Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Springbok Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve – Jeremy Williamson.

Springbok Lodge has really matured into a truly fine rather luxurious Game Lodge in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve, since Lana and my visit almost 4 years ago.

Springbok Lodge now has 21 tents, with 6 new versions of the ‘ultimate’ safari tent?

The six recently completed safari tents at Springbok Lodge have...... drum roll ..... concrete floors and brick walls!  Yet hardly discernible from the existing , very comfortable tented camp.

The new ‘tents’ also all have air-conditioning and King-sized beds, but what is new in the design are the private toilets and more secluded baths. A selection of Fabrar Earle soaps for guest's use - divine.
Then there is a tea station with a selection of teas, coffee (even a bodum with ground coffee), comfortable chairs in the tent and also on the ‘veranda with a view’.

Around the back, is an attractive outdoor shower – this worked so well with its efficient gas water heater.  

So in all, fairly similar to the other tents with the private loo probably the most notable plus, just upping the standards somewhat – it still really feels like you are in a tent, very clever..
The canvas screened windows are a delight, keeping out any bugs, and despite it being late November, we did not need to run the air-conditioner, due to the lovely through breeze, just the gentle flip, flap.. of the canvas and the sound emanating from the wilds beyond. Black-backed jackal calling, and in the early hours of one morning, lion roaring.

Now that is why I so love the tented game Lodges, one gets to be so much part of this natural World, especially with the sounds not being blocked by solid windows,  these new tents allow the early morning bird chorus and the nocturnal sounds to filter through. I am sure the long term costs of maintenance and more efficient insulation, easily justify the initial higher costs of the structure. Some guests might even prefer these to the full on canvas tents.

Springbok Lodge is in my opinion equivalent to our South African rated 4 star lodges, and then some. The cuisine is an epicurean delight. Lana and I were rather impressed with all the meals. The care, preparation and presentation was admirable, with the standard of food way above what one would expect for the very affordable tariff one pays to stay at Springbok Lodge.   
Dinners are occasioned in different venues at Springbok Lodge, dