After leaving the gorgeous seaside city of Cape Town (check out my last two posts – Visiting The Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town South Africa and Visiting The Bo-Kaap District, Cape Town South Africa), my family took a plane to our first safari destination on the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. We arrived at the Simbavati River Lodge and were immediately greeted warmly by the staff. The accommodations were so luxurious, we even had a butler! *say what!*
The day bed outside of my tent overlooked the stunning Nhlaralumi River where giraffes were grazing on the far banks. Reading my copy of Shakele Seaton‘s book Floodgates while I watched the tower of giraffes (that’s what a group of giraffes are called!) was the most calming experience.
The lodge took the guests on game drives in the early mornings around 6am and in the evenings around 5pm when the animals are most active. This is to make sure we got the best chance of seeing as many animals as possible. Currently there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati Reserve including the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant)! Their website states that “The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve was initiated in 1956 by a group of land owners concerned about the degradation of this once pristine wilderness area. Timbavati is dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species and is also involved in different research projects.”
After our game drives we would return to a delicious buffet-style meal where we could sit and eat together while overlooking parts of the Reserve. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous and you can often see animals grazing and sun bathing nearby. One afternoon a whole herd of elephants came by to graze and play in the water together. It was so cute, especially with the babies running around!
On top of that, our individual tents were the definition of luxury. I couldn’t have asked for more! There was air conditioning, bug nets enclosing the tent and complimentary bug spray, comfortable beds, and electricity. Even though we had to step outside to get to our bathroom, everything was so close together and with the trees surrounding us it felt very private. The bathtub was probably my favorite part! It was a big, beautiful white tub and you could even unzip the side of your bathroom tent to overlook the grounds of the reserve. Because all of the tents faced one direction, even if you decided to bathe with the tent open, you were in complete privacy.
My experience here was more than I could have hoped for. Seeing wild animals – sometimes even as close as an arm’s length away from your jeep! – was absolutely life changing, beautiful experience. The hospitality that the Simbavati River Lodge showed us was unmatched. I wish we could have stayed even longer, but I know I will be back one day and would definitely suggest staying here on your next safari trip!
Top and Sandals: Topshop
Pants and Belt: Really old H&M