Simbavati Photographic Safaris

This 4 night (GUARANTEED DEPARTURE) photographic safari takes you to the Timbavati Nature Reserve known for its density and diversity of wildlife, including white lions, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, buffalo, rhino, zebra, giraffe, and an abundance of bird species. Experience the wildlife of South Africa through the lens of your camera and capture the most perfect moments. Simbavati Photographic Safaris together with Africa Photographic Travel can provide this ultimate experience.

Dates & Prices

Departure Date Return Date Tour Cost SADC Rate Availability



Please note that APT is very happy to let you know the 2016 Simbavati Photographic Safaris are Guaranteed departures, this means these safaris are guaranteed to take place, no matter the number of people booked.

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Northern region of the Kruger National Park. With no fences between the two reserves the animals move freely within more than 20 000 square kilometers of wilderness area, here you will experience some of the most pristine South African bushveld for the ultimate safari experience.

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is renowned for its great wildlife sightings, 40 mammal species in total some of which are the legendary big 5 as well as the endangered white lion, wild dog and cheetah, this is not to mention the abundance of plains game, diversity of birdlife (360 species in the area) and many landscape scenes – this combined with the knowledge and assistance of one of our professional wildlife photographers and based on our specialist photographic vehicle, featuring gas lifted maneuverable arms fitted with gimbal heads, four 360 degree swivel seats and lowered sides, makes this photo safari unmatched in the wildlife photographic industry – it promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Our professional photographer will ensure that you benefit from personalised instruction on everything from camera settings and set up and how to achieve the best exposure for images under an array of varying lighting conditions to professional tips on image editing.


Tour Itenary

  • Your safari begins as you arrive at Simbavati River Lodge. After settling into your rooms, a light linch and a briefing you will set out on your first game drive on board our specialised photographic vehicle.

  • After an early morning wake up call and a quick cup of coffee you will head out once again on board our specialised photographic vehicle driven by an experience guide. Our pro photographer will be there to assist you with any and all of your photographic needs, from camera settings to dealing with different shades of light as well as using different light sources and using specific photographic techniques. whilst on safari you will have the opportunity to photograph so amazing wildlife including the big 5 as well as an abundance of general game and birdlife. After your morning drives you will be welcomed back to the lodge with a full continental and hot breakfast that will be ready on your arrival. After breakfast you will have an opportunity to sit with you pro photographer to discuss any photographic questions or queries you may have, from camera and lens choices, settings, techniques or post production of images using Adobes Lightroom or Photoshop. In the early afternoon you will once again have a light lunch before heading out on another great photographic excursion.

  • On the final morning, your final game drive of this safari is followed by breakfast after which we will bid our farewells, and hopefully you will be leaving with not only a few great images but a new appreciation and passion for photography

Detailed Information

Our Photographic Safari takes place at Simbavati River Lodge, an intimate and friendly camp built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River in the heart of the world famous Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Shaded by age old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Simbavati is warm and welcoming, with a generous contemporary design and accommodation for guests in luxury tented rooms or thatched chalets.

Simbavati takes its name from the local Shangaan language, translated as “the place where the lions come down from the stars”. The focus of the lodge is on the excellent big-5 game viewing, breathtaking views, friendly and knowledgeable staff in an environment where guests are made to feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment they arrive.
Join us and make memories everlasting!

Lodge Features

  • 8 Luxury en-suite safari tents
  • 3 Thatched en-suite family chalets
  • Lounge with a selection of books and games
  • Curio shop
  • Bar
  • Game viewing deck overlooking the river
  • Dining on the viewing deck
  • Open air boma
  • Informal meeting room/activity room
  • Swimming pool
  • Wi-Fi in reception, lounge & deck (but very little cell phone reception)
  • Wheel chair friendly

Since we spend quite a bit of time on editing with a professional wildlife photographer, we recommend that you travel with a notebook / laptop, card readers and enough memory cards.

Our groups are very small, which means individualized attention is a guarantee; therefore all levels of photographers would be catered for even if we have a varied group.

The Safari Includes:

  • Max 6 people per vehicle
  • Professional Tuition by a professional wildlife photographer
  • Post processing and image library management tuition
  • 4 Nights Luxury Accommodation
  • Daily Game Viewing Activities reserved for exclusive use of APT Guests
  • Three Meals Daily

This Safari does not include:

  • All drinks.
  • Costs for Visas (if applicable)
  • Telephone Calls
  • International flights
  • Purchases and expenditure of a personal nature.

Optional Extras:

  • Photographic equipment rentals

Getting There:

By Air:

  • Twice daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg International Airport to Hoedspruit Airport
  • Daily flights into Timbavati Reserve Airstrip from Johannesburg International Airport
  • Private Charters – contact us for a quotation

By Road:

  • Self-Drive – Approximately 7 hours from Johannesburg
  • Self-Drive via Panorama Route – Recommended 2 days
  • Guided Tour via Panorama Route – Recommended 2 days
  • Road Transfer – 7 hours from Johannesburg

Getting there by air There are daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg International Airport to Hoedspruit Airport and two flights per week from Cape Town International Airport to Hoedspruit Airport. Transfers from the airport to the lodge takes approximately 1 hour and must be booked separately.

Getting there by road Simbavati River Lodge is approximately a 7 hour drive from Johannesburg. Follow the tar road from the Eastgate Airport/Timbavati turn-off for 44 km straight to the Simbavati turn-off. (GPRS coordinates for the Simbavati turn-off: S 24° 12’ 20.2” E 31° 19’ 24.2”). Turn right onto the dirt road and follow the lion footprints for approximately 6.4 km to the lodge. On the tar road you will go through 2 control gates. At the second gate you enter the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve where you will pay a Vehicle Entrance Fee of R120.00 per vehicle. Keep your permit, as the Lodge will issue you with an exit permit when you return again.

Download the Simbavati Photographic Safaris 2015 PDF


If you have been through the dates of these safaris and none of them suit your time frame, please do feel free to contact us regarding custom dates more suited to your needs.


Safari Images

Facility Images



Safari Images

Facility Images

Client Feedback

Russell James

Andrew was as good if not better than you promised, his attention to detail and his knowledge the equipment and how to use it was unreal. I will most definitely continue to book with APT as there is so much that you have to offer us amateur photographers. The staff at Simbavati River Camp are great, especially Christof who really understands what the host is looking for with each sighting. Food, accommodation and service all world class. As with the first trip a great 4 days.