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TThe picturesque Nambiti Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, only 4 hours by road from Johannesburg, is challenging some of the province's more established reserves with its lovely scenery, abundance of game, superb lodges and affordability. It’s also close to some of South Africa’s most famous battlefields.
The Nambiti Private Game Reserve is one of the newer kids on the block but is giving the more famous and established private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal a run for their money.
Nambiti Private Game Reserve was born after Rob le Sueur rode around the Elandslaagte area near some of the legendary battlefields of the South African and Anglo-Zulu wars in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. He began buying up failing farms and eventually consolidated 18 farms into what is now 1 conservancy – the Nambiti Private Game Reserve.
Today the area has been transformed back to its original, pristine condition, where grassy plains, rocky kloofs, deep forest and rivers provide shelter not only for the Big 5, but scores of other game and hundreds of birds.
Nambiti has now become a favourite safari destination for local and international visitors alike, not only for the Big 5 experience, but also because of its affordability and ease of access from Johannesburg and Durban, giving Nambiti an advantage over some of the more remote KwaZulu-Natal game reserves.
There's a choice of 9 lodges in which to stay, all of them different, but all top-class luxury. Lions Valley Lodge has some of the most interesting and exciting safari accommodation of any South African lodge.
Choose between the Spaza Suite, themed in a very upmarket way after a township spaza or informal trading store, the evocative Mandela Suite with pop-art pictures of Madiba, the Zebra Suite (which will bedazzle you with stripes) and, for the history buff, the Elandslaagte Suite, based on a South African War battle fought in the area.
Esiweni Lodge, on the other hand, is all about location, location, location. Esiweni means 'perched on a high cliff' in Zulu, and that’s exactly where it is, dramatically situated overlooking the Sundays River.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Nambiti Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)36 637 9644/5/6
Mobile: +27 (0)82 652 0583
How to get here
From Ladysmith take the N11 to Newcastle. Continue to the Glencoe/Dundee turnoff. Depending on which lodge you stay at you will either follow the first signs to Nambiti’s south gate or continue to the Elandslaagte sign and turn right. Turn right again at the Elandslaagte Memorial sign to the north gate. Your lodge will provide detailed directions.
Best time to visit
Any time of year.
Things to do
Check out the South African War and Anglo-Zulu War battlefields. Ask your lodge to arrange a battlefields tour with an experienced guide.
What will it cost?
Check with the individual lodges as rates vary.
What to pack
Binoculars, camera, sunscreen, hat and comfortable walking shoes. In winter, a warm jacket, hat, gloves and scarf are recommended.
Where to stay
You have a choice of 9 lodges, some of which are self-catering.
- Nambiti Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
- Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife
- Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal
- KwaZulu-Natal Tourism