WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15488 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
At Simbavati Fynbos on Sea, our dedicated guide portrays passion and personalised professionalism which transforms each guest's experience into an extraordinary journey. Meet Keith, a true maestro of his craft, with a knack to intertwine knowledge with exploration in nature to create a memorable adventure.
Radiating a genuine enthusiasm for showcasing the wonders of the Garden Route and the setting at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea, Keith ensures that every guest departs with cherished memories and a profound appreciation for the natural world.
Beyond his role as a guide, Keith is a nature enthusiast, avid bird watcher, and an expert in plant knowledge. A warm, open-minded, accepting, and patient individual, Keith is a treasured member for the Simbavati family.
His journey into guiding began with a discovered appreciation for Fynbos, and led to a deeper exploration of nature's wonders. One of Keith's focus areas lies in revealing the healing power of plants. As a guide, he sees this role as an opportunity to help others understand themselves and nature.
Adventures and Activities
Join Keith on an exploration of Simbavati Fynbos on Sea, where his passion and knowledge converge to create an immersive experience.
Experiences available range from guided nature walks to kayaking, beach explorations, guided mountain biking excursions, 4x4 eco drives and rejuvenating sunset barge cruises. The protea farm tour is also a favourite activity and a must-do during a stay at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea.
Unlock the secrets of Simbavati Fynbos on Sea’s enchanting environment, with Keith as your guide.
Discover more about Simbavati Fynbos on Sea:[post_title] => Meet Keith: Guide at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => meet-keith-guide-at-simbavati-fynbos-on-sea [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-11-20 13:30:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-11-20 11:30:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-unique-safari-dining-experiences-at-simbavati-waterside/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Fynbos on Sea
Meet Keith: Guide at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15167 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
Simbavati Waterside is a quintessential, beautiful and enticing safari lodge set in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. Those in search of romance will enjoy the lodge’s many intimate spaces, imaginative private dining settings and the joy in knowing that no two meals are ever quite the same. Surprise special touches are added to the experience for those celebrating honeymoons and anniversaries too or for those simply enjoying the disconnection from a busy life to reconnect with each other on safari.
Dining Variety and Flair
At Simbavati Waterside, we believe that an extraordinary safari experience extends far beyond thrilling game drives and breathtaking wildlife encounters. A vital aspect of this experience is the opportunity to indulge your palate in a remarkable setting, surrounded by the untamed beauty of the African wilderness. Our dining settings and options are designed to enhance your safari adventure and create unforgettable memories.
Bush Boma: An Authentic Safari Feast
During a safari stay at Waterside, one of your evenings will involve dining under a star-studded African sky in our Bush Boma, with the sounds of the wilderness as your soundtrack. The traditional boma experience offers you an authentic safari feast like no other. Gather around the crackling fire as you savour a delectable blend of traditional and contemporary African cuisine. The atmosphere is both enchanting and communal, as you share stories of the day's adventures with fellow travelers and the Waterside team, creating lasting connections and enjoying some traditional African song and dance too.
Beach Boma with a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
Simbavati Waterside's beach boma is a unique gem, where you can bask in the serenity of a private beach setting alongside our active waterhole. Beside the tranquil waters of our private dam, delight in our unique wood-fired pizza oven. Sip on your favourite beverage as you dine with a view over the wilderness and a sense of tranquility. An option on the menu may well be one of our signature, freshly baked pizzas with a delightful array of toppings. This unique dining experience offers a perfect combination of relaxation and indulgence on safari.
Al Fresco Dining Overlooking the Waterhole
The iconic and captivating dining setting at Simbavati Waterside is our al fresco dining deck, overlooking the waterhole. Take a seat on our open-air deck and witness the mesmerising theater of nature unfold before your eyes. While you enjoy gourmet dishes created by our talented chefs, watch as elephants, hippos, and various other wildlife come to quench their thirst at the waterhole. It's a dining experience that allows you to become one with the African wilderness.
For those seeking a more intimate and personalised experience, Simbavati Waterside offers private dining options. Whether it's a romantic dinner for two or a special celebration, we can arrange a private dining experience that suits your preferences. Some secluded locations include dinner in our private wine cellar, on your private deck or tucked away in one of our more secret locations. Under the guidance of our expert culinary team, you'll enjoy a meticulously crafted menu in a secluded location. Private dining at Simbavati Waterside is an exquisite way to celebrate life's special moments or simply relish a quiet evening in the wild.
Simbavati Waterside's unique dining settings and options are an integral part of our safari experience. We believe that indulging in exceptional cuisine amidst the awe-inspiring African wilderness adds an extra layer of enchantment to your adventure. We aim to make your culinary journey at Simbavati Waterside as unforgettable as the safari itself.
Discover more about Simbavati Waterside:
Unique Safari Dining Experiences at Simbavati Waterside
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15157 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
The Cederberg, a ruggedly beautiful region of South Africa with a remarkable history, tells a story that traverses through time. It spans from the original inhabitants, the San and Khoikhoi people, to colonial explorers, early settlers, and later conflicts and triumphs.
