Nambiti Plains Lodge, situated in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve just outside of Ladysmith, is a little piece of heaven right here in South Africa. It is a 5 star luxury lodge where you’ll be wined and dined and treated like royalty. Get ready for the most relaxing experience of a life time in a pristine and beautiful setting amongst nature and a vast variety of wildlife.
We visited Nambiti Plains Lodge for a lavish ten day spoil over Christmas and New Year’s. And what a treat it was. The lodge and rooms are absolutely beautiful and certainly have the best views of the entire game reserve. The lodge was built around an open plain region (thus the name… Nambiti Plains) with a large waterhole ensuring great views from the deck – where we enjoyed breakfasts and lunches – as well as unobscured views from our very own bath in our room. A typical day at Nambiti Plains commenced with an early wakeup call around 5am followed by a quick cup of coffee at the lodge before heading off on the morning game drive. Nambiti Private Game Reserve boasts the big five, for all the wildlife enthusiasts. You may even be lucky enough to spot them all during your stay. Our knowledgeable and experienced guide, Jason, had a well trained eye and spotted many interesting animals; some as interesting and as small as Trap Door Spiders. At some point during the morning game drive, we took a quick stop where tea, coffee and hot chocolate was on offer again with a side of freshly baked biscuits. The morning game drive then continued and was followed by breakfast back at the lodge. Breakfast consisted of an array of fresh fruits, homemade granola and yoghurt as well as a choice of any hot breakfast your heart desires. I fell in love with the ‘Nambiti Sunrise’ breakfast which consisted of fresh avocado on a scrumptious corn fritter accompanied by a fried egg with delicious pesto and a dash of sour cream. The eggs were perfectly cooked to my order each day (I had this breakfast quite regularly). We enjoyed the most spectacular views from the lodge deck while enjoying our breakfast. During the December/January period, the game reserve was bustling with many newly born animals such as Giraffe, Zebra, Warthog and one of my favourites, baby Wildebeest. These babies were just too gorgeous for words. Following breakfast, we headed back to our room and lazed about continuing to enjoy the immaculate views from the deck off of our bedroom.
The next phase of the day continued with lunch back at the lodge. The lunches are usually “lighter” meals and I say that in this manner because the food at Nambiti Lodge is in no short supply. In fact, you can certainly expect to leave a few kilograms heavier than when you arrived ;-) Lunch meals varied from fresh nutritious salads, to seafood plates to burgers and chips. The meals varied every single day and in a nine day period we did not have a single repeat. One of my favourite lunches was the beetroot salad served with a refreshing strawberry vinaigrette. This was a fresh and absolutely deliciously healthy meal which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some of my other favourite lunches included the homemade burgers, the special Christmas lunch served alongside the river and the New Year’s Day sweet sticky ribs. Lunch was also always followed by a dessert of the day ranging from cheesecake to Pavlova and peppermint crisp. The food at Nambiti Plains was incredible and we were fortunate enough to experience all of Chef Karla’s delicious meals. Following lunch, we returned to our rooms to escape the heat of the day and enjoy the air-conditioning whilst reading a book. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy an afternoon nap (if you’re feeling a little tired from the early morning start) or to head to the pool for a refreshing dip.
At about 15h30, high tea was served back at the lodge. This usually involved a freshly baked treat of the day such as apple tart, banana bread or red velvet cake alongside some tea, coffee and fresh fruit juices. The most memorable for me was the red velvet cake. It was absolutely superb! Thereafter we were off on the afternoon game drive to enjoy some more incredible sightings. Throughout our stay at Nambiti, we were fortunate enough to see many animals; some of which included my favourites like Black-Backed Jackal, Zebra, Giraffe, Cheetah, Warthog, Lion, Wildebeest, Common Buzzards, Buffalo and the most incredible Elephant sightings. Our guide, Jason, even spotted a Chameleon one evening on our way back to the lodge. The afternoon/evening game drive also involved a pit stop at some beautiful location within the reserve to enjoy a sundowner of your choice along with some snacks (yes, more food). Do give the Nambiti Reserve local gins a try too; refreshingly enjoyable. Following the evening game drive, we returned back to the lodge for dinner. Nambiti Plains’ dinners comprised of three courses with a choice of wine. The starter was usually a soup and their soups were delicious. I absolutely loved the half and half of sweetcorn and tomato soup. It was skilfully presented and certainly the best of both worlds, boasting a creamy corn texture and a complimentary fresh tart tomato flavour. The main meals varied each evening. Some of my favourites included the lamb chops with a side of fresh vegetables as well as the crumbed Kingklip with a zesty lemon butter sauce. Both the lamb and the Kingklip were cooked to perfection and exquisitely tasty meals. Desserts at Nambiti Plains included treats such as chocolate mousse and baked Alaska, to name a few. The meals were always fresh, homely, well balanced and not only delicious but, also nutritious. Following dinner, we were off to bed for a good night’s rest before repeating it all again the next day… absolute heaven.
After a challenging and turbulent year, a visit to Nambiti Plains Lodge was the perfect way to take time out and enjoy the epitome of a relaxing holiday. It was also a great way to enjoy a lovely break while still being able to feel perfectly safe during the current pandemic. Covid-19 protocols were in place throughout the lodge and mask wearing was mandatory on game drives ensuring everyone’s safety and peace of mind. Throughout our stay at Nambiti Plains Lodge, we were so well taken care of. The service was impeccable across all areas of the lodge’s offerings. There were numerous special touches included during our stay, emphasising how the staff go above and beyond to attend to your every need. This was certainly a memorable and very special holiday and I look forward to returning again one day soon.