Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Timbavati Game Reserve

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge Location Map

The Simbavati Hilltop Lodge - situated within the world renowned and breathtakingly beautiful Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger Park - guarantees an exclusive, authentic and unforgettable African safari experience. Home to the famous white lions, expect exceptional game viewing within Simbavati Hilltop Lodge’s extensive tract of over 12,000 hectares of unspoilt wilderness.

The lodge offers Big 5 game drives in the early morning and late afternoon/evening, taking advantage of the time of day that the animals are naturally most active. Nocturnal creatures - including the big cats - are regular sightings at night. Currently over 40 mammal species are listed as resident in the Timbavati, including the Big 5 - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant - as well as endangered species including wild dogs and cheetah.  There is an abundance of birdlife, with a total of 360 species of bird listed.

The lodge is perched on the hillside with wide angle views over the bush and views to the distant mountains of the Drakensberg escarpment. Below the camp is the expansive Mbali Dam and the Nhlaralumi River, where you may be lucky to see elephant, and other wildlife, come to quench their thirst.

Accommodation is pure African safari style and comprises of 8 individual pavilion-style luxury tents, linked by wooden walkways to the main lodge. Each suite comprises 2 individual tents - one for the main bedroom, and 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. Privacy is guaranteed thanks to the careful placement of the tented suites, ensuring a tranquil and intimate stay. Some of the suites are situated to enjoy the breathtaking views and are therefore accessible via steep stairs.

There is also the private Simbavati Mvubu Cottage cottage that accommodates up to 4 guests in a comfortable and homely environment with a high level of service.

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Show Rates in
Our standard rates for a Luxury Safari Tent
1 April 2024 to 31 October 2024 GBP 563 USD 726 ZAR 12,938 EUR 669 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights
1 November 2024 to 20 December 2024 GBP 563 USD 726 ZAR 12,938 EUR 669 per person sharingContracted Rate2 to 3 nights
21 December 2024 to 5 January 2025 GBP 563 USD 726 ZAR 12,938 EUR 669 per person sharingContracted Rate2+ nights

Prices are on a per person sharing basis (pps).

Special offers for longer stays or when booked as part of a longer itinerary may apply - details on request.

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Rates Include

All meals; the Timbavati Conservation Levy; selected drinks (selected spirits, house wines, local beers and soft drinks); return shared Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport transfers at set times (on request and must be pre-booked); and 2 daily shared safari game drives (dawn and dusk in open 4x4 safari vehicles) are included. IN ADDITION: For self-drive visitors there is a vehicle entrance fee of R280 per vehicle (subject to change), which is payable at the Timbavati Gate.

Children Policy

Children aged 12 years and older are welcome. Rates available on request. Children under the age of 16 years have to share a room with an adult above 18 years of age.

Special Offers


Simbavati Hilltop Lodge: Stay 4 nights for the price of 3

Free Night
Simbavati Hilltop Lodge: Stay 4 nights for the price of  3 Timbavati Game Reserve

Code: SAF-6517

Stay 4 nights for the price of 3 at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge in Timbavati Game Reserve. Fully Inclusive basis.

Valid:   1 November 2024  -  20 December 2024.

Book Before:   16 December 2024.

Example price for 2 people staying 4 nights from:

Example price based on staying in a Luxury Safari Tent between 1 November 2024 and 20 December 2024.

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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge Location.

Directions For Drivers

From Hazyview: Follow the R40 towards Klaserie. Once past Klaserie, continue along this road until you see the turning off to the right for Eastgate Airport. Turn right here and proceed along this road until you reach the main Timbavati Control Gate/Enkhulu Gate.

From Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport: Turn left and proceed along this road until you reach the main Timbavati Control Gate/Enkhulu Gate.

From Johannesburg/Pretoria: Take the N12 or N4 highway to Witbank/eMalahleni (from Johannesburg Airport, follow signs to Boksburg to find the N12). Follow the N4 highway past Middleburg (Toll Plaza), Belfast/eMakhazeni and Machadodorp (Toll Plaza). Follow the Schoemanskloof option on the N4 and then take the R36 to Lydenburg/Mashishing.

Follow the R36 to Ohrigstad, go through the Strydom Tunnel and take the R527 to Hoedspruit. Turn right onto the R40 towards Klaserie, and continue along this road until you see the turning off to the left for Eastgate Airport. Turn left here and follow the directions as above From Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport.

From Kruger National Park/Orpen Gate: Exit the Park, and continue along the R531. Turn right onto the R40, and continue along this road until you see the turning off to the right for Eastgate Airport. Turn right here follow the directions as above From Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport.

ONCE AT THE TIMBAVATI CONTROL GATE: For self-drive visitors, there is a vehicle entrance cash fee of R280 per vehicle payable at the gate (cash or Visa/MasterCard credit cards only and subject to change). Please retain your receipt as proof of entrance and have it stamped at your destination when you are leaving, which acts as your Exit Permit.

Once inside the gate, continue straight for approximately 25 km (speed limit of 50 km/hour) and pass the Ndlopfu sign on your left. Shortly after this, you will see a dam on the right hand side. After this, turn right onto a gravel road at the Simbavati River Lodge sign. Carefully follow the Simbavati River Lodge paw print signs on the trees for a further 6.4 km to the lodge. On the way you will be crossing a low water bridge. Allow between 30-50 minutes to drive from the gate to the lodge.

Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.

Also, we would advise that you do NOT use a GPS once in the Timbavati, as it is likely to give you incorrect directions!

General Information For Guests

The safari tents are air conditioned and have a private game viewing deck and double day bed, as well as ceiling fans, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, safe, heater, fan, and a hair dryer. The en-suite bathroom tent is connected to the bedroom tent via a small passage. On the deck is a double rain shower with views over the dam. Electric blankets are provided in the winter months. Each tent is also equipped with an electronic eco-friendly insect spray (10 minute intervals).

Each tent is access by a number of steps.

The lodge has a main game-viewing deck overlooking the river, along with an infinity pool, all of which have panoramic views of the bushveld and Drakensberg Mountains. There is also a covered pool lounge for shaded outdoor relaxation, a curio shop, and a 360 view bar and lounge. There is also a seated firepit area and an open air boma.

There is a spa which offers a range of different treatments (additional cost).

There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the main lodge areas only.

The lodge had very limited cell phone reception.

A laundry service is also available (additional cost).

For dinner, there is a 'smart-casual' dress code.

The lodge offers scheduled transfers at set times to coincide with the scheduled flights into and out from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport. Please note that you will be sharing with other guests coming to the lodge. If you are planning to drop a rental car at Hoedspruit Airport, please ensure that you arrive well before the flight arrival time as unfortunately the transfer vehicle cannot wait for late arrivals. Scheduled collection times from Hoedspruit are 11:20 and 13:20. Scheduled departure times from Simbavati are 09:30, 10:30 and 11:00. If you are arriving at a different time, then a private transfer can be arranged (additional cost and on request).

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If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.

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