Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Getting to Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

Simbavati Hilltop Lodge is located approximately 1½ hours away from Hoedspruit Eastgate airport. To reach the lodge, it is recommended to rent a car.

Directions from Hoedspruit Airport

As you exit the airport, turn left onto Argyle Road towards Timbavati Game Reserve. Continue until you reach the Enkhulu control gate of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Please note that cell phone reception ends at this point.

Ideally, aim to arrive at the lodge by 2.30pm to have enough time to settle in before the game drive. If you anticipate being late due to unforeseen circumstances, please inform us at (015) 793-9021.

After passing through the gate, continue on the tar road for approximately 37km. Adhere to the speed limit of 50km/hour and refrain from exiting your car. Along the way, you will come across the turnoff for Simbavati River Lodge. Do not turn here.

Further along, you will cross a low water bridge just before the entrance to Ingwelala game lodge. After another 800 meters, you will see the Simbavati Hilltop sign on your right.

Turn right onto a gravel track and follow the paw print signs on the trees and side of the road, which lead to Simbavati Hilltop Lodge. Please keep a keen eye out for these signs, as elephants occasionally knock them over.

Do not rely on your GPS after Hoedspruit, as the directions provided may be incorrect and could result in a two-hour detour.


  • From Johannesburg Airport: Approximately 6½ to 7 hours’ drive covering 505km.
  • From Kruger Airport: Approximately 3½+ hours covering 210km.
  • From Hazyview: Approximately 3 hours via the R40 covering 160km.

Directions from Johannesburg to Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

The most direct route from Johannesburg is via the N4, passing through Dullstroom, Lydenburg (Mashishing), and Ohrigstad before reaching Hoedspruit. Alternatively, some people prefer the northern route via Polokwane and Tzaneen, as it has fewer potholes. You can find downloadable directions for this route.

From Johannesburg, take the N12 to Witbank (Emalahleni) and continue on the N4 towards Nelspruit. If you are coming from Pretoria, take the N4 to Witbank. Follow the N4 and then turn left to Belfast (Off ramp R33/R540). Once in Belfast, turn right into Voortrekker Street and continue on the R540 towards Dullstroom.

Drive straight through Dullstroom and continue towards Lydenburg (Mashishing) on the R540. At the T-junction, turn left into Lydenburg (Mashishing) onto Viljoen Street (R36). Then turn left again into Voortrekker Street. Upon reaching De Clercq Street, turn right and follow the R36 through Ohrigstad. After the Abel Erasmus pass, the R36 will turn left towards Tzaneen. However, do not turn left here. Instead, continue straight on the R527 towards Hoedspruit.

In Hoedspruit, continue straight. After crossing the bridge over the railway line, turn right at the four-way stop and continue south on the R40 for another 6.4km. Then turn left onto the D1909 (Argyle Road), following the sign for Timbavati/Eastgate Airport road. Finally, follow the Hoedspruit directions to the lodge.

Directions from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or Hazyview

  • From Kruger Intl Airport: Allow approximately 3½ hours covering 210km.
  • From Hazyview: Allow 2½ to 3 hours covering 160km.

The most direct route from Kruger International Airport is via the R40, passing through White River and Hazyview. Similarly, if you are staying in or near Hazyview, taking the R40 north is the quickest route. Just 6.5km south of Hoedspruit, turn right onto the Timbavati/Eastgate Airport road. It takes approximately 1½ hours to reach the Timbavati turnoff from Hazyview, followed by another hour to reach the lodge. Once on the Timbavati Road, you will immediately pass the Eastgate Airport. Then, follow the directions to Hoedspruit and proceed to the lodge.

Alternative Panorama Route if Staying at a Hazyview Lodge

The R40 can be challenging due to the slow trucks, cars, and pedestrians on the road, resulting in longer travel times than expected. If you have the time, it is recommended to enjoy a tour of the Panorama route via the Blyde River canyon. Please note that this is a longer route covering 255km from Hazyview to the lodge, equating to approximately 4 hours of driving. Along the way, you can stop at various attractions such as the Bournes Luck potholes, Gods Window, and the Three Rondavels.

TIP: It takes approximately 3 hours to reach Hilltop Lodge from the Three Rondavels viewpoint. To ensure you have ample time, do not leave the Three Rondavels later than 11.30am. Assuming you spend 1½ hours at the various stopping points, it is recommended to leave your lodge no later than 8 to 8.30am.