, one with kill in a tree, one just failing to take down a Impala and two just strolling! The knowledge, driving skills and bravery of the guide and the spotter make this a truly unforgettable experience. Unfortunately time spent here will never be enough, however we cannot recommend it highly enough. Mike Hancock.
Our stay at the lodge was great. The lodge, it's facilities, game viewing, meals etc - all was great.
Wow! What a spectacular place! I was at the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge for 3 nights. The service and staff were amazing. I really enjoyed the experience they had to offer. Colbert and Derek were my guide and tracker. Great knowledge of all animals even the birds. So exciting everyday to get out and go for the game drives (one early morning and one early evening). Breakfast, lunch and dinners were included and the 3 chefs they had were serving gourmet food. I even booked a massage one afternoon. The tents were spacious and very clean and comfortable. Great views of the river valley where you could see animals in the morning. Felt like a 5 star hotel underneath the 5 billion stars we could see every night. Colbert really did his best for us to see the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard). Very highly recommended.
The Simbavati lodge rests on a hilltop overlooking a bend in the river and under the warm December sun the river foliage is low enough for visitors to see animals at the nearby watering hole from the comfort of the open air lounge, bar, or infinity pool. It's a small, luxurious, and environmentally conscious lodge run by a well traveled couple who want to share the magic of the bushveld without ruining the natural habitat of its residents. Their effort and creativity has resulted in a string of private pavilion-styled luxury tents (almost like canvas-covered bungalows) nestled on the slope of a hill overlooking the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve.It's kind of like camping...but for adults who want to treat themselves a little.Our bungalow, #8, was the farthest from the open air communal lounge, pool, bar, and dining area. Like the other bungalows, it consists of two large canvas tents connected together with a outdoor deck. One tent contained the big bed, desk, chairs, wardrobe, air conditioner, mini-fridge, and large windows. The other tent housed the toilet, a double sink vanity set, and large tub cuddled next to a mesh screen looking over the river and the African bush. Yeah, you can bet it was romantic. In between the two tents is an dual-headed open air shower that conceals you from the wooden pathway to other bungalows should you decide to belt out Toto's "Africa" to the riverbed below and any animal willing to listen while you clean your favorite birthday suit. Each of the bungalows are far enough to allow for privacy and yet close enough to feel safe and secure.If you come here, you must not forget that you're in the middle of a nature reserve: there may be some insects that get into the tents, it may be quite dark on the path to the bungalow at night, and one doesn't have a host of nightlife options. However on the flipside, you could get the opportunity to spy giraffes at breakfast, watch an elephant forage from the comfort of your private porch, or look up at the star-filled sky at dinner.And that's not even including the exciting safaris we went on.Even though we stayed just a couple of nights, my girlfriend and I had a really memorable time and we hope that we will get a chance to come back and visit this beautiful place.
Francois Klomp
Lovely camp setting. Large and very private 5 star suite. All lodge staff very friendly and helpful and excellent lodge managers. Spa treatment in room very pleasant experience. Fantastic game drive experience, twice exceptional leopard sightings. Sensitive field guides and trackers who respect animals more than at other lodges in Kruger, even when off road. Food was good. Private surprise dinner for birthday was wonderful experience. All and all a great experience. We plan to definitely visit again.
We stayed at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge for 3 nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. The service is excellent, Lelanie is always present, making sure everything is working as it should and she spends a lot of time engaging with her guests. The tents are very comfortable, well spaced out and offer wonderful views. We had a large herd of elephants walking right under our terrace ! I particularly liked the fact that staff are local and interact a lot with the guests. On two of the three nights we were there we had a traditional african fire (boma) and our safari guides joined us at the dinner table. Our guide was Shaddy and he was excellent at finding the wildlife, getting us very close and providing the right level of information. We were lucky to see the Big 5, three leopard sightings, wild dogs, hyenas but also loads of birds.On our second day our camera decided to stop working and Lelanie arranged for us to hire a camera from the other lodge (Simbavati River Lodge). She made sure it was charged for us every time we went out and downloaded the photos onto a CD and sent it on for us to our Cape Town hotel. We had a wonderful time at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge and would highly recommend it.
We were assessing safari venues for our 2015 season. The staff are exceptional and very good hosts.The safari excursions were very well planned and no pressure was put on the wildlife. The meals were good and the Chef responded positively to dietary requests.