The Original Inhabitants
Long before European settlers arrived, the Cederberg was home to the San, or Bushmen people, and the Khoikhoi people. The San were hunter-gatherers who roamed this vast land, leaving their legacy in the form of ancient rock art found in caves and overhangs throughout the region. Some of these rock art depictions date back over 2,000 years and portray herds of eland, elephants, leopards, and more.
The first European contact with the Cederberg was made by the explorer Bartholomew Dias when he spotted these imposing mountains from the Atlantic Ocean. He named them the "Sierra dos Reis," which translates to the "mountains of the three wise men of the East." These three mighty peaks, including Sneeuberg, Sneeukop, and Tafelberg, are still visible from Cederberg Ridge today.
The name "Cederberg" itself originates from the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis). This rare and endemic tree typically thrives at altitudes above 1,500 meters. It is revered for its fine-grained wood, but the arrival of European settlers nearly led to its complete extinction. The cedar tree was heavily utilized for furniture, housing, and even telegraph poles. Today, these trees are strictly protected, with only isolated, hard-to-reach specimens remaining.
Around 1670, one of the earliest colonists to the Cape, Marthinus Oloff Bergh, led an expedition north from Cape Town to explore the Cederberg. The owners of Simbavati Cederberg Ridge are proud 10th generation descendants of this visionary explorer. Bergh's scouting party encountered the river that flows through the valley, observing herds of elephants along its banks, leading to its apt naming as the Oliphants River. Regrettably, these elephants were eventually hunted to extinction in the region by later settlers.
The Cederberg area began to see population growth with the arrival of the 1820 settlers from England and Ireland. Although many of these settlers initially found the area challenging due to its mountainous terrain and Mediterranean climate, Clanwilliam, one of South Africa's oldest towns, steadily expanded. Clanwilliam's establishment as a municipality in 1808 marked an important milestone. In fact, it is the seventh oldest town in South Africa, a testament to its historical significance.
Impact of the Anglo-Boer War
The Cederberg was the unexpected southernmost battleground of the Anglo-Boer War. Boer commandos traveled southward from their strongholds in northern South Africa, aiming to threaten the English Cape Colony. The town of Clanwilliam, the northernmost English stronghold, was a focal point of this conflict. The Boers sought to garner local support from Dutch-descendant farmers, but their efforts proved futile. These farmers, while harboring no love for English colonial governance, believed that the English would ultimately emerge victorious, and they feared repercussions. As a result, they chose to remain loyal to the English.
The Englishman's Grave
A poignant episode from this era is that of Lieutenant Clowes, an Englishman leading a patrol from Clanwilliam. His patrol was ambushed by a Boer commando, resulting in his tragic death. He was buried on the spot, and his family later erected a headstone resembling a Celtic cross with the words "brave and true." This location became known as Englishman's Grave, and Lieutenant Clowes' mother made the arduous journey from England to visit her son's grave each year until 1936.
Clanwilliam Dam and Rooibos Tea
The construction of Bulshoek Dam in 1914 marked an important turning point for the area's fortunes. The much larger Clanwilliam Dam was built in 1935 and later expanded in 1964. These developments allowed neighboring farms access to the vital resource of irrigation water. Today, the region's primary agricultural products are wine, table grapes, citrus, and renowned rooibos tea. Plans for further dam enlargement are in the works, offering potential for continued growth.
Cederberg Wilderness Reserve
The Cederberg Wilderness Reserve was officially established in 1973, serving as a protected area that now spans about 5,250 hectares. In 1987, an additional reserve was established with the primary goal of preventing the Clanwilliam cedar tree's extinction. These trees, remnants of a colder era, are now found on cooler mountain slopes in remote, inaccessible areas. All farming livestock was removed from the Cederberg Wilderness Reserve, and small quantities of indigenous fauna were reintroduced, allowing the mountain fynbos to recover. The reserve has become a cherished wilderness destination, providing solace for those seeking refuge from the demands of modern life.
Cederberg or Cedarberg?
A curious historical note is that the English name for the region was initially the Cedarberg, while the Afrikaans name was Sederberg. About 15-20 years ago, it was decided to merge the two names into the new name, Cederberg. As a result, you may encounter both spellings: Cedarberg and Cederberg.
The Cederberg, with its rich tapestry of history and natural beauty, continues to enchant visitors, offering a captivating glimpse into the past while embracing the present.
Discover more about Simbavati Cederberg Ridge:
The History of the Cederberg
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15126 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
The story of Kleinvlei Farm is a captivating journey through time, deeply intertwined with the region's history and Simbavati Cederberg Ridge’s owning family's heritage.
A Legacy Born in 1807
Kleinvlei Farm, nestled within the picturesque Cederberg Mountains, has a history dating back to the arrival of Irish settlers in Clanwilliam in 1807. Clanwilliam itself stands as the 7th oldest town in South Africa. One of our owner’s, Anton's ancestors, particularly Oloff Martinus Bergh, had explored this land in the late 17th century, marking the Bergh family's connection to the Cederberg.
