Simbavati Waterside opened a year ago in April 2022, and it has left us wowed. It is chic and sophisticated without losing the Africanness that gives it its heart. We attended the opening of this beautiful new luxury lodge in Klaserie and now that it has really settled into its place and found its groove, it has really become a place we are thrilled to offer to our guests.
First things first: our three favourite features…
Food. Without a doubt, we recognise Waterside’s specific focus on an interesting and well executed menu. Eating is an occasion, and if you’re anything like us and can’t decide between two dishes, you might just get a taste of both! Dining is a spoil at Waterside - we loved it.
“Special thanks to Albert who was particularly attentive to us, made us special drinks, and for dinner we had a portion of the two meals on the menu as we struggled to choose from!” - BHS Safari Consultant, Maki Shahali (especially interested in food!)
Waterfront positioning. As the name suggests, Waterside is built on the edge of a large body of water, which in the dry season is a home to hippos, and attracts wildlife to drink all year round. The birdlife in the trees alongside the water is a permanent source of interest, and the view from the deck is just awesome.
Superb staff. The team at Waterside has a spacial knack for making you feel like you’re the only guests in camp. From your welcome at reception, to the special attention round meal times, and the care taken to accommodate your preferences - this is a sign of professional hospitality that elevates your safari experience.
Simbavati Waterside is an extension of nature
Organic shapes and textures that never let you feel separate from nature, despite the luxurious amenities and ultra-comfort of the lodge and accommodation. There is a refined presence of nature throughout the lodge - from the products used in the spa, or placed in your bathrooms, to the woven chandeliers and wall carvings that remind you that you’re indeed in an African destination.
The presence of the waterhole and the beautiful overhanging trees makes you feel totally immersed in the natural Klaserie surroundings. The deep-set ‘beach boma’ is at eye level with the dam, so it brings it all into focus. There’s a second boma - called the ‘bush boma’ - which is a location for dinners set up under the stars and a different type of immersion in nature.
From the materials used to adorn the luxury suites and shared spaces to the art and design throughout the lodge, Waterside feels like a sophisticated extension of nature, and it has an undeniably calming effect.
Facilities you’ll love
When you know what facilities Waterside has on offer, spending time at the lodge between safari activities will be just as valuable as the time spent out in the bush. There’s ultra-comfort and relaxation to be found in the fully-equipped spa which embodies Simbavati’s “Africalm” mantra just perfectly. There is a gym and a sauna too, a lap-length swimming pool, and a safari boutique for some take-home temptation. With a wine cellar, a beautiful bar, and two bomas to choose from, there is always a new place to enjoy a drink or a meal during your stay.
Space to be yourself
Waterside has perfected the balance between being family-focused and honeymoon friendly. Often, the two can not be achieved well enough at the same time, but there is enough space, privacy, and personal attention to detail that allows guests travelling in both capacities to enjoy it fully. This is so important to know before you book your safari holiday and why it’s important to ask the experts (you know where to find us!)
The lodge structure has been carefully considered to incorporate the desire for privacy, and the need to spend time together in a social space. The room structure caters to families in four two-bedroom family suites, and four one-bedroom luxury suites (two face the water, and two face the bush).
“We had a personalised note in our room, and homemade treats like fudge and biscuits, as well as a water bottle each with our name on it. The room was absolutely stunning with a gorgeous bath, inside and outside shower, coffee station and minibar fridge, and all the amenities we could ask for.”
- Kids of all ages are welcome, but game drives are only permitted for kids from six years old.
- Honeymooners will love the bush-facing suites which have private hot tubs. And you’ll get sparkling wine and a private dinner to celebrate the occasion!
- Waterside is a 40-minute drive from Eastgate Airport.
- There is no phone signal, but WiFi is good and available throughout the lodge and rooms.
- The structure of the rooms does not allow for twin beds to be separated, and the bathrooms are open-plan, which is something to consider for friends sharing a room.
- Dinner locations change, so you’ll enjoy different spots at each meal.
Our experience has told us over decades that your safari experience is enhanced exponentially by the guide you’re with. Your introduction to the bush, your connection with the wild, your sense of comfort, safety, and your source of knowledge. Simbavati Waterside has an excellent team on their side, and we know you’re in good hands.
“Our guide Kaizer had worked in Madikwe and Sabi Sand before he joined Waterside. He was super friendly and funny, offering lots of information and facts, and he knew quite a lot about birds, which we really appreciated. Kaizer respectfully took us into sightings of rhinos, an elephant family playing in the mud, a pride of 12 lions (with 5 males and cubs), as well as hyenas, jackals, and lots of tawny eagles!”
Waterside is an absolute stunner in Klaserie - a reserve we love - and it brings a competitive level of luxury and location that, as a combination, is hard to beat.