Monday, 14 March 2016


Where do we go when we have a family get together - the African bushveld of course (well, sometimes the casino but this time the bushveld!)  So on a rather cloudy February morning, with one brother, one sister, one brother-in-law, and one husband, another road trip began, this time relatively short - only 4 hours from Johannesburg.  After the obligatory Wimpy breakfast on the way, we arrived at Nambiti Private Game Reserve just west of Ladysmith early in the afternoon.  Nambiti is a relatively new reserve, and one we had not tried before.  After much research we decided on Ndaka Safari Lodge, one of the northernmost lodges and we liked the idea of the luxury tented accommodation. And luxury it was!  The tents are huge with a lounge/seating area, large bedroom area and enormous bathroom with both inside and outside showers.  All rooms overlook the plains and mountains of the reserve, which is nestled in the green, hilly countryside of KZN.  Very, very different from the dry, grassy reserves of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

On arriving at the reserve, guests park their car near the gate and are picked up by a game vehicle, so that is where all responsibility ends.  Just sit back and relax and someone else takes over your routine.  All you have to do is make sure you are ready for the twice daily game drives, and in the dining area to eat the delicious meals prepared for you.  Good home cooking is how I would describe the food - nothing too fancy but everything fresh and tasty.

Our first game drive was the most productive of all.  We saw four of the big five plus loads of plains game.

The second day we were there was a family birthday and a champagne breakfast was a treat outside on the veranda.  The chef made a delicious chocolate cake - which we made a valiant effort to finish, but there was just so much food!  More game drives, with a rest in between, and a lovely way to spend a birthday.  The next morning we decided to have a lie in and our ranger was actually disappointed.  It is so nice to see someone loving their job so much that even though he does two game drives a day for six weeks at a time with no break, he still gets excited about the prospect of going out there.  I suppose that's what keeps us going back time after time.  No two drives are ever the same.

As we had only seen the one lion on the first drive, and she was a little hidden in the bushes as she was stalking the herd of eland, on the last evening we left in a bit of a hurry as a pride had been spotted quite nearby.  So we rushed off and were rewarded with a wonderful sighting of two males and three females, right outside the rather aptly named Lions Valley Lodge.  The males were a bit far away for a good photograph.

We stayed with them for a while and then our ranger took us to the top of a rather steep hill up a bumpy road to have sundowners with a view of the whole reserve.  It was quite spectacular and would have been made even more so with our gin and tonics in hand.  Unfortunately he had been so keen to show us the lions he had left the cooler box at the lodge!  So after a rather short break we headed back for our  pre dinner drinks and another delicious meal.

This was a very very special weekend.  Having been to the "larger" reserves, we were a little skeptical about what could be on offer at Nambiti, but the reserve and the lodge surpassed all our expectations.  A highly recommended experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment