7 Days Private Safari South Africa & Botswana

  • Timbavati Game Reserve - Louis Trichardt - Mashatu Game Reserve

Overview

Photography Safari in South Africa

Simbavati invites you to join this private photography safari in South Africa. This safari offers you exciting, close-up game viewing experiences with 40 mammals species including the "Big 5" and more than 360 bird species ready to be discovered. You also have the chance to see the white lion of the Timbavati in its natural habitat! It's exciting, isn't it? You know what's more exciting? You witness all of these yourself!

Highlights

  • Daily game drives
  • Daily 2 game activities
  • Private photographic vehicle
  • Daily photographic hide session
  • Transportation & airport transfer
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, & dinner
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • 1 delicious brunch
  • 6 activity days
  • English
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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

SImbavati Hilltop Lodge's accommodation is a pure African safari and comprises of individual pavilion-style luxury tents arranged to create a unique village feel. Each suite comprises two 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.

The careful placement of the tented suites ensures a tranquil and intimate stay. Some of the private suites are situated to avail of the breathtaking views and are therefore accessible via steep stairs. For the mobility impaired, please ensure that you stipulate your needs when booking.

Simbavati River Lodge

Simbavati River Lodge is situated in the northern sector of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and surrounded by 12,000 hectares of wildlife and rich wilderness in which you can experience an authentic African safari. The design of this 4-star lodge is contemporary, warm, and welcoming.

Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned lounge, bar, boma, and extensive decks with breathtaking views overlooking the Nhlaralumi River where regular wildlife sightings take place and guests can unwind. This accommodation consists of eight luxury tents and three chalets which are privately situated, comfortably furnished, and with en-suite facilities.

Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge

Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge is one of very few luxury lodges in Southern Africa which specializes in a meaningful and authentic cultural experience.

Mashatu Main Camp

For the client who is accustomed to luxury, Mashatu Main Camp will meet every expectation. 14 luxury suites lie along the camp’s perimeter and are designed to allow absolute privacy and a communion with the bush and its inhabitants. Watch elephants splashing at the waterhole, listen to the lyrical melody of the woodlands kingfisher on a branch overhead, smell the grassy scent of the bushveld, and touch the bark of an ancient tree and inhale a breath of air so pure - it’s intoxicating.

Each of the air-conditioned suites at Mashatu Main Camp is tastefully decorated and includes impressive black and white prints of Africa’s most beautiful animals. A double bed and an extra-large single bed together with a seating area include a single day bed. The ample en-suite bathroom with both bath and shower facilities and a separate W.C. complete the well-appointed suites.

A large swimming pool is a focal point where Mashatu Main Camp's visitors can cool down and relax between game activities. The Discovery Room is the portal through which curious visitors get a glimpse of another world - one that existed long before the appearance of man. The animal specimens and relics will fascinate and educate visitors of all ages, as will the resident crocodiles - both great and small.

Mashatu Tent Camp

A 30-minute vehicle transfer from Mashatu Main Camp is a refuge that is very different. Mashatu Tent Camp is almost one with the environment; blink and you might miss it! This tented camp is the leisure choice for the guest who seeks the ultimate one-on-one bush experience and who prefers a more intimate environment.

8 completely private tents are tucked under the branches of enormous trees, accessible via meandering pathways. The tents themselves are spacious, comfortable, and large enough that adults need not duck to move around in. Each is mounted on a concrete platform and has its own private outdoor en-suite facilities including WC and shower. Imagine showering under the stars!

Instant camaraderie is the norm at this unique camp. The camp’s plunge pool invites guests to cool off and escape the relentless heat typical of the summer months. The sturdy and shaded hide also overlook the waterhole and here bush enthusiasts can sit quietly and witness animals going about their day, completely unaware that they are being watched.

