Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lions Valley Lodge – Nambiti Private Game Reserve by Jeremy Williamson

Lee, our daughter, Lana and I arrived at the Nambiti Private Game Reserve’s Memorial Gate, on opening the car window, in order to greet the gate guard and get the forms we needed to sign, the heat and varied aromas of the bushveld rushed in, we began to savor our adventure. A run-away fire had crossed into the Nambiti Private Game Reserve on our left and the sour acrid smells added to the away from home smells. Our guide and host for the next few days, Greg, was awaiting our arrival at the car park, keen and ready to show off this special place. We parked our car in the shade and unloaded into the open game viewer.Our transport for the next few days.

Off to Lions Valley Lodge we bounced, taking in all the heat, sounds, sights and smells. A Black Rhino scent marking here, some fresh elephant dung there, some wild sage, dust, pollen! Lovely to be out in the fresh open air.  

It is normally an approximate 20 minute drive from the gate to the Lodge, but not today!.....around a corner and access to Lions Valley Lodge DENIED!
Well only temporarily. A herd of elephant were wending their way up the access road and we had to wait their passing. The Matriarch surrounded by her herd, varying in age and size, posed briefly, then led her entourage off and away. I always am amazed as to how such enormous behemoths can seemingly evaporate into the bush.. so quietly too.
With the transfer from the gate to Lodge at 14h00, temperatures had peaked and the day was rather warm, with most of the animals recumbent in the shade, from this heat, Greg drove us to the lofty 'coolth' of Lions ValleyLodge’s vast entrance and reception,
....on alighting, on to the numerous public areas which overlook the nearby water-hole.
Try the rim-flow pool, or one of the recliners on the expansive view deck. You could be at the bar or in the lounge – all with views out to the watering point.

The Bar, lounge with boma beyond

Lounge / library
Most of the rooms have good views of this water-hole too, from within or from their private decks, although some are a bit further away.
Lee pointing out the wildlife
Some even quite far away and more elevated on the hill-side,....
...which would ordinarily necessitate quite a walk to ones more remote, secluded suite, but hey, the Lodge planned this, and built concrete golf cart roads to each, with a fleet of these mini vehicles.  
A phone call, or ask at reception and a ride at any time is there for you.
Lee ready to go
Lions Valley Lodge is a five star private Lodge located in the Nambiti Game Reserve. It’s central location, in one of the most game rich valleys in the Park, affords guests easy access to any extremity of the reserve, when on game drives. As some of the high profile animals tend to move from one side of the reserve to the other, this central position certainly makes for the best opportunity for the guides to get guests to a sighting.

We had arrived to friendly greetings, a welcome drink, indemnity signed, familiarisation of the facilities, luggage ‘golf carted’ to our room and ourselves off to ‘high tea’. Well it’s more like a delightful gourmet luncheon, this is a 5 Star Lodge you know!  Meals at a variety of venues at the Lodge.

The Boma with a view

On the Deck
Then back to our suite to get ready for the afternoon guided game dive in the ‘open’ Land Cruiser game viewers.
Lee enjoying a herd of elephant sighting
The diversity of species makes for exciting drives, with the possibility of seeing some rather different game species than one is accustomed to see in the Zululand area, animals such as Eland, Blesbuck, Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest (White-tailed Gnu) with a non endemic to the area, Cape Oryx (Gemsbok) as well.  
The lion were doing what Lion mostly do, relaxing. Their repose site was rather concealing.
Then there are the high profile animals such as lion, elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino and even a single cheetah.

The Black Rhino was accidently dehorned in transit - horn broke
Leopard are rarely seen but do definitely occur in the Park, all these along with the general game one finds in Zululand. Expect some seriously good photo opportunities. This reserve has a very high population of rather relaxed kudu, which is generally not the norm in other game parks.

Zebra are one of my favorite animals!
With Red-billed oxpeckers
On a recent two night visit, Lee, Lana and I saw most of the high profile animals and a really excellent quantity of the general plains game.
It is so pleasant to have some sort of sighting virtually around every corner. Well that’s the Nambiti Private Game Reserve for you! Some special Avifauna too!

Secretary bird
For more relaxation take in a Spa treatment or two, it’s all about guest enjoyment when visiting Lions Valley Lodge. The suites are so comfortable too, open plan and very spacious with dual baths, as well as dual indoor and dual outdoor showers.
Room with a view
A mini bar and tea station make the individually decorated suites a place where one can really spend time between meals and activities.
The open-plan bathro0m with private Loo
Suites are all individually themed
The Africa suite
What about the rather funky Spaza suite? Lee's choice - we all loved it, so different. Lana and I, by default?  had the Romance suite - Again ! We seem to somehow get the Honeymoon suite regularly at various venues.
The meals are really excellent, with epicurean delights from the kitchen making the dining experience a compliment to this magnificent venue and the wonderful game viewing generally experienced in the Nambiti GameReserve. 

Fillet of Eland
The expansive dining room - this normally used during inclement weather
The beautifully appointed Lions Valley Lodge, with its delightful staff, super outlook and location in the Nambiti Game Reserve comes highly recommended by the Far and Wild Safaris Team! For Corporate functions, weddings and such this Lodge has a large, well appointed Conference room as well.

All the above photographs were taken by Jeremy, Lana and Lee Williamson, on a recent visit to Lions Valley Lodge.

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