Among these settlers was William Parker, the leader of the Irish Settlers. He was granted a portion of land to farm, known as Kleine Valley, which is today's Kleinvlei Farm. However, William Parker's longing for the lush, rainy landscapes of his Irish homeland prompted his return, leaving behind a unique Mediterranean climate that the Cederberg is known for today. The Shaw family, among the settlers, chose to make Kleine Valley their home instead.
One of our scenic farm walks offered at Simbavati Cederberg Ridge takes you through Shaw's Kloof, where the remains of their modest cottages can still be found. The settlers later relocated further down the valley, constructing a long, white-washed thatched house. It was in the 1840s that the Bergh descendants of Oloff Bergh returned to the area. They initially purchased a farm in the "Agter Pakhuis" area, on the other side of the Cederberg Mountains. Later, they moved to a farm atop Pakhuis Pass, where Cape Nature's headquarters now stand. In 1907, the Bergh Family acquired Kleinvlei Farm, which remains in the family to this day. Over time, the original 1820s house was extended to become a spacious four-bedroom home.
Water, the Lifeblood of Farming
The success of Kleinvlei Farm, like many in the Cederberg, depends on its water supply rather than the size of the land. Our region receives less than 200mm of rain annually, classifying it as semi-arid. However, a river flows through Kleinvlei, making farming viable. Generations of Berghs have played a role in shaping the farm's irrigation channels, which diverted the river to sustain our fruit orchards. Anton's father, Dennis, built a substantial farm dam, enabling Dennis and Anton to expand the farm's operations.
Tragedy struck in 2013 when the original 1820s thatched Cape Dutch homestead, where Anton's widowed mother lived, was lost to a devastating fire. The thatched roof made the fire consume the house in just half an hour. While it was a heart-wrenching loss, we are thankful that no one was hurt in the fire. Anton's mother chose to move into a smaller home, and we made the decision to build Simbavati Cederberg Ridge in place of the old farmhouse. It had long been our dream to showcase this little-known region through a lodge.
Farming on Kleinvlei Today
Our farm spans 3,000 hectares in the Cederberg area, and we primarily cultivate table grapes and citrus.
The harvest season runs from mid-December to the end of February. Speed is of the essence to pick, pack, and store the grapes once they ripen. Our grapes are exported to the northern hemisphere during their winter season when local production is limited. Producing high-quality table grapes involves meticulous care, including pruning the vines and shaping the bunches for a classic appearance. In peak season, we employ approximately 100 people to pick and pack the grapes.
The citrus harvest begins in April and continues through September. Our farm yields several types of oranges, each serving a distinct purpose, whether for consumption, juicing, or jam-making. The freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast is sourced right from our farm.
A Modern Approach to Farming
Today, farming is an industrial process, with cold stores and packing sheds taking the place of picturesque outbuildings. The original farmstead was not rebuilt in its initial location for this reason. Kleinvlei boasts four large cold stores, two packing sheds (one for citrus and one for grapes), and a makeshift air cooling system due to the sweltering heat. We also collaborate with overseas supermarkets, packing produce with their labels, or offer our own brand when dealing with wholesalers. Farm tours are a part of our offerings, and we extend support to Lemoenland pre-school, an infant school we established for the children of our farmworkers and neighboring farms. It is an ongoing testament to the sense of community and history that Kleinvlei Farm represents.
Discover more about Simbavati Cederberg Ridge: https://www.simbavati.com/lodges/cederberg-ridge/[post_title] => Unearthing the Rich History of Kleinvlei Farm in the Cederberg [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => unearthing-the-rich-history-of-kleinvlei-farm-in-the-cederberg [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-10-26 11:24:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-10-26 09:24:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-a-day-in-the-life-at-simbavati-trails-camp/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Unearthing the Rich History of Kleinvlei Farm in the Cederberg
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14801 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
In the heart of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Simbavati Waterside is nestled within the tranquil wilderness. There you'll find a gem that radiates warmth and healing. Molly, one of our beloved spa therapists, is a beacon of positivity and genuine care. With the biggest smile and a heartwarming character, she touches the lives of every guest she meets.
Molly has been a cherished member of our lodge family since 2020, and she quickly became a favourite amongst our guests. Her healing hands work wonders during therapies and treatments, and her welcoming personality creates an atmosphere of comfort and serenity at our superb spa.
A Passion for Revitalisation
One of the things that sets Molly apart is her admiration for the Healing Earth products used at the spa. These eco-friendly, all-natural products align perfectly with Simbavati Waterside's commitment to nature and well-being. Molly's passion for these products shines through in the care and attention she brings to every spa experience.
Molly's journey as a spa therapist is fueled by her deep desire to make people feel good about their bodies and, equally important, to feel good in their bodies. Through her skillful massages and a range of other spa treatments, her mission is to soothe and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit.
She thrives on providing healing, relaxation, and comfort to our guests. It's a source of immense pride for Molly when she knows that a guest arrived at the spa feeling stressed, tense, or in discomfort, but after her treatment, they leave feeling light, refreshed, and completely soothed.
Molly's words are testament to her commitment: "Sometimes guests arrive at the spa with sad faces and leave with happy faces, all because of Molly."
