Our Rating
8.1
Overall

Nambiti Plains Lodge

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Nambiti

from R 2103 pp/night sharing

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35%
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Our Rating
8.1
Overall

Nambiti Plains Lodge

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Nambiti

from R 2103 pp/night sharing

Save
35%
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Our Verdict

Intimate lodge of just 5 rooms which enjoys a prime position right in the heart of this up-and-coming and very scenic Big Five reserve.

Our Ratings

8.1
Overall
8.0
Luxury& style
8.0
Setting
7.5
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

Our Ratings

8.1
Overall
8.0
Luxury& style
8.0
Setting
7.5
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

What's Hot

  • We love the way you can open up the sliding door and enjoy 180 degree views of the bushveld from your bath – there’s also an outdoor shower (another of our favourites!)
  • Nambiti Plains gets consistent rave reviews from happy guests for the warm hospitality and delicious food
  • The lodge is located in the heart of the reserve away from the perimeter – so you’ve no need to travel to get to the prime game viewing areas as can be the case with other lodges in the reserve
  • The packed stone walls and fireplaces are an attractive signature styling feature of Nambiti Plains
  • As the reserve becomes more established, so the game viewing is getting better and better – one area it does blow away other reserves though is in its fabulous scenery!

What's Not

  • The reserve’s relatively small size and newness means that numbers of certain species can be fairly limited
  • Doesn’t have the spectacular setting of some of the other lodges in Nambiti
  • Still the odd sign of civilisation such as power lines that can impinge on that sense of genuine wilderness
Nambiti Plains Lodge

Nambiti Plains Lodgeeach suite is completely secluded and hugely spacious and comes equipped with romantic mosquito nets, overhead fans and under-floor heating (a huge plus for those chilly winter evenings!)

Lodge Profile

Intimate lodge of just 5 rooms which enjoys a prime position right in the heart of this up-and-coming and very scenic Big Five reserve.

Quick Overview

Location
Nambiti
Drive Time
4 hours from Johannesburg 2.5 hours from Durban
Malaria
No
Setting
Overlooking a waterhole
Rooms
5 Suites
Aircon
No
Pool
Yes
Spa
No
Camp Fenced
No
Tracker
No - only ranger
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
All ages

Nambiti Plains is situated in the extraordinarily beautiful and diverse landscape of Nambiti Private Game Reserve, just east of Ladysmith in close proximity to the Drakensberg and within fairly easy driving distance of both Johannesburg and Durban. The area around Nambiti has a firm footing in South African history with several battles of the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars taking place in this vicinity – in fact many of these battlefields have been preserved as reminders of the rich history!

Previously this land was under cattle and maize farming, but mates Rob le Sueur and Gordon Howard had a dream of a Big Five game reserve close to Durban - a couple of years in search of the perfect piece of land finally led them to Nambiti where they were amazed at the outstanding natural beauty of the area. The duo set about purchasing the old farms and a long process of removing fences and alien vegetation began as well as reintroducing many species of game –it has been hugely successful and the reserve is now home to over 40 species including the Big Five and other species like cheetah as well as 280 bird species!

As we mentioned previously, one of the most attractive elements about Nambiti is the spectacular and diverse scenic landscapes! This reserve’s 8 000 hectares of malaria-free bushveld boasts everything from massive grassy plains reminiscent of the Serengeti, through thornveld covered hillsides to the Sundays River which tumbles over a series of waterfalls as it makes its way through the reserve!

Nambiti boasts a selection of superb lodges with something to suit just about all tastes and budgets - Nambiti Plains is one of the reserve’s top-end options, an eco-friendly beauty which comprises of 5 luxurious suites (2 of which are family suites) Unlike many of the other lodges which are based either in the far south or north of the reserve, Nambiti Plains is located pretty much slap-bang in the middle of the reserve. Whilst it may not have the most spectacular setting out of the lodges in Nambiti, the lodge’s location gives it one significant advantage in that you're already in the heart of the reserve's prime game viewing areas!

As far as the lodge is concerned, it’s set on a gentle slope with views out over the rolling plains of Nambiti with a nearby waterhole. Each suite is completely secluded and hugely spacious and comes equipped with romantic mosquito nets, overhead fans and under-floor heating (a huge plus for those chilly winter evenings!) Whilst the style is quite rustic with open thatched roofs with exposed ceiling beams, stone-packed feature walls and screeded floors, it’s all quite luxurious too. You can immerse yourself with 180 degree panoramic views from the bath, outdoor "bush shower" (except the family suites), and private wrap around viewing deck. We particularly like the massive bathrooms where twin basins are framed by old tree trunks and there’s a gorgeous standalone bath which could almost feel outside once you slide back the huge floor-to-ceiling sliding doors! The family suite is two separate rooms, separated by a solid, packed stone wall with a common entrance and offers families space to enjoy the beautiful views of the bush.

The main lodge follows a similar traditional game lodge design style with its thatched roofs and wooden viewing deck – the stone-packed feature walls are particularly attractive. The lodge's emphasis is on a modern yet eco-friendly minimalist approach with the lodge also located right in the bush with no manicured gardens, thereby reducing the impact on the surrounding environment.The lodge has glassed sliding doors, overhead fans and screened floors which ensure you stay cool in summer while large, beautifully constructed packed stone fire places in the bar, lounge and dining room. The lounge area with its huge fireplace is a great spot to relax in a comfy sofa with a glass of good red wine on a chilly evening in front of a roaring fire! During the day the place to be is the vast, expansive wrap-around deck complete with circular plunge pool - this is the ideal area to relax with an ice cold beer or chill out in the outdoor lounge as you watch animals quietly drinking and bathing in the waterhole in front of the lodge. In fact you may find yourself sharing the pool with a herd of ellies as they seem to have mysteriously developed a taste for the crystal clear swimming pool water over that of the waterhole!

Nambiti Plains is certainly not the place to come to lose weight and dining is an experience to be enjoyed either in the privacy of your deck, dining room, under the African sky in the atmospheric boma around a blazing bonfire or in the bush for a truly African experience.

There’s very good game viewing at Nambiti with at least 4 of the Big Five likely (leopard sightings are improving but they remain elusive) but what we particularly enjoyed during our game drives in Nambiti was the stunning scenery, especially the spectacular waterfalls on the Sundays River! That’s not all that’s available though, with cheetah walks, battlefields tours and fishing on the Sundays River just a couple of the other activities available. What’s pretty certain is that the memory of your stay in this incredible place will linger for a very long time!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • A Nambiti Rhino Protection Levy of R37 (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 at 13h00 at the main gate area of the Nambiti Reserve (this is flexible depending on vehicle availability)

Child Policy

  • No children under 8 years area allowed
  • The lodge does offer child-minding services at an additional cost