The Nambiti Hills Unicorn

The unicorn of Nambiti Hills

The lone ranger, the mysterious unicorn, the one-horned wonder…

Whatever you call him, there is no doubt that this male Waterbuck is a sight to behold. And when we find him on a game drive or guided walk, we consider ourselves blessed.

He is so mysterious, that the rare sight of him will have you conjuring up fantasies of how he came to be with one horn. Some say he is only visible on a full moon, others believe he is a guardian of the Waterbuck – watching over them from up high on the plains.

But the simple truth is that in a near-fatal attack, another male Waterbuck ripped his horn right off the base of his skull. Miraculously surviving, and with his wound healed, to this day he remains a mysterious creature, letting no human or animal get too close.

A striking recluse, we’ve noticed that he battles to form a bond with the herd. Is his single horn a threat to the others, causing them to keep their distance? Or does it render him weak and defenceless, preventing him from holding his territory?

Join me in search of the Nambiti Hills Unicorn – a photo opportunity not to be missed!

The Mighty Elephants of Nambiti Hills

Elephant Bull enjoying the last o of the green acacia trees before the full winter
Big, beautiful and bright – the mighty elephant has always been a favourite of mine. In abundance at Nambiti Hills, we’re lucky enough to get to see these one of a kind creatures on a regular basis – although the time of day, the place of spotting and the mood is always different.

Observing elephants is an all-senses experience. The sight of these giants in such close proximity, the sound of heavy feet on the dry earth, the smell as dust clouds are kicked up around them, the way they touch your heart and give you a taste of Africa at its finest.

This afternoon, we headed out on a game drive with some enthusiastic foreign guests. They had mentioned a great fascination with elephants and were hoping to come across one or two on their trip. I was geared up for a sighting pretty soon as I followed what appeared to be fresh tracks heading into the thicket. But after some time, I started to worry a little. By now, we should have seen them. It would be just my (bad) luck, if today of all days, with a crew of excited guests, cameras ready; the herd decides to avoid us.

Elephants of Nambiti Hills
The signs were all there; broken branches, fresh dung and a strong scent of dust around us. But still, not a single sound or rustle to be heard. I decided to get out of the Cruiser and venture ahead on foot while the guests busied themselves taking pictures. The hilly area gave me a height advantage and my binoculars gave me an extra stretch of sight as I surveyed the land.

And then I saw them… and I could not believe my eyes. It was the entire herd. And they were headed right for us! I scuttled back to the guests and tried to act nonchalant. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise that was about to trudge through the trees right in front of us.

Elephants 2
When I heard the first hint that they were near I hushed the guests, and watched as their faces lit up when the first elephant came into sight, then the second, and the third… then the entire herd, followed closely by the young calves.

And what a sight it was! On this thrilling afternoon, I learnt that patience is key! And the reward… is well worth the wait.

I can’t wait for another African adventure and I hope you’ll join us soon.

Introducing Zolile Spa – The ultimate in relaxation

The fast pace of modern living can leave us disregarding our own health and wellbeing, so we’re excited about the opening of Zolile Spa at our lodge. Literally meaning “calm, peaceful, quiet,” Zolile perfectly describes our objective of offering guests the opportunity to slow down in peaceful surroundings and enjoy a luxury spa treatment.

If you’re looking for a romantic time-out or just looking to disconnect from the rush of everyday life, we remain the ideal destination for a Big 5 Safari & Spa Experience.

De-stress with our range of refreshing and revitalising massages, body treatments and rituals that are inspired by the pure and natural richness of Mother Earth. We proudly use Healing Earth products because it identifies with our philosophy of eco-friendliness and sustainability. It is chemical free, has not been tested on animals, and is 100% healthy and natural – so it will protect your skin and the environment.

Click here to view our special packages and full menu.

After your treatment, relax on our deck and take in the serene views and beauty of the unspoilt nature around you.

*To avoid disappointment, all bookings must be requested when making a lodge reservation

The Beauty of a Winter Game Drive

Lion cubs at Nambiti Hills
It’s freezing outside. You’ve been woken up before the sun and you’re still wiping the sleep from your eyes as someone nudges you out the door and into the fresh, but icy morning air. And then you jump into the game rangers vehicle, the engine roars to life and you start off into a waking wilderness. Wrapped in a soft poncho and thawing from the hot water bottle left on your seat, you immediately begin to appreciate the moment. And you realise that this is why we love a winter game drive. It may be cold to start off, but that’s the beauty of it. Wrapping up warm, sipping on hot coffee and getting excited as we creep into the morning lives of the wild animals.

Lions at Nambiti Hills
This week, an early start let us witness a male lion chase and kill a warthog in an eroded gully. The three young cubs, who, can you believe it, are almost a year old now, are beginning to take part in the communal hunting process. After watching and learning from their mother and brothers, they’re quickly getting the hang of it. They’re most active in the early mornings and we really love getting to see them grow and develop on a daily basis.

We’ve also been spotting our sole male cheetah in the early mornings, marking his territory as he makes his way around the reserve. As long as we don’t get too close with the vehicles and invade his personal space, he doesn’t seem to mind us following him around. Sometimes it feels like he’s showing off when he casually hunts down a small impala or duiker. You know, just an average day for a male cheetah. It looks like he plays it safe with the smaller prey though, which is probably to lower his chances of injury.

Us rangers network throughout the reserve and keep in comms via radio so that if someone sees something, they call it through and we all head off in that direction in hopes of a great spotting. But generally we all have our secret go-to spots where we know the views are magnificent and the route filled with interesting finds. I’d love to take you on a journey through the African bush.

See you soon, for your next adventure.


A Walk on the Wild Side

There’s no doubt about it; winter… has arrived!
And while the bitterly cold mornings are somewhat of a struggle, it’s a great excuse to venture off on a late morning guided walk through the reserve. We love it, the guests love it, and there’s always so much to see.

The reserves only Cheetah enjoying his killRecently, I had the absolute fortune of spotting the only Cheetah in the reserve, right in front of the lodge. I was on the viewing deck and couldn’t believe my luck as we were scheduled to head off on a guided walk minutes later.

I told the guests about the Cheetah, and in excited silence we observed from up high as he enjoyed a recent kill. When he left the site we took the opportunity to do a little bit of what we like to call Bush CSI. The rangers like to piece together all the evidence; the skuff marks, broken shrubs, tracks in the sand… and try to figure out what actually happened moments before the kill took place. In this instance, we concluded that a young kudu cow had not been fast or smart enough to out run her predator.

With our hearts now set on seeing the Cheetah again, we kept an eye on the kill spot, and to our delight, later that afternoon, he returned for more.

Wilderness & its beauty as far as the eye can see
A few days later, while out on a walk, the guests and I were taking in the quiet tranquillity of the beautiful landscape. As far as the eyes could see, and as far as the ears could hear… this was Africa at her finest. And then, in the sandy clearing of the path we were travelling, we were treated to another exciting find; fresh male lion spoor.

What a treat! Fresh lion spoor

Very cautiously, and very safely, we continued along the path until we spotted him through a gap in the thicket. Unaware of our presence, he strutted on in search of his brother, following his previously marked scent. We know this, because later we found the two of them reunited and relaxing in the open plains.

Mighty & Majestic ...what a magnificent animal!

Whether it’s big game viewing, intimate insect finds or binocular-aided bird viewing, there’s never a dull moment on a guided walk through Nambiti Hills.

I hope to take you out there soon.