A Bundle of Sunshine and Smiles
One guest's feedback perfectly encapsulates Molly's magic. They shared that from the moment Molly introduced herself until the moment they left Simbavati Waterside, Molly was a bundle of sunshine, always adorned with her infectious smile. Her unwavering positivity left an indelible impression on the guest, ensuring they felt a deep sense of warmth and calm throughout their stay.
Molly, with her healing touch and radiant personality, epitomises the spirit of Simbavati Waterside—a place where nature's beauty and incredible hospitality come together to create a memorable safari.
Discover more at www.simbavati.com/lodges/waterside/[post_title] => Meet Molly: A Spa Therapist Who adds to the Tranquility at Simbavati Waterside [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => meet-molly-a-spa-therapist-who-adds-to-the-tranquility-at-simbavati-waterside [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-10-18 14:03:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-10-18 12:03:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-what-you-need-to-know-about-simbavati-trails-camp/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Meet Molly: A Spa Therapist Who adds to the Tranquility at Simbavati Waterside
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14777 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
When considering a journey into the untamed beauty of Simbavati Trails Camp, it's essential to be prepared. Here's a guide to the "need to know's" that will ensure your walking safari adventure at this immersive and unique safari camp is perfect and memorable.
1. The Length of a Walk
Guests are led by an experienced trails guide on twice daily safari walks through the alluring Big 5 wilderness of the Timbavati. On average, a walk spans between 5 to 10 kilometer, however, the pace is deliberately slow, with numerous stops to examine animal spores, delve into the world of flora and fauna, and for water breaks in the most wonderous of settings.
2. Fitness Level Required
You don't need to be an athlete to enjoy Simbavati Trails Camp, but a moderate level of fitness is beneficial. The terrain can be challenging, and walks can extend up to 10 kilometers. Remember, it's not a race; it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wilderness and take inn all the details.
3. Footwear Essentials
When it comes to footwear, comfort is key. Trails are not predefined, so expect to navigate through muddy patches and shallow riverbeds. Your shoes will get wet and dirty, so ankle-covering boots or gaiters are ideal. The long grass and dense bush are teeming with sticky seeds, broken branches, and sharp thorns to so make sure your shoes are tough enough.
4. Power Supply
Simbavati Trails Camp is powered by solar energy, ensuring that you can enjoy a comfortable stay in harmony with nature. Solar lights set the ambient scene in the evenings, food is prepared (mostly) on the open flame and outdoor showers are prepared for guests by filling the bucket-style showers with warm water before each use.
A backup generator is available when needed.
5. Connectivity (or Lack Thereof)
Prepare to bid farewell to Wi-Fi and phone signal during your stay. Simbavati Trails Camp is intentionally off the grid, offering a genuine digital detox experience. Should an emergency arise, rest assured that the staff can communicate with the outside world effectively.
6. Seasonal Operation
Simbavati Trails Camp follows a seasonal schedule, open from March to November. The camp closes during the hot and rainy summer months, ensuring the best possible experience for guests.
7. An unfenced Camp
Simbavati Trails Camp is unfenced, allowing wildlife, to roam freely. This creates an authentic and immersive safari experience.
8. Age Restriction
Keep in mind that Simbavati Trails Camp is an experience for adults and older teens. Only children aged 16 and above are permitted.
9. Ideal Length of Stay
While there's a minimum two-night stay requirement, we highly recommend extending your visit to at least three nights. It allows you to fully absorb the magic of the wilderness.
Top Tips for your Walking Safari
- Keep your tent side flaps open. The netted canvas walls offer protection while letting you enjoy the breeze, views of the outside wilderness and moonlit bush at night.
- Keep listening. Honey badgers and hyenas do visit the camp from time to time, during the night. You may hear them as well as other nocturnal creatures from the comfort of your bed.
- Bring along a small backpack for your convenience on the walking safaris, especially for holding your water bottle.
- Don't forget sunscreen to protect yourself from the African sun.
With this information in mind, prepare to embrace the wild, succumb to tranquility and create memories that will last a lifetime at Simbavati Trails Camp.
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What You Need to Know About Simbavati Trails Camp
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14751 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-03-30 00:05:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-03-29 22:05:23 [post_content] =>
Simbavati Trails Camp is where simplicity meets luxury in the heart of the Timbavati wilderness. Expect an authentic, back-to-basics-in-luxury experience that allows you to disconnect from modern complications and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the bush. Differing from the typical safari lodge experience, Trails Camp focuses on guided walking safaris and provides an enchanting, off-the-grid stay. The ambience in camp offers an "Out of Africa" feel that's both nostalgic and unforgettable.
Approximately an hour's drive from Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, the journey to camp is an adventure in itself, with a guided safari drive taking guests there. Our host Russel excitedly welcomed us to camp and our senses were captivated instantly as we surrendered to the tranquility of the setting.
The heart of the camp is a large canvas tent that houses an open-plan dining area and lounge. The pool, slightly elevated, overlooks a Mopani forest, providing a serene backdrop for relaxation. Adjacent to the pool is a sunken lounge with plush cushions beneath an umbrella, the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon cocktail and a good book.