Neil Gulden
My stay here was seriously perfect. The lodge is beyond relaxing/spa like and the staff caters to your every need. Eddie was my safari guide and he also happens to be one of the GMs. Not only did Eddie know everything there is to know about the animals, but he also shared the same excitement as the tourists when we got word of an animal sighting. Eddie's excitement and passion for what he does made you as the tourist have even more fun, you can tell he absolutely loves his job. This was my first safari experience and I honestly don't think it could have been any better. We saw the big five in my 3 days there and each safari ride was more exciting and fun than the last. Also, because this lodge is private, unlike Kruger, we were able to go off roading and into the bush. We had several situatons where the animals were far into the bush and had we been at Kruger, we would have had to stay on the main road and not been able to go into the bush to see the animals. For those of you doing research on where to stay, you're crazy to not put Simbavati Hilltop Lodge a the top of your list!
Liz Morel
We just spent 2 nights at this splendid lodge and we cannot wait to let everyone know how fantastic our experience was ..the rooms/tents are very luxurious without being over the top (the way we like it) and the view from the deck (and the shower!) is absolutely amazing! Food is very good and plenty, staff is very helpful and friendly. The best things were indeed the game drives, with our ranger, Greg, and tracker, Shaddy, a winning combination! Greg really loves what he does and his passion for the wild animals is contagious! We spent an absolutely incredible morning following a leopard and the wonderful experience has indeed left us with the desire to visit Simbavati Hilltop Lodge again. We visited a lot of other private game reserves in South Africa but this was definitely one of the best stays we ever had.
Marilyn S
We spent 4 nights at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge and it was the highlight of our trip to South Africa. Spacious luxury tents...not really tents at all...all very private and well spaced apart from your neighbour. The viewing deck was huge , the bathroom spacious with a large soaker tub and double sinks. And the double outdoor showers was a great touch. The game drives were awesome, we saw the big five and then some! Our guide, Colbert and our tracker Derek were excellent and really knew where to find the animals and were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The food was very good,and we had two outdoor barbeques which were also very tasty.The dining staff are excellent, Aubrey and Bishop are very helpful as was Benedict, the night watchman who showed us to our room each night. We cannot say enough good things about this lodge, it is well managed, the staff are excellent and the accommodation is very nice. We loved it!
Rob R
We spent 2 nights at the lodge. It was exactly what we had hoped for. Small , intimate , personalized and great game viewing. Greg our ranger and tracker shaddy were fantastic - respectful of the bush and knowledgable . Lelanie was superb as manageress and all round advise The lodge is fairly new and there were a few minor snags that we advised them on. Hope to return soon ! Rob and anthea
Oliver W
What a wonderful way to spend one's time in the Bush. The tents are brand new, and so spacious! Outside Shower and Bath with a view. The decks, bar and pool all have a view over the valley, and it was a really great time. Very much recommended.
Greg C
I can't imagine a nicer place to stay. Beautiful and private bungalows with outside rain showers and nice bathrooms/big tubs. Comfortable beds with heating blankets. Air condition/heat in wall. Plenty of plugs for electrical. Only 8 units, so 16 people max! quiet and secluded. Animals right off the back decks for most rooms.Great pool/bar. Staff is very smart and helpful. Super nice and friendly. We will miss them all. Food was great and plentiful. Beautiful decks and sitting areas. Lots of animals to see. We saw all the big 5 when we were there. Just amazing. We would definitely go back (we were in a party of 12, my family was 4, an 11 and 14 year old girls).
out of 5 based on
Nov 27, 2023
They are the best
your team is just the best. very very helpful even when I changed my plans several times. Congrats
ioma carvalho
Nov 24, 2023
Friendly, helpful, great experience.
Sara was very friendly and helpful. She gave a lot of information and tried to fulfill our needs as much as possible. There was a good and also fast communication. I will definitely book with again!
Nov 21, 2023
Great support
Great support. Very efficient.
Nov 18, 2023
We booked one of the most beautiful…
We booked one of the most beautiful trips we've ever had through The service was excellent and uncomplicated. They catered to special requests, booked additional flights, and the accommodation (Simbavati River Lodge) was simply unbelievably beautiful. Our expectations were far exceeded, and we can only recommend We will definitely book our next vacation through and recommend it to our friends. Many thanks, Nelia & Catherine!
Nov 14, 2023
They work hard for you
Anja has really gone above for me. I changed my mind a couple of times but she has willingly worked her magic to get me my bucket list trip in September 2024. Cannot wait!!
Nov 13, 2023
Great Service
Great service and response time. Candis answered all my queries immediately and satisfactorily. She tailored our trip to our requirements really well. I would highly recommend her for your trips to South Africa.
Hilary Gough
Nov 9, 2023
Very personal treatment and always…
Very personal treatment and always available to answer all of our questions.
Nov 8, 2023
Great Experience
Keagan and his team were great at getting our reservation booked at Shalati. Timely and professional communication made this a great experience. Thanks
Nov 7, 2023
Sara was “Fantastic” a true…
Sara was “Fantastic” a true professional, found a solution so we could experience a wonderful Safari, with great hotels, the Revos train and flights. Great!
John, USA.
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