Nambiti Plains Private Game Reserve
Impression on Arrival
We left Durban heading for Ladysmith on a blistering hot KZN summer morning, the humidity turned into dry heat as we headed up the N3 away from the coast. The drought South Africa has been experiencing has not spared this part of the world, the grass and trees look dry and the landscape that is normally bursting with green at this time of the year is a brownish grey colour.
At the Nambiti Memorial Gate we were greeted by our friendly ranger, Dave, who showed us to the visitor parking and then loaded our luggage onto the back of a game viewing land rover. After a short trip on the back of the Landy in the 34 degree heat we arrived at the Nambiti Plains Lodge to be greeted by Jessica, the assistant manager, with an ice cold beverage and a cold face cloth.
Jessica showed us around the lodge which as the name suggests looks over the beautiful Nambiti Plains. The lodge offers all the luxuries one would expect while maintaining a certain rustic charm reminding us that we were in fact out of the city and in the bush. The front of the lodge is made up of a series of folding glass doors truly creating the feeling of being connected with nature.
A warm inviting lounge offers the ideal location for a family board game, quietly reading a book or indeed as we discovered a great location for an after dinner drink. The dining room is neatly laid out and in the right weather conditions the large deck is the perfect location to enjoy an outdoor breakfast or lunch, overlooking a water hole watching the animals stopping in for a quick drink.
Upon entering the room it was immediately evident that no detail or expense had been spared. The view out over the plains is breathtaking and enjoyed from the whole open plan room, sharing the same glass folding doors as the main lodge. The crisp white linen, fluffy down duvet and stunning Africology range of soaps wrap up this truly luxurious bush setting. Under floor heating, a rustic outdoor shower and Lindt chocolate on our pillow each night are the final touches that lead us to suggest that Nambiti Plains boasts one of the nicest rooms we have stayed in on our South African travels.
Breakfast each morning consisted, to start with, a spread of muesli, fruit, cheese, cold meat and yoghurt, laid out on a tray at the end of our table. Various fruit juices were available as well as tea and coffee on request. After the first course, a delicious cooked to order breakfast was served consisting of bacon, eggs, sausage, mushrooms and toast.
Lunch was a two course affair starting with a salad followed by a sweet dessert. We found the light lunch was just what was required being still slightly full from breakfast.
Dinner was served in the dining room and we were greeted both evenings by a warm fire lit in the two tall stone fireplaces. The weather had changed quite dramatically in the afternoon of our arrival and for the duration of our stay it was quite chilly, reminding us that weather in the KZN interior is unpredictable at the best of times, if you are traveling in summer, take some warm clothes just in case. Dinner began with a starter shortly followed by a gourmet main course beautifully presented, we enjoyed rack of lamb served with a corn polenta and chicken roulade served with a potato fondant respectively. A delicious rich dessert wrapped up dinner on both evenings.
The first evening game drive was set on the backdrop of a sunny afternoon. The outlook from Nambiti is one of big skies, with the view extending from the Drakensberg on one side to the mountains of Dundee on the other. The setting sun outlines the silhouette of a herd of buffalos that lined a nearby hill.
Lions were playing and lying lazily in the long grass only popping their heads out for a brief moment as if to tease those of us trying to capture that perfect wildlife photograph.
The game viewing in general was good considering how relatively new the reserve is. Our viewing included impala, zebra, buffalo, kudu, black-backed jackal and pups, lion, elephant, giraffe, marshal eagle, vultures, blue crane and a rare sighting of a pair of secretary birds.
Dave certainly looked after us on our game drives with refreshments, snacks and an amazing knowledge of the bush and the history of the battlefield sites that surrounded us. Dave’s hot chocolate and Amarula mix became somewhat legendary during our stay.
Nambiti Plains Private Game Reserve is a true 5 Star destination. The attention to detail and the guest experience leaves the lodge and staff true ambassadors for South African Eco-Tourism.
The food is up to true “foodie” standards and every meal was meticulously prepared and well-presented. This is definitely a destination for those seeking a culinary experience.
The location of the lodge and the room left us feeling truly at one with nature and we felt as if we were the only people in the bush.
So the question we always ask: Will we be back ? 100% we will.