Tents in the wilderness
Simbavati Trails Camp features four Meru-style tents, accommodating a maximum of eight guests. Inside, you'll find two single beds pushed together under a hanging mosquito net, a vanity area with a sink and bucket for washing, and an invigorating outdoor shower. While there's no running water or electricity, the bucket-style showers are filled with warm water before each use and there is a flushable toilet for your convenience. The strategically placed tents in the bush provide privacy and an authentic, wild feel. The canvas side walls are left open with netting, allowing refreshing air to flow through and granting you uninterrupted views of the wilderness from your bed.
Morning Walk: A bushveld awakening
Each morning, the adventure begins as your friendly guide awakens you at sunrise, and the harmonious chorus of birds greets you naturally. Hot coffee and freshly baked muffins and rusks are served at the main guest area, setting the tone for the day. Our trails guide Martin, shared exciting insights about the morning walk and was equipped for any situation. In single file, behind the guide, guests embark through the bush, searching for tell-tale spores and taking in the wonderment of being in nature. We encountered elephants on foot and revelled in the thrill. We learnt the art of tracking, spotted zebras and waterbucks and heard the distant roar of lions. Martin shared insights into the region's diverse trees, rocks and soils, explaining how they shape the ecosystem and how the ground determines which plants flourish, attracting specific wildlife and their predators.
Morning walks are typically 2.5 hours long to avoid the midday heat.
Return to camp: A warm welcome
As we returned to camp, our smiling butler, Donald, awaited with chilled orange juice and refreshing damp cloths, providing a warm and comforting welcome.
Shower time beckons before breakfast, which is wonderfully rejuvenating.
Breakfast: A feast to savour
Breakfast is a feast and differs slightly each day, featuring trays of scones, cinnamon flapjacks, seeded toasts, cheeses, cold meats, and fruits, muesli and yoghurt, all served on the center server table.
Today's breakfast highlight is a bacon-stacked eggs benedict on a toasted English muffin, a renowned favourite at Simbavati Trails Camp
After breakfast, the pool becomes the preferred spot to unwind until lunchtime. With panoramic views of the Mopani forest and the bush, it often attracts elephants, who consider it their personal watering hole. Eight towel-laden loungers overlook the pool, providing a perfect setting to bask in the sun, birdwatch and savour the view.
A delectable lunch is then served and ours featured a South African favourite of bunny chow made with fire-baked bread and chicken curry. Guests then choose to rest, read or play board games in the communal tent before a sumptuous high tea is enjoyed, satisfying those sweet cravings.
Afternoon walk: Tracking Secrets
Every afternoon walk begins with a debriefing, where the guide discusses expectations and plans for the walk.
Our journey took us through dense bush, and a dry river bed, leading to a waterhole. The scenery is awe-inspiring, with ancient Jackalberry trees gracing the horizon and gold orb spider webs glistening in the sunlight.
Martin delved into the intriguing and unusual facts about the bush. From the life cycle of termite mounds to discovering an elephant's favorite sleeping spot, we learnt about dung and the fascinating relationship between honeyguides and humans.
We spotted aardvark prints and porcupine signs before learning about the lion prides of the Greater Kruger and following their tracks. It was immersion in the wilderness at its best.
Sundowner surprise: An enchanting end to the day
As the sun set, we found ourselves walking along a dirt road, and the sky painted itself in shades of red and purple.
Martin signaled, hinting at a surprise just around the corner.
A delightful sundowner table awaited, stocked with snacks, wine, gin, cooldrinks, ice-cold beer, and Amarula.
It was the perfect way to conclude a thrilling day of adventure before driving back to camp in the dark, where we were lucky to see hyena, elephants and other creatures along the way.
With no electricity at camp, paraffin and solar lanterns illuminate the pathways. Simbavati Trails Camp is unfenced, so walking around with a torch is essential, and a guide or your butler will escort you to and from your tent.
Guests take time for a soothing shower under the stars before dinner and the tents and camp are lit up, creating a tranquil setting
Dinner: a boma feast
At dinner, tables were arranged in a half-moon shape around an open fire, reminiscent of a traditional South African boma night, where fireside tales are shared. Chef Raphael or Thompson, will tantalize your taste buds with options like succulent pork ribs, spicy chakalaka, hearty lamb stew and traditional pap, flavourful veggies, beef rump with chimichurri and more, allowing international guests to savour local cuisine, often with a twist. Dessert that night was a decadent chocolate cake, and the staff's traditional African songs filled the air.
Nighttime serenade: Nature's chorus
As we retired to our tent with full bellies and hearts, the sounds of the African bush serenaded us. Hyenas made whooping sounds in the dark around us. Scops owls called in the trees above us. The African bush is alive at night with choruses of frogs and nocturnal creatures, ending the perfect day at Simbavati Trails Camp.
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A Day in the Life at Simbavati Trails Camp
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Set in Big 5 territory within the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Simbavati Trails Camp offers an off the grid walking safari with no electricity or WI-FI. This makes for an enchanting, back-to basics-in-luxury experience and the fire-to-table style of cooking sets the tone to the ambience in camp.
