The Best Timbavati Game Reserve Family Accommodations For 2022
There are so many fantastic Timbavati Game Reserve family accommodation options that the choice can be a little overwhelming – but we can help!
My husband works in marketing for a large African travel company and we love taking African safaris with the kids so we definitely know what to look for when choosing safari accommodation that is suitable for families.
What we would say straight off is that South Africa is the best country for family safaris. You can read more about family-friendly safaris in South Africa here.
** If you are thinking of doing more things during your South African holiday, we have lots of tips for visiting South Africa with kids as well as ideas of things to do in South Africa with kids and fun things to do in Cape Town with kids **
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Haven’t booked your flight yet? Make sure you take a look on Skyscanner to find the best deals. We have lots of tips on finding cheap flights here including how to find the best deals on Skyscanner. Even your internal flights in South Africa will be there if you are planning a more budget friendly DIY safari holiday.
Before you head off on safari, take a look at our guide on travel gifts for kids. Something that we recommend taking on safari with kids (see our list of essential items to take on safari with kids) is a pair of binoculars for them so they can really feel a part of it.
FYI – some of the safari lodges in Timbavati listed are on Booking.com which we love to use because it offers a flexible cancellation policy in most cases.
Our Timbavati Game Reserve Family Accommodation Top Picks!
Simbavati River Lodge
Simbavati River Lodge sits on the banks of Nhlaralumi River where guests can enjoy the experience of game viewing without even leaving camp. The dining deck at Simbavati River Lodge overlooks a popular watering hole which is frequented by elephants and other amazing animals and is floodlit at night so you don’t miss a thing.
A lovely touch (we’d say essential) is the Boma, a place for meeting other guests over dinner or an evening drink and recalling your best animal encounters of the day.
Simbavati offers beautiful 2 bedroom family suites with a game viewing deck also overlooking the river.
Simbavati River Lodge has a fabulous kids club (Cub’s Club) which offers a children’s discovery centre and play area.
Children over 6 years old can participate in game drives. If you would like younger children to participate in game drives, you would need to pay extra for a private vehicle. The safari guides will expertly engage the kids in spotting the animals on safari!
There are lots more child-friendly activities on offer if you would like to have some time to visit the spa or even take a safari drive without the kids. Activities on request include cupcake decorating, bug / treasure hunts, animal related crafts and wildlife DVDs.
You can book your stay at Simbavati River Lodge here.
Kambaku Safari Lodge
Kambaku Safari Lodge is a family run Timbavati safari lodge where family is important.
Family suites are available (Family Chalets and Interleading Family Chalets) and as well as a lovely pool area, there is a water hole that attracts the Big 5.
The thing that makes Kambaku Safari Lodge one of our favourite picks for family accommodation in Timbavati Game Reserve is their awesome Kids Kubs program.
Kids can train to become junior rangers during their stay! The program is aimed at educating (and entertaining) young children about the importance of wildlife conservation which is something we are very passionate about.
Children under 2 stay free. If you want children 4 years and under to participate in game drives, you would need to hire a private vehicle.
There is also a babysitting service and kids can create their own menu in the camp restaurant.
You can book your stay at Kambaku Safari Lodge here.
Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Another option for family-friendly accommodation in the Timbavati Game Reserve is Makanyi.
Their Marula Suite is a two-bedroomed suite that can accommodate up to four guests making it ideal for families. It has it’s own private pool and if 4 people are staying in the lodge, a private game vehicle is provided.
If you’re wondering are there still white lions in Timbavati?… There are! And there have been sightings from guests who have stayed at Makanyi.
You can book your stay at Makanyi Private Game Lodge here.
RockFig Safari Lodge
The interior design of RockFig Safari Lodge takes natural inspiration from the surrounding game reserve while exuding luxury.
It is a small safari lodge with only six suites – small enough to have exclusive hire for a special occasion.
Guests of all ages are welcome at RockFig with children under 5 staying free with two adults. Family rooms can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children (or any combination up to 4 guests).
Families of four or more are allocated a free private vehicle for safari drives. Children under 14 are not allowed on walking safaris.
You can book your stay at RockFig Safari Lodge here.
Budget friendly Timbavati Game Reserve family accommodation
If none of the above family-friendly safari lodges in Timbavati look suitable, another highly rated family safari accommodation option could be Africamps. Whilst not in the private game reserve, it is very close by.
Most of the safari lodges in Timbavati Game Reserve are definitely on the expensive side but if you are looking for more budget friendly family accommodation near Timbavati, we can highly recommend Africamps Boutique Glamping.
We stayed at one when the kids were younger. We loved glamping in their self-catering safari tents (some with wood fired hot tubs). Each tent has a double bedroom and a small bedroom with bunk beds, a bathroom and a kitchen area. They can deliver breakfast and braai (BBQ) baskets to your lodge and there is a communal pool for guests to enjoy as well as a well stocked catch and release fishing lake.
Africamps Hoedspruit also offers game drives in the Kruger or some of the nearby private game reserves if you don’t want to do a self-drive safari. A stay here combined with a safari drive is a much more budget friendly way to do a family safari.
By the way – the scenery around this area is just jaw-droppingly beautiful. Make sure to pay a visit to Blyde River while you’re there – maybe even taking a Blyde River Canyon Boat Cruise to see the full beauty.
You can book your stay at Africamps Hoedspruit here.
Family accommodation near Timbavati Game Reserve
If you are not yet totally sold on the Timbavati Game Reserve, we have a post on the best family accommodation in the Kruger National Park. Just nearby Timbavati is Thornybush Game Reserve which is home to the lovely Thornybush Game Lodge.
Thornybush Game Lodge
Thornybush Game Lodge deserves a mention because it is located in the neighbouring Thornybush Game Reserve and is a fantastic choice for families.
The family suites have a lounge area with day beds for the kids and a large private deck with plunge pool.
There are tailored walks for the kids with skilled rangers who will teach them about the local flora and fauna. They will be able to bake and make bush crafts.
The pool area is also gorgeous. There is so much attention to detail here and it is firmly in the luxury family safari category in every way.
You can book your stay at Thornybush Game Lodge here.
You might also want to look into lodge hopping in different game reserves if you have enough time. A fantastic African travel operator like Go2Africa can curate the most amazing safaris for you.
Remember to check out our general Kruger family accommodation post for more inspiration.
Let us know what you think of our selection of Timbavati Game Reserve family accommodation choices in the comments below!