Day 1: Timbavati Game Reserve (Greater Kruger Park)

Today, you will arrive at Air Force Base Hoedspruit (HDS) where you will be met by your driver for a transfer to your lodge (approximately 1 hour of road transfer). You will arrive in time for high tea which will be served around 15:00. Thereafter, there will be an afternoon / evening game drive in an open 4 x 4 Land Rover together with your knowledgeable field guide and other guests from the lodge. Later, you will stop to enjoy a spectacular African sunset with a sundowner drink and snacks before returning to the lodge in the dark where you may be lucky to spot a rare nocturnal animal with the aid of powerful torches. Your dinner will be served at the lodge.

Day 2: Timbavati Game Reserve (Greater Kruger Park)

Today, you will have a full-day safari. You will rise early followed by coffee plus rusks, and then a morning game drive. Timbavati Game Reserve is well-known for its excellent game viewing and if you are lucky, you may even spot one of the famous white lions of the Timbovoti. Other than the “Big 5”, there are great opportunities to see all sorts of wildlife and your field guide is an expert in the area’s flora and fauna. You will enjoy a hearty breakfast before having time to relax during the heat of the day, either by the pool or in the comfort of your room. In the late afternoon, you will have a time for another game drive in the hope of seeing some more exciting animals. Dinner will be served at the lodge on your return.

Day 3: Makhado

Today, you will have a final game drive at Timbavati Game Reserve followed by breakfast and check out. Then, you will be transferred to Makhodo in northern Limpopo. Madi a Thavha means “water from the mountain" in Venda. Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge is one of very few luxury lodges in Southern Africa which specializes in a meaningful and authentic cultural experience.

Day 4: Makhado

Today, you will be served breakfast. The rest of the day will be at leisure. Suggested activities available on site are as follows:

  • Elim Arts and Culture tour
  • Venda lifestyle tour
  • Venda Land of Legend tour
  • Croft Art and Culture tour
  • Lake Fundudzi tour
  • Nature, culture, and spiritual tour
  • Day walks in the Soutpansberg Mountains
  • Mountain bike tour

Day 5: Mashatu Game Reserve

Today, you will have breakfast and check out. Then, you will be transferred to Pont Drift Border Post. At 13:00, a representative from Mashotu will meet you for your transfer to the camp in an open safari vehicle for approximately 1 hour of road transfer to Mashatu. At sunset, you will stop in the bush for sundowners where you will experience the magic of the bush as the sun sinks into the dusty horizon. As darkness approaches, the trackers will scan the bush with a powerful spotlight and point out any elusive nocturnal nightlife that may appear. Afterwards, the safari vehicles will return you to the camp allowing you time to freshen up before meeting for pre-dinner drinks of the "Gin Trap" bar. Dinner will be served under the stars in the traditional open-air boss while the sounds of the surrounding bushveld serenade you.

Day 6: Mashatu Game Reserve

An early morning call heralds a new day in Africa's most exciting game reserve. After a light snack, your early morning game drive allows you to explore the magnificence nature. On your return to the camp, a hearty brunch will be served. Later, you can spend the morning relaxing by the pool or in the Discovery Room. After having high tea in the late afternoon, you will set off again in a search of a game. Afterwards, you will round off another perfect day at Mashatu with a delicious dinner at the camp.

Day 7: Check out

Today, you will have your final game drive followed by breakfast and checkout. You will be transferred back to the Pont Drift Border Post for your onward journey at either 11:00 or 13:00.

Note: You will have 1 photographic hide session per day.

Your safari will take place at Timbavati Game Reserve, Makhado, and Mashatu Game Reserve. The Timbavati Game Reserve was initiated in 1956 by a group of landowners which was concerned about the degradation of this once pristine wilderness area. Timbavati is dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species and also involved in different research projects.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
(If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

During this safari, you can pamper yourself with spa treatments at an additional cost. To pay homage to Simbavati's unparalleled cultural heritage, they bring you traditional African massage. Indulge in a selection of Simbavati's country’s authentic and traditional massage techniques with their highly skilled and trained therapists who will relax and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.

