Our male cubs: grown up

In March 2015, there was much excitement when two male lion cubs were born on the reserve. Born to a lioness relocated from Phinda Private Game Reserve, and one of the dominant Black Mane Lions from the Kalahari – we knew from their conception, that they would be ones to watch. From the day they were born, they have held a special place in the hearts of everyone on the Nambiti Reserve.

These lion cubs have made regular appearances throughout the years, always ensuring that our Game Drives are that much more exciting. It’s always such a pleasure to watch the dynamics of the lioness, while she interacts with her cubs – even showing annoyance with their boisterous antics, the same way human mothers can.

Although only three years and five months old, we can hardly call these lions “cubs” anymore. In fact, they are looking more like the dominant male brothers on the Reserve each day – ready to challenge them for dominance and territory any day now.

Here’s a look back on how they have grown.

Female Lioness reaction to cubs
[Pictured above] Born to their Phinda Lioness mother, she gives them a warning about their boisterous behaviour.

Black Mane Lions
[Pictured above] The Black Mane Lions that fathered our youngsters.

[Pictured above] Our young male lions as cubs.

[Pictured above] Growing up and causing mischief.

[Pictured above] Learning to play.

Baby Lion
[Pictured above] Manes are growing and they are looking more like their father each day.

Baby Lion 04
[Pictured above] Truly becoming young adults.

Young Male Lion
[Pictured above] Magnificent.


Meet our new Head Chef


Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge has a new member wearing the toque blanche and teasing the taste buds of guests and staff alike – Head Chef Lance Noel Williamson.

Lance attended Hotel School in Johannesburg and has a Diploma in Professional Cookery as well as a Diploma from the City & Guilds. Passionate and dazzling from the beginnings of his career, Lance was presented with the coveted “Hotel School Young Chef of the Year Award” in December 2005.

Lance has plated up all kinds of foods, from Mediterranean meals to Afri-continental cuisine in the Bryanston Country Club, the Cantare Supper Club in Johannesburg, and the Karongwe Portfolio in Limpopo.


Chef Lance’s career has seen him flash pans across the globe too, in places such as the USA, Lagos, Nigeria and New Zealand. So, if you’re looking for the real reason why Chef Lance has accumulated so much success in his career, look no further than his absolute passion for food and people.

By nature, he’s creative and strives to stretch the limits of everything, from sauces to soufflés. Lance works hard to inspire his team, and enjoys nothing more than watching guests delight in the splendour of high tea or a sumptuous looking dinner.

The next time you’re at our lodge, be sure to stop by and say hi to Lance.



Nambiti Hills Restaurant

Sitting in the Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge restaurant, you’ll find yourself carried off into soothing late night conversation, while you experience a euphoria of the senses.
Ambient lighting, gentle chit-chat, the soothing hum of wildlife outside, infused with a crackling fire and a glass of wine that encourages you to exhale.

You’ve had a day worth celebrating.
Now, melting into your chair, you’re anticipating an exploration of Africa’s finest flavors. Little do you know, the ingredients on this menu are a collaboration of the continents.

Nambiti Hills Food Platter

Situated on a prime sector of the Nambiti Private Game Reserve outside of Ladysmith, Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge offers an unforgettable personal retreat, filled with rest and relaxation.
The thrill of wild animals and 5-star luxury whisking you away from your everyday stresses and routine.

It’s the perfect place for those who love escapes to romantic settings, for those who need to be truly pampered, and for those who appreciate the quiet calm of nature.

The air is crisp, the drinks are cold, the animals are wild and the food is prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Nambiti Hills Quality Service

In fact, our ingredients are so fresh, we get them specially delivered directly to us, from the source.

Our chefs pride themselves on impeccably great tasting food. And great tasting food is only achievable if the ingredients are of the best, freshest quality. So… you can imagine the logistics that go into preparing a seafood dish here at the lodge, some 250kms from the nearest coastal city.

But it’s not just the seafood. Most of the items on our menu, including the basics it takes to prepare them, are not available in the nearest town.

Our Salmon is flown in from Norway, our red meats are anti-biotic and hormone free, from a small abattoir in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, where we can trace its origins back to the exact animal. Our micro herbs, fresh greens and garnishes are delivered to our door and you’ll even find an edible flower or two on some of our salads and desserts. Although these didn’t grow in our garden, we know precisely which one they came from.


By ensuring only the best ingredients, and in turn, the best dishes are made, is just another way of showing you that we care about your experience here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge. A successful day for us involves early morning coffee wake ups, Big 5 sightings and… taking empty plates back to the kitchen at the end of a meal.

We can’t wait to welcome you to our little piece of 5-star paradise in the wild and wonderful African bush. See you soon.

Lodge Manager.
Nambiti Hills Quality Drinks

Rejuvenating Rains on the Reserve

There are a lot of things that we love, here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge. Like the early morning wake-up calls from the chitter chatter of birds, or the welcoming warmth from the African sun as we laze about the pool deck, cocktail in hand. Or the smorgasbord of treats, freshly prepared on the breakfast table, and again at tea time. And then… fine dining spoils in the evening after an eventful day. The sight of the sun, making its way down the horizon and the first glimpse of night, filled with sparkling stars. So much to see, do and love. But right now, there’s one thing we love more than any of these things. And that’s… the smell of rain!

Revived, refreshed and rejuvenated; that’s the general feeling around the reserve, as vital rains have blessed us with their presence. In a time where not just KwaZulu-Natal, but the whole of South Africa is in drought, these plentiful rains could not have come at a better time. And as a result, the skies are grey but the mood is good.


The landscape has sponged up every drop, transforming itself into a glistening and vibrant canvas of green. Succulents hold onto rain drops and birds enjoy pools of water for playing and drinking. The smell of African mint bursts through the air as game viewers crush the abundant leaves that scatter the grounds.

Elephants can be seen in numbers, revelling in the aftermath of the rain; water fights and mud baths galore. Game chew on fresh grass shoots and dewy branches, and wade through soggy marshlands. Barren dust paths turn to lush trails and rivers overflow with life-giving water.

The days get darker a lot quicker as autumn sets in and prepares itself for winter. Hot chocolate is served and Amarula is enjoyed by guests wrapped in blankets and ponchos as they sit around the fire, welcoming the rains.

Join us as we take you on a discovery of fresh and rejuvenated landscapes. There is an abundance of wildlife to see as they rejoice in the change of season and the blessing of rain.


Ranger Iris Soaring High

Iris 01
You would have read about the passionate and charming Iris, in one of our recent blog posts. She is one of our rangers here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge, and it gives us immense pleasure to brag a little bit about her latest achievement.

Iris recently completed her regional Savanna Bird Specialist qualification with flying colours. No pun intended. After undertaking some tricky practical tests with Brian Serraro, CEO of Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, Iris is now the only bird specialist on the entire Nambiti Reserve! Our bird-loving fans are in for a treat.

Part of the gruelling tests to qualify included 3 theory tests where she had to identify 80 birds, 80 bird calls and 35 rare bird species. She then had to get out into the field and identify at least 100 birds, noting whether or not these birds were migrant or resident species; distinguish between a male and female bird; identify a particular bird call, and name any bird flying overhead.

If you know Iris like we do, you’d know just how excited she is. You won’t find a more passionate, more dedicated lover of wildlife. We are so proud of you Iris, and can’t wait for you to share your new found knowledge with the rest of us. Here’s to long game drives filled with flora, fauna… and of course, feathers!

Photography by Iris

Photography by Iris

Photograph by Iris Thiriaux