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Simbavati River Lodge

When To Visit Timbavati Private Game Reserve:
When To Visit Timbavati Private Game Reserve:
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"One of the Timbavati's best family-friendly lodges, Simbavati River Lodge is an intimate lodge that caters fantastically to children of all ages with a variety of kids' activities. Due to its prime location along the riverbed, families can get quite close to a range of animals."


At Yellow Zebra, we rate River Lodge very highly indeed. A stay here is a great way to get to know Timbavati and we commend the lodge for being both family friendly and wheelchair accessible. And if you are into photography, you will relish the opportunities to hone your skills!


River Lodge is housed within a beautiful wood-and-thatch building close to the Nhlaralumi River near Kruger National Park.


The communal areas consist of a very comfortable lounge, a delightful dining deck with views of the river, a bar, an outdoor dining boma, a curio shop, a spa, and a swimming pool surrounded by sunloungers! A selection of books and a few board games are available in the lounge. There is also a room for children’s activities, which has further games and toys. Colouring pencils are available from Reception. The main building has been designed to be wheelchair accessible, though please note that there are steps down into the boma while access to the swimming pool may be tricky – staff, however, are happy to help where they can.

River Lodge’s guest accommodation comprises three thatched family chalets and eight safari tents. All chalets have two bedrooms and en-suite facilities featuring shower and bath, linked to bedroom one. Room configurations differ – Chalet 1 has two twins, Chalet 2 has a twin and a triple, Chalet 3 has a king and a twin. All tents have twin beds and either an inside shower and outside bath or vice versa! All accommodation options are vibrantly furnished and boast air conditioning, ceiling fan, electric blankets for winter, bedside lamps, two-point plug converters, eco-friendly insect repellent, hairdryer, safe, tea and coffee station, well-stocked mini bar, and private veranda to take in views of the river as it rushes past camp. Chalet 3 is suitable for wheelchair users, as it has a wide door and ample space inside to manoeuvre. There is easy access to a cupboard and lowered hanging rail, while the en-suite bathroom has a raised toilet seat, a roll-in shower with height-adjustable shower chair, room for an inflatable washbasin, a bath seat, and a bath mat with suction feet for stability. These are only a few examples of the equipment available for disabled visitors here – for further details, just ask!


The activities from River Lodge provide great opportunities to explore Timbavati.

  • Every morning after breakfast, guests can enjoy a three-hour game drive, bush walk or photographic safari. Disabled travellers are welcome on game drives, as staff assist with transfer into the passenger seat of the game vehicle.
  • There is so much to see in this area – all Big Five animals roam the reserve and there are particularly huge herds of lion, elephant and buffalo!
  • Timbavati is famous for being the home of the white lion, while other mammals include cheetah, zebra, antelope, giraffe, wild dog, hippopotamus and warthog.
  • The birdlife is phenomenal, featuring such species as herons, egrets, storks, kites and vultures.
  • Following a leisurely lunch and afternoon tea at the lodge, a further drive or walk is available in the afternoon and incorporates a sundowner break before guests return to the lodge for dinner.
  • The day ends with a night drive – this is a great chance to check out the animals that come out to play after hours, such as civets, genets, porcupines and servals!
  • The guiding standard is excellent and the one-on-one attention afforded to guests during photographic safaris is truly first rate. The lodge has a special photographic safaris vehicle, so with that and the assistance of an expert photographer guests are guaranteed superb shots of their time in Timbavati!

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

Timbavati Private Game Reserve

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