Simbambili - back home

May 30th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Simbambili - back home

just returned to a rainy and cold Belgium.
The safari trip I so carefully planned and longed for is over.
We had an incredible good time !!

Simbambili really is 'fantasties' (fantastic) Jaco was our ranger and lucky our tracker.
During the 3 nights (6 game drives) we saw like 7 different leopards, of which the 2 new 8weeks old cubs of Saseke. We had an incredible close encounter with an elephant, we heard young lions trying to attack a rhino while sitting in the dark in the jeep, saw big herds of buffalo, different lion prides..

I will tell you all about it later.

Anybody who has any questions about Kings Camp, Honeyguide Mantobeni, or Simbambili, just ask !
May 30th, 2005, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,218
Would love to read a trip report on any and all details you'd be willing to share - accommodation details, staff, food and service, game viewing, sightings, stories, purchases... anything and everything...

Many thanks!
Kavey is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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africa lover,

Glad to see you had such a successful visit to Simbambili!

Did you happen to take pictures with a digital camera that you will be able to share?

Also, how close in terms of distance was your best leopard encounter?

I have heard that Jaco is one of the best rangers in South Africa and I have requested him for my September stay.

When you get a chance, I would love to hear more about the lodge, the other guests in camp (how many, where were they from and did you get along with them), and about the remainder of your time in South Africa.

Thanks and welcome home.
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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yes , we took like a 1000 pictures with my brandnew Digital rebel XT with 75-300mm lens.

I will try to put them on the internet as soon as possible.

The closest we got to a leopard?
Well, at 3 diiferent occasions, the leopards passed right beside our jeep, if I had put my hand out, I would have been able to feel its fur!!!

Same for the elephant, it came as close that he ,had he wanted, could put his trunk in our jeep.

about Jaco, he is so dedicated that every game drive we did, we came in late for breakfast or dinner, because we were following tracks of lions or leopards and JAco wanted to follow them until we found the leopard or lion.

I have my diary , but need to translate it

It was pretty calm (regarding guests)while we were there.
2 americans were just leaving as we arrived, we were a group of 6 belgian people, so we had our own jeep. There were 2 other couples, a couple of Californian honeymooners and a couple from NEw Zealand, but, as we had our own little group, and honeymooners like to be by themselves, we didn't make a lot of contact with them.
May 30th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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What we experienced at Simbambili :
read Jaco's diary on

26 May 2005 - evening drive : describes the lions chasing the rhino

27 May 2005 - morning drive :
the elephant described by Jacque is the one we had a close encounter with

27 May 2005 - evening drive :
Safari leopard trying to catch the impala

28 May 2005 - morning drive :
the two lionesses drinking at the dam,
the reflection in the water

May 30th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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practical details about the trip we made:

from Eastgate airport (Hoedspruit) to Timbavati, Kings camp : 1h15 driving.

from Timbavati, Kings Camp to Manyeleti, Honeyguide Mantobeni : 1h20 driving

from Manyeleti, Honeyguide to Sabi Sands , Simbambili lodge : 1h30 driving time

from Sabi Sands, Simbambili lodge to Eastgate airport (Hoedspruit) : 1h20 driving time.

May 30th, 2005, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Africa Lover,

Here is a more direct link:

Looks like there was a very nice diversity of wildlife for your stay. I did, however, tell the wild dogs to not return until I arrived!
Roccco is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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yeah right, no wild dogs
not in Timbavati where they hadn't been spotted for some time now,
not in Manyeleti, although they do have a mdash road (mdash meaning wilddogs)
In Sabi Sands, we didn't even think about going out and look for wilddogs,
due to the enthusiasm of Jaco, we already had game drives of more than 4 hours (the first being even without sundowner because we were tracking some leopard )
thanks for the correct link to taga rocco.

And yes, we had quite some diversity, also because of the different types of accommodations we stayed in.

Tell you more about it tomorrow,
really do need some sleep now.. dreaming about the last 10 days...
May 30th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
Thanks and dank u wel africa_lover -- your enthusiasm and great feeling make your reports jump off the page. (I'd wish you a good night's sleep, but I don't know how to spell the word that sounds like 'slaapel'.)
DonTopaz is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 11:43 AM
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for anybody interested in the lodge Simbambili here is a thread to a few of the pictures we took of the lodge, Jaco and the animals
Jun 1st, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Some nice pictures, and the accomodation looks terrific. What camera were you using? It's a pity you couldn't get a closer shot of the two lions drinking, it would have been spectacular with that light.
napamatt is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:34 PM
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Great pictures - but I think you were a little too close to the puff adder!
sundowner is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 11:41 PM
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the camera used for these pictures was a nikon D70 (?)with a lens with max range 200mm,
I have added some new pictures of those lions , pictures I shot with my new canon digital rebel XT with 75-300mm USM IS lens. Have a look!

we were racing through the savanna in search for leopards when all of a sudden our tracker saw that snake in the middle of the road.
We could take those pictures from right on top of it, a bit scary, but it looked as if it was vast asleep, didn't dare to get out of the jeep though..

Jun 4th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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see my trip report of the 3 days at Simbabmbili on :
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Africa Lover,

Thanks for the wonderful report.

I love the name of those two rhinos...tweedledee and tweedledum...I bet they were not named by anyone who has ever been chased by them!

Regarding your first game drive...isn't it the best when after a slow start, expectations fall to a minimum only for the game drive to finish off in "fantasies" fashion?! (I will learn Dutch yet)

By my count, you saw, how many?, about 6 different leopards on your three days at Simbambili, and other than your very short final morning game drive you saw leopards or lions on every single game drive, while also seeing rhinos on a couple occasions. WOW!

Thanks for sharing that very informative trip report.
Roccco is offline  

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