  • 1 brunch
  • 2 game activities per day
  • 2 game drives per day at Simbovati River Lodge
  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • One photographic hide session per day
  • One way transfer from Air Force Base Hoedspruit (HDS)
  • One way transfer from Madi a Thavha to Pont Out Border Post
  • One way transfer from Simbavati to Madi a Thavha
  • Private photographic vehicle
  • Timbovati conservation fee
  • Transfer from Mashatu to Point Drift Border Post at scheduled times
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities to staffs
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Timbavati vehicles entrance fee

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Air Force Base Hoedspruit (HDS). Simbavati will pick you up there and it is included in the price.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by A traveller from Singapore

    "Perfect!- That's the best description that I can give with our stay in the lodge. A place to shutdown and enjoy the nature and wildlife. Starting with the staff, always smiling and very engaging. The rooms are just fascinating,it's glamping! A very huge tent with A/C, fan and hot shower that is very nicely done. Apart from the usual toiletries, the insect lotion and spray are with compliments. As for the food, it's so good that even if we are still full we cannot stop ourselves not to try the meal, every meal was special and the service of of the staff was impecable. (Hello Jeffrey!) We were lucky enough to have a very good tracker and guide, Hemmet, Kruger and Sheddy, we were able to saw the Big Five within the first two drives. Like what they always remind us every drive is different, but they will try their best to show everything during your stay with them. They are very good at positioning the LR for us to be able to see the animals as near as possible with caution, as we only used our Iphone to take pictures. Before I forget, random animals will pass by the Dining area to have some food and a drink by the pond some of our visitors were the elephants, hyenna and hippo! And if you are really lucky you'll earn good friends too as most of the guests came from all over the globe. As there are only 11 tents 3 of which are good for families. There will be a lot of socialization, most of it are sharing pictures with other guests. Great job guys! Keep up the good work as we would like to bring our kids in the near future and stay with you again! P.S. Enjoy the Sun, Moon, Stars and even the Milky Way!"

    ""

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveller from Virginia, USA

    "Fantastic place! Our game drives tracker and guide were such nice people, as well as all the staff! We felt welcome all the time and they've treated us very nicely. The place is amazing and the room was very comfortable as well. I would highly recommend it!"

    ""

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Cindy from Bowral, Australia

    "As a mother daughter travelling together Simbavati River Lodge was ideal for seeing the big 5 and so much more. To start our "deluxe tent" gave glamping a whole new meaning. So well appointed and clean and animals literally at your back door (or watching while you took an outside shower). The morning and afternoon safaris were amazing and we couldn't have asked for a better guide in Kyle and tracker in Daniel. Their knowledge of the animals and birds was outstanding not to mention the great driving skills exhibited when a lone Bull elephant got a bit grumpy whilst we were having morning tea and had to beat a hasty retreat The staff at the lodge were outstanding Melody on the front desk so welcoming ,Bishop in the restaurant the happiest person ever, the girls in the spa,the barman poured the best gin and dry lemon EVERYONE was exceptional. Put this place on your bucket list."

    ""

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Sandra Braun

    "Simbavati had a wonderful place.They also offered great game drives and delicious food. Thank you, Kyle and Daniel."

    Simbavati Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Boitumelo Mathabathe from Gauteng, South Africa

    "We really enjoyed our weekend at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge. We received beautiful hospitality. Thank you for all of your staffs who made it a memorable experience for us."

    Simbavati Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Amet Liber

    "Simbavati was absolutely amazing. The staffs who di everything and beyond to make guests happy and they always did everything with a smile. They also had breathtaking facilities, guides, and such a great place for game drives and rare sightings. We could not wish for anything better."

    Simbavati Facebook page, edited

Hoedspruit, South Africa

Simbavati offers excellent breathtaking views, "Big 5" game viewing, photographic safari, and friendly and knowledgeable staffs in an environment where guests are made to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Speaks English

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7 days / 6 nights

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