Our Rating
8.0
Overall

Nambiti Hills

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Nambiti

from R 2136 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
32%
Our Rating
8.0
Overall

Nambiti Hills

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Nambiti

from R 2136 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
32%
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Our Verdict

Excellent accessibility from major cities, wonderfully stylish architecture and reasonable rates all adds up to an excellent value-for-money bush breakaway!

Our Ratings

8.0
Overall
8.5
Luxury & style
7.5
Setting
7.0
Game Viewing
7.5
Romance

Our Ratings

8.0
Overall
8.5
Luxury & style
7.5
Setting
7.0
Game Viewing
7.5
Romance

What's Hot

  • We just loved the wonderfully stylish main deck area with its sunken fire pit/lounge with built in seating,a heated pool and a couple of gorgeous 4-poster day beds - not to mention sensational views!
  • Wonderfully varied and beautiful scenery – knocks spots from a visual perspective off most of the Greater Kruger reserves
  • Great value for money – this amount of style and luxury at this price is frankly excellent!
  • Very easily accessible to both Durban and Johannesburg residents – just hit the N3 and you’ll be there sooner than you know it!
  • Good chances of seeing at least 4 of the Big 5 – not to mention more kudu than you could shake a stick at!

What's Not

  • Travelling up on every drive from the lodge’s southern location towards the heart of the reserve means that you become familiar with some of the roads pretty quickly
  • Still the odd sign of civilisation such as power lines that can impinge on that sense of genuine wilderness
  • The reserve’s relatively small size and newness means that numbers of certain species can be fairly limited
Nambiti Hills

Nambiti Hillsthe main deck features a gorgeous sunken seating area around a fire pit – after dinner this is the perfect place to gather with fellow guests to chat and compare notes on the day’s happenings over a glass of red wine or a cold beer

Lodge Profile

Excellent accessibility from major cities, wonderfully stylish architecture and reasonable rates all adds up to an excellent value-for-money bush breakaway!

Quick Overview

Location
Nambiti
Drive Time
3.5 hours from Johannesburg 2.5 hours from Durban
Malaria
No
Setting
Set on a Hill Top
Rooms
9 suites - 8 luxury suites and 1 honeymoon suite
Aircon
Yes
Pool
Yes
Spa
In-room massage
Camp Fenced
Yes
Tracker
Yes - ranger and tracker
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
All ages

Located about 20 km out of Ladysmith and almost perfectly poised between both Durban and Johannesburg, Nambiti is one of the newer reserves in South Africa – formed in 2000 the reserve originated out of the dream of 2 trout fishing mates to create a Big Five reserve relatively close to Durban. After a couple of years of fruitless searching, they came across a suitable piece of land that was for sale, bought it, and set about realising their dream. Old farm fences and alien vegetation were removed, the perimeter properly fenced and the re-stocking of the conservancy with game commenced – as well as the Big Five there are currently over forty other species of game including cheetah, giraffe, hippo, hyena, impala, springbok and zebra (not to mention more kudu than we have ever seen before – they seemed to be more common here than the usually ubiquitous impala!)

We have to admit to being a bit sceptical about what sort of bush experience Nambiti would offer as we planned our trip there, but we needn’t have worried as the reserve and Nambiti Hills in particular ended up surpassing our expectations! What we certainly hadn’t prepared for was the stunningly spectacular and varied scenery – the reserve’s 8000 hectares offers up diverse landscapes ranging from steep hillsides and valleys carved out by the tumbling Sundays River (including 2 dramatic 40 metre waterfalls) through to expansive open grassy plains that reminded us inevitably of the Serengeti (only on a much smaller scale of course!)

The reserve now has 10 game lodges on it, some of them renovations of the existing farm-houses, and the most exclusive of which is probably the five-star Nambiti Hills lodge. The lodge lies perched on a hilltop towards the south of the reserve from where it enjoys expansive views over the plains beyond – you can quite happily sit for hours on your private deck with a pair of binoculars and search out the game playing hide and seek in the bush below you!

The rooms are seriously stylish and luxurious, particularly given the price. There are eight Luxury Suites and one Honeymoon Suite - each is home to a private viewing deck with a discreet pathway leading off the bedroom where you can enjoy private and uninterrupted contemplation. Both suites’ interiors feature a contemporary eclectic mix of local African design - they are spacious and luxurious (though not over the top) and offer the most spectacular views across to the opposite hillside. They each boast a four poster bed with romantic mosquito net, an outdoor shower as well as an extra-long indoor standalone stone bath (fit for a king or, perhaps more likely, queen!) An air-conditioner is in place to take the edge off the summer heat (and it converts into a heater in winter)

But perhaps the highlight of the lodge is the wonderfully chic main viewing deck area – we particularly loved the oh-so stylish 4 poster day beds where you can sprawl with a good book (obviously interrupting your reading on occasion to see if any animals have wandered into view) The deck also features a gorgeous sunken seating area around a fire pit – after dinner this is the perfect place to gather with fellow guests to chat and compare notes on the day’s happenings over a glass of red wine or a cold beer. An extended deck boasts the lodge’s swimming pool (which is also heated for your comfort!)  Our daughter particularly loved the massive floating cushions in the pool which you can sprawl over whilst enjoying a refreshing drink.

In the evenings you can look forward to a three-course meal of fusion food and luxurious desserts - dinner is set in the open plan dining-room which, on a hot summer’s night, may spread out onto the deck. In fact you may even decide to have dinner on your private veranda of your own exclusive suite, secluded from all the other guests and overlooking the reserve. What could be better than spending time with that special person out in the wild, an inky-black sky sparkling with stars above, and a luxury king-size bed beckoning just metres away!

As we said previously we enjoyed the game drive experience here more than we ever anticipated. Aside from the wonderfully scenic landscapes through which we travelled, we also saw some excellent game including 4 of the Big 5 (as is so often the case, the darned leopard proved elusive!) with the highlight probably being 10 minutes spent watching some jackal pups playing outside their den. Being in the southern section of the park, one small drawback is that your game drives generally head further north into the heart of the reserve which means that you get to see quite a lot of these connecting roads. Another minor quibble is that there are power lines visible in the “Serengeti plains” area in the far west of the reserve, obviously a legacy of previous years when this was farming land. But really these are minor quibbles and we ended up thoroughly enjoying our drives at Nambiti Hills.

If you want an easily accessible dose of romance and the all-pervading sense of peace that only the bush can bring, then Nambiti Hills is a great option! The complete change of pace for starters; the background music of bird calls (and the odd animal’s grunts!); the distinct smells of the bush (better than any perfume - a rather compelling combination of dust, dung and vegetation or at least, this is what I imagine the components of the smell to be!) – all of this means that 2 or 3 nights at Nambiti Hills will see you return to the city refreshed, renewed and ready to take on the world again!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Please contact us for rates for the Honeymoon Suite
  • A Nambiti Rhino Protection Levy of R22.80 (including VAT) per person, per day will be payable at the lodge on the day of departure
  • All prices quoted are based on a minimum stay of two nights
  • Collection time for all guests is 13h00 at the main gate area of the Nambiti Reserve (this is flexible depending on vehicle availability)

Child Policy

  • Children 5 years and under stay free and are not permitted on game drives
  • Children between the ages of 6 and 12 years sharing with 2 adults will receive a 50% discount and are permitted on game drives at the lodge manager/ranger's discretion
  • Children between 6 and 11 years in their own room – first child will pay full adult rate
  • Children 12 years and over will pay the full adult rate and will be accommodated in their own room
  • Babysitting services are offered at an additional cost per hour, subject to availability