The culinary delights that are plated at each sitting are memorable and one of the highlights of the safari.
The heart and soul behind Trails Camp’s food is charismatic Head Chef Raphael, who is a joy to connect with around the fire or table setting in camp. His pride in his dishes is captivating and his incredible cooking skills are so impressive.
In conversation with Head Chef Raphael, we found out more about his passion for cuisine and what makes Simbavati Trails Camp so special.
What makes cooking at Trails Camp different compared to a traditional safari lodge?
Here we encourage one of the oldest forms of cooking: from the fire, straight to the plate. It is unique and wonderfully rustic.
Fire cooking is one of the most challenging methods because you need to regulate the temperatures by using instinct to detect the heat and keep it perfectly set to cook the dish. I took it as a personal challenge that if I could master cooking on the fire I would be able to do wonders in the industry, in any other way of cooking too. Simbavati Trails Camp has the ability to drive back time. In camp we are able to use a rustic form of presenting luxury. I love that.
What are your passions and how do you share these at Simbavati Trails Camp?
I love cooking with my heart. It is my passion. I’ve been at this special camp from the day it opened about three years ago.
I choose to be at Simbavati Trails Camp and to share my passion for food and for connecting with people, through stories around the campfire. We are connected through food and through humanity.
What are your favourite dishes to prepare at Simbavati Trails Camp and why?
I enjoy making traditional dishes. I like to fuse dishes to accommodate every guest, no matter where they are from in the world, so they will appreciate the food at a high standard. I like to add traditional and international touches to bring out flavours that everyone will love. This is how I like to put a twist on my creations
On plated evenings at Trails Camp I enjoy making Braised Pork Neck. This is one of my signature dishes. I serve braised pork medallions, baked mashed potato cakes, broccoli and baby corn with apple jus. I like to serve this on a shared board, between two people, enjoyed around the fire.
Boma nights at the camp are enjoyed around the fire together, where all guests dine side by side and get to know each other. It’s an African tradition. People from different nationalities interact and share stories, discovering that the world is one and we have so much in common.
I serve them traditional African dishes, cooked on the open fire. Part of the boma spread is pap, a maize meal dish. It is one of my favourites. It is a dish that tells a story of humankind as it is found all over the world and throughout history. In Africa we eat with our hands. I prepare the pap so it is fluffy and served with a stew made with lamb neck, slow- cooked over the fire, so it falls off the bone. The pap can soak up the sauces and flavours of the stew.
What is it that connects you to this unique walking safari camp?
It gives true variety to my well being. It gives me the pleasure of combining two of my passions, that being cooking in an authentic fire-to plate style and also connecting with the guests.
I love Trails Camp. Trails Camp is my home.
Simbavati Trails Camp invites guests to explore the untamed wilderness on foot, surrender to a connection with nature, enjoy incredible food and revel in a rejuvenating reset.
Discover more at www.simbavati.com/lodges/trails-camp/[post_title] => Interview with Simbavati Trails Camp Head Chef Raphael [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-with-simbavati-trails-camp-head-chef-raphael [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-09-15 08:56:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-09-15 06:56:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-uplifting-our-communities-with-eco-children/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Interview with Simbavati Trails Camp Head Chef Raphael
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Through supporting and uplifting local children we, and our guests, can make a difference in the future.
Imagine living on the borders of one of Africa’s greatest National Parks, but having never seen a zebra or elephant in reality. The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve recognised that the communities surrounding the Greater Kruger area are a key part of its future conservation. However, these same communities are completely disconnected from their natural heritage. Thus, Eco Children was created as an initiative by the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (KPNR) to educate and enrich the lives of its employees' children through holiday ‘bush’ workshops. These nature-based camps aimed to foster an understanding and passion for wildlife, creating a future generation of nature guardians.
In the Beginning
Deon Huysamer is an owner of Simbavati Camp George and recalls how the concept of the Eco Children charity took form.
“In 2007, our farm manager, at the time, and I had a lively debate about the separation of reserve/camp staff from their children whilst they were working in the reserve. We agreed about the unhealthy social consequences this had and discussed what we could do to improve the situation. We decided to bring the children to their parents over school holidays and to teach them about eco-related subjects.
Our immediate solution was to conduct the first classes in Camp George’s gardens. We then started to train selected reserve/camp staff in eco-subjects and soon the children were being taught about conservation and wildlife in their own language.”
In the lush gardens of Camp George, under the beautiful trees, the seeds were sown for what we know as Eco Children today.
From its humble beginnings, Eco Children has since extended its reach to over 5,000 children in some of the poorest communities in South Africa. Following a whole-school development approach, they have adopted nine local primary schools, where the focus is not just on conservation education but also improving school infrastructure, installing a new kitchen and fully-stocked library as well as a vegetable eco-garden capable of supplementing school meals.
Ensuring that each child receives a filling, nutritious meal and has a safe, hygienic place to study is the foundation of Eco Children’s work. Once a child’s daily needs are being met, the programme’s other initiatives can be implemented. Their Eco-Villages combine colourful eco-gardens with a dedicated classroom for lessons in conservation and natural science taught by local Environmental Educators.
A Love for Reading
The new libraries help develop a culture of reading that has been shown to have a huge impact on literacy skills and attainment in education. An incentives programme motivates children to engage in their learning by rewarding achievement with books, new uniforms, overnight winner’s excursions and day trips into the Kruger National Park.
Getting the Best Start
Lastly, Eco Children established their coveted bursary programme. Identifying talented learners who would otherwise be held back by the burdens of poverty, these children are awarded a first-class education at Southern Cross Schools in Hoedspruit. To date, 34 students have benefitted from the scheme, with several having completed tertiary education and now leading successful careers, inspiring the next generation in their communities.
How Can You Help?
Guests that are passionate about making sustainable difference during a stay at our Simbavati Lodges in the Klaserie, can consider adding an enlightening school tour to their trip or donating to one of Eco Children’s programmes.
Simbavati proudly supports and endorses the work that Eco Children does and is passionate about uplifting the foundation’s work and the children benefiting from it.
Discover our Simbavati lodges in the Klaserie region, for your perfect safari experience with a heart for sustainability.
For more information about Eco Children, visit their website at www.ecochildren.co.za
This article was compiled by Simbavati Lodge Collection and Emily Whiting[post_title] => Uplifting our Communities with Eco Children [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => eco-children [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-23 15:54:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-23 13:54:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-camp-george-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Uplifting our Communities with Eco Children
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Take a journey into Simbavati Camp George's unique essence and story. We share a glimpse into it's past, present and future, highlighting what makes it an incredible safari destination with a big heart.
It began in 1988 when Camp George first opened its doors. Fondly named after its founder, the late George Huysamer, the lodge is still in the family today, sharing George’s original passion for the South African bush and commitment to conservation.
George’s son, Deon, currently part-owns the lodge and is also chairman of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, which Simbavati Camp George is set within. His personal description taps into the heart and soul of the lodge when he says,
“The Klaserie, and Camp George specifically, was always a safe oasis where we as a family spent time together, away from the pressures of the world outside. It was a place where we invited our friends and family to share the special experiences with us. It was a place where everyone could just be. I have followed in my father’s footsteps and carried on with his legacy of a love for the bush, nature and people. I am driven by the belief that you must leave a place in a better state than in which you found it. We are only the gatekeepers of this beautiful place. It is also imperative to make a difference in the lives of the communities around us.”
It is an oasis of tranquility for all who stay there.
Along with Simbavati and Deon, Frank Kilbourn is Simbavati Camp George's other owner. He is the chairman of Strauss & Co and responsible for the beautiful art found in the lodge as well as the complete collection of South African cycads on its grounds.
A love for nature and a sense of tranquility the wilderness brings is what spreads through Simbavati Camp George.
Set within the glorious Klaserie wilderness, the lodge attracts and surpasses the expectations of guests searching for the ultimate safari experience in one of the best wildlife areas in Kruger, underpinned by a sense of peace and beauty. The incredible food, lush lodge grounds and beauty in the attention to detail makes it a dreamy experience.
The staff ensure every guest leaves as a friend, fulfilled and at peace.
Simbavati Camp George has a big heart, just like its namesake and founder did. A passion for supporting the surrounding Klaserie community and its children is especially important in making a real difference to the future.
In 2007, identifying a need to support the families of the lodge staff, their children were invited to spend the school holidays at Simbavati Camp George. Here they learnt about the wild environment around them and the importance of conserving it.
In the lush gardens, under the beautiful trees, the first lessons took place. The seeds were sown for what is Eco Children today.
Learn more about supporting Eco Children’s work around student bursaries, nutrition and educational development on their website.
Throughout the years, over it's past, in it's present and into the future, Simbavati Camp George is a lodge with heart. Set in the most wondrous wilderness, inside the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, this tranquil and welcoming safari lodge is a haven of peace for guests and offers the most riveting safari experience. It is truly a well-rounded and special destination.[post_title] => Camp George- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => camp-george-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-23 15:49:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-23 13:49:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-why-choose-full-board-and-activities/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Camp George- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
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Simbavati Fynbos on Sea is a nine-bedroom lodge set in the heart of the Garden Route, where luxury meets nature in an exquisite coastal haven. Our full board and activities offering is designed to provide you with an unforgettable escape, offering a seamless blend of splendour, relaxation, and thrilling adventures.
Our Full Board & Activities Rate
The experience within the Full Board & Activities rate includes accommodation in one of our superb suites, all meals, two daily activities or one full day excursion, self-guided walks and mountain bike trails, use of mountain bikes, beach kits available from reception comprising of an umbrella, two beach towels and a beach game, transfers to and from the beach and WiFi.
Optional additional activities include guided walks, guided mountain bike trails, a sunset barge cruise, protea farm visits, guided beach and marine walks, guided kayaking, and 4x4 eco drive through the farm drive in an open vehicle.
All activities are subject to availability and are weather dependent.
Full Board Bliss: Culinary Delights Await
Indulge your senses in a cullinary journey with our full board experience. Our expert chefs curate a menu that celebrates the finest local and international flavours. Wake up to incredible sunrises and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a sumptuous breakfast, setting the tone for a day filled with exploration. Delight in delectable lunches and savour mouthwatering dinners, each meal a masterpiece crafted with care and precision.
Luxurious Accommodations: Your Tranquil Getaway
Retreat to the comfort of our thoughtfully designed suite. The lodge embraces modern elegance while maintaining a connection to the natural surroundings. Wake up to breathtaking views, with each room meticulously appointed to ensure your stay is both luxurious and harmonious with the coastal landscape.
Thrilling Activities: Adventure Beckons
Simbavati Fynbos on Sea is not just a place to rest; it's a destination for discovery. Within the Full Board & Activities offering, our activities include a range of exciting options, from guided nature walks to soothing water excursions. Explore the diverse fynbos ecosystem with knowledgeable guides or take to the beach to soak up the atmosphere. Whether you prefer land or sea or both, our activities are tailored to suit every preference.
Seamless Relaxation: Unwind and Rejuvenate
After a day of exploration, unwind by the pool or on the deck, taking in the soothing setting and views, encouraging you to create lasting memories.
The Full Board & Activities experience at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea is highly recommended for a comprehensive and balanced stay, absorbing the best of all offerings at our beautiful, tranquil lodge.
Discover more about Simbavati Fynbos on Sea:
Fynbos on Sea
A Full Board & Activities Experience at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea
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Nestled in the Greater Knysna Area, just above the charming town of Sedgefield, within South Africa's renowned Garden Route, lies Simbavati Fynbos on Sea. Our beautiful nine-bedroomed lodge and self-contained cottage offer panoramic vistas over beaches, mountains, lagoons, and the enchanting fynbos wonderland.
As you gaze out from the lodge, towards the horizon, you'll drink in the signature view that has made Simbavati Fynbos on Sea a destination of choice. The majestic Swartvlei Lagoon, with its shimmering waters, is a sight to behold and a true testament to the unspoiled beauty of this pristine region.
The Sunset Barge
Included as an activity on the Full Board and Activities rate, is the Sundowner Barge experience. This is fast becoming a favourite with guests as they embark on a serene, guided journey along the enchanting estuary.
Boarding our comfortable barge boat designed for relaxation and enjoyment, drift in tranquil style, along the waterways. Guests can enjoy peaceful exploration, meandering up the Hoogekraal and Karatara Rivers, which flow gracefully into the sparkling Swartvlei Lagoon.
The natural beauty of the estuary abounds with birdlife and other wildlife thriving all around. Sip on refreshing beverages and savour delectable canape snacks, specially curated for this unique excursion and served with pride.
The lush greenery, the clear blue skies, and the sparkling waters all blend together to create a stunning tapestry of natural wonder. This soothing escape upon our Sundowner Barge promises a memorable evening set in nature’s beauty.
Discover more about Simbavati Fynbos on Sea:[post_title] => A Tranquil Sundowner Barge Experience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sundowner-barge [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-11-16 12:07:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-11-16 10:07:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.simbavati.com/copy-why-choose-full-board-and-activities/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
Fynbos on Sea
A Tranquil Sundowner Barge Experience
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Simbavati Cederberg Ridge owner, Kate Bergh, shares the benefits to selecting our Full Board and Activities option
When Simbavati Cederberg Ridge opened its doors, we naturally wanted to accommodate people who were passing through the Cederberg, as well as those coming to spend a few days at our wilderness lodge. So we offered a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast rate.
However, this does not suit most guests best, and many of them don't realise it until they stay. If you're staying for longer than 1 night and planning on enjoying some activities while you take in the Cederberg splendour, the Full Board and Activities option is ideal.
Benefits of booking Full Board & Activities
- It’s the best value for money, if you plan on doing excursions during your stay rather than to book Dinner, Bed & Breakfast and pay for activities and lunch when you arrive
- You get first choice in the activities
- There is less to pay when you’re on holiday, as you’ve paid more in advance. (We even have a drinks supplement so that you can pay for that ahead of time as well, if you wish)
- Some Value Adds are included in the Full Board and Activity rate, such as the complimentary use of E-Bikes and ad hoc yoga classes
- We take care of your stay. You don’t have to research what there is to do in the area. Simply select which planned activities you feel like doing each day. Fewer decisions makes for more down-time
- The extra cost of booking Full Board and Activities is much less if you stay for 3 or 4 nights. Our long stay offers are 50% off your 3rd night's stay or stay 4 nights but only pay for 3 nights
Linger a little longer
The lodge is an inviting place to relax and unwind. The Cederberg beckons to be explored and the views are an allure to stay and breathe for a while. That’s why we encourage longer stays of 3 nights or more.
Though we have enough activities to entertain guests for 4 night stays or longer, we will gladly swap out a morning or afternoon activity for a 30 minute treatment in the spa.
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Why Choose Full Board and Activities
Fynbos on Sea
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