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. Below lie the expansive Mbali Dam and the Nhlaralumi River, where you may be lucky to see elephant, and other wildlife, come to quench their thirst.
Hilltop Lodge has a light footprint, purposely designed so that it can be removed without leaving any lasting impact on the land. This luxurious lodge has a romantic, bright and airy ambience with 8 spacious tented suites connected by wooden walkways to the main lodge and a private Cottage( Mvubu) Accommodating up to 4 guests per night.
The Timbavati forms part of the Greater Kruger Park and offers exceptional game viewing including all the Big Five, most notably leopard, and also wild dog. Twice-daily game drives provide for close encounters with birds and animals, large and small.
8 luxurious tented rooms offer a choice or King or twin beds. Each suite has glorious views over the bushveld, the dam and the Nhlaralumi River. French doors open out onto an expansive viewing deck, each with its own private sala pavilion with double day bed for an afternoon read or snooze.
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.
• A private and exclusive cottage with two en-suite bedrooms (one of which has an outdoor shower) for up to four guests to share. It occupies its own elevated position, with a private pool and viewing deck (the day bed is the perfect vantage point from which to appreciate the view and the many animals that come to drink from the Nhlaralumi River below).
• Guests reserving the cottage at its published rate can expect the ultimate exclusive Big 5 safari, with access to a private vehicle, field guide and tracker (maximum of four per vehicle). Those guests who may be upgraded from Hilltop Lodge will join Simbavati Hilltop Lodge game drives with other guests.
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, although Mvubu Cottage guests have the option of more private dining experiences where continental breakfasts, picnic-style lunches and a-la-carte dinners will be delivered to them by our service team.
• The day bed on the upper deck can be converted into a ‘sleep out’ for our more adventurous guests.
24-hour Security, Bar, Eco Friendly, Laundry Service (Available), Library, Mobile Connectivity, Pool, Restaurant, Secure Parking, Spa
Air Conditioning, Balcony / Deck, Bath, Dressing Gowns, Electrical Outlets, En-Suite, Fan, Hair Dryer, Heater, Laundry Facilities, Lounge Area, Mini Bar, Outside Shower, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee
Game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon when the animals are naturally most active. Key to the experience are your English-speaking local guide, working with a tracker from the local Shangaan community. This duo pool their knowledge, experience and fresh observations to maximise your wildlife sightings. Not only in terms of how much you see. But how rewarding, informative and fun the overall experience is. Your guide is often a keen photographer and will be conscious and considerate if your mission is to capture sightings on camera.
Several times a week, dinner in the camps is a more hearty, campfire style meal served under the stars in a ‘boma’, a circular enclosure originally made from branches. The cosy, lantern-lit ambience recalls the early days of safari pioneers.
Another authentic safari experience is dining out under the star in a boma (an enclosed circular dining area) around the campfire. This usually takes place every 2nd night.
The gentle flicker of lanterns, candle-light and a welcoming open fire truly conjures up what is magical about a safari.