WildEarth has some exciting news to share. From Tuesday 19th May we will be traversing on Simbambili Reserve which is part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and in fact borders Djuma to the West. Not only is this fantastic reserve Djuma’s neighbour but also our very own Tristan Dicks used to work there as the General Manager and as a guide so knows the area really well.

Legend has it that generations ago, an adventurer from Bremen, Germany was attacked by two lions whilst walking on his first night in an African reserve. Miraculously, he survived the attack and many years later at the point where the attack happened a lodge was built. “Simbambili” is made from two Swahili words: “Simba” which means lions and “Mbili” which means “Two” – the two lions.

The commercial lodge was first constructed and opened to guests in November of 1997. In December of 2000, Simbambili became part of a larger portfolio of lodges known as Thornybush, a collection of 12 lodges – 11 of which sit in the Thornybush Nature Reserve, and Simbambili which sits in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

The lodge was closed for a year for a complete renovation of facilities before reopening in December of 2001. Situated on the banks of the Manyeleti River, overlooking the magnificent Manyeleti floodplain, Simbambili epitomizes luxury, exclusivity and a unique, personalized African bush experience.

Like Djuma, Simbambili is renowned for its plethora of leopards, all of whom have names and family trees. 

Tiyani was born at Simbambili lodge almost 5 years ago. She has since had her first cub Ndzutini which was also born near the lodge. Ndzutini means “shade” in the local dialect since she would often go under the vehicles during game drives. She is now too big to fit is still a regular visitor to the area.

Xidulu (who we often see on Djuma) has moved in from the South and has taken over the Eastern side of the property as her territory. She had 2 cubs but sadly lost one of them to a female leopard called  Moyo who spends most of her time in Londolozi. Her surviving cub is called Cara. Both are extremely relaxed. 

The dominant male is, of course, a leopard we see regularly and that is Hukumuri

This is an exciting addition for our WildEarth guides as they will have a much larger area to traverse during the LIVE shows. WE will not be adding another vehicle so currently, it will Tristan and David who get to explore this new area.


Hukumuri photo credit: Mike Cowden