For me, the bush is a really special place to be. It’s where my husband took me on our honeymoon, and it’s where I know I can truly relax. I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders and the air is cleaner. It truly is one of my favourite places to be. It goes without saying that visiting Nambiti Big 5 Private Game Reserve is a top drawer holiday for me. And a couple of weeks back, I did just that, staying in a number of different lodges in the reserve – Nambiti Hills being the first!
Nambiti Hills Private Game Experience is one of the spots that has been on my bucket list for a while. A 5-star lodge with all the trimmings, I had pretty darn high expectations – and they were met every step of the way!
We arrived on a sunny day that was sadly turning grey and overcast. We parked in the secure parking by the Woodlands gate and were collected by our ranger for the duration of our stay – a lovely chap who is actually one of the reserve managers – and driven through to the lodge.
On arrival guests are greeted with a cool, wet hand facecloth and a refreshing drink – perfect after driving around the dusty reserve. After a brief tour and a few minutes out on the gorgeous deck, we headed to our room to freshen up.
We were booked into one of the utterly gorgeous luxury suites, and let me tell you that ‘luxury’ is exactly what they are. Beautifully decorated in exactly the way you’d assume a bush-lodge to be, but all nothing but the best. Soft linen, a comfortable bed, beautiful free-standing bath in it’s own little window nook with a stunning view. Even a fully-stocked mini bar and a beautiful private deck where we could enjoy a coffee or a sundowner.
When booking your accommodation at Nambiti Hills, there are a number of things that are included. Breakfast, high tea and dinner are all covered, as well as a game drive in the morning (with coffee and rusks) and one in the evening (with sundowners and snacks). All teas, coffees and breakfast fruit juices are also included. Drinks will be for your account while there, and while they do have a lunch menu, this isn’t included either. Each lodge also charges a R55 Nambiti Rhino Protection Levy.
To be quite honest – the meals are so substantial that lunch isn’t necessary. High tea is served after check in, and just before your game drive, and it was fabulous! Savoury and sweet eats, along with fruit juice and iced water, all enough to sustain you until dinner.
The afternoon game drive was incredible, and we saw a large variety of antelope, giraffe and even lions! There was an amazing moment where we (along with the lovely German couple who was on the drive with us) decided to forgo our drinks stop, as there had been a lion sighting. When we arrived at the spot, we could hear them ‘purring’ and see a tail swishing in the long grass about 30 metres away. As we were about to leave (thinking we’d see nothing more), a male stood up about 15-20 metres away from us and started mating with a female right beside him! To have them so close, and to see something so out of the ordinary was something we’ll never forget.
Sadly I have no photos of the lions, however there’ll be a vlog coming soon with video footage!
The most amazing part of finishing up an evening game drive? Arriving back at the lodge to a candlelit pathway and springbok shooters!
Even better than this, was having about 45min free until dinner, and finding a bubble bath had been run in our room, with candles and flower petals! Definitely upped the romance-factor of our stay, and I can only imagine how incredible choosing this venue for a honeymoon would be.
Dinner is a 3-course affair. You are given a menu prior to your afternoon game drive, where you have a really wonderful variety of dishes. There were at least 6 choices for each course, and all of them looked delicious, so it was pretty difficult to narrow it down. In the end, I opted for the stone fruit salad for starters, the Norwegian salmon for mains and the Amarula crème brûlée for dessert, while Nick chose the mussels starter, the pork belly main and the passionfruit parfait for dessert.
The lodge also has a lovely wine list and a great selection of spirits and beers. We selected a bottle of the Painted Wolf The Den Chenin Blanc, as we were both having white meat and seafood for our dinner. Fabulous choice and the wine was absolutely delicious – so much so that I’m planning on buying some for home!
Every single morsel we ate was utterly delicious. Beautifully presented and cooked! We went to bed early with full tummies and full hearts – we had a 4:30am wake up call for our morning game drive. Back in our room, a carafe of fresh drinking water (the tap water is not for drinking) was served on a tray with little chocolates and nougats, and our bed was turned down.
Our morning drive was rainy and grey – not ideal, and our ranger did warn us we might not see much, but together with the lovely German couple, we were happy to venture out anyway. To me, it’s as much about the experience of driving around in the open game vehicle as seeing game. However, despite the weather we still saw some animals, and we stopped for our morning coffee, filled with Amarula and delicious rusks.
We were welcomed back to the lodge with hot chocolate and roaring log fires in the main lodge and dining areas – amazing after our chilly, damp morning. And once we’d all warmed up and dried off, breakfast was served.
The continental buffet was lovely, with a great selection of fruit, cold meats, cheeses, pastries and cereals. We tucked into some fruit, cold meat and nuts, along with a pot of tea, while we waited for our hot breakfast order. There are a lovely selection of hot meals to order – Nick went for a classic full English fry up, while I chose the salmon eggs benedict, which was absolutely delicious.
We had an absolutely amazing stay at Nambiti Hills, every single detail was well thought out and executed. I totally plan on making a return trip in the future!
If you’d like to know more regarding pricing, bookings and more, contact Nambiti Hills Private Game Experience on +27 (0)31 333 6723 or you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also watch the vlog of our stay at Nambiti Hills here: –
*DISCLAIMER – while we were hosted by Nambiti Hills for the night, all opinions are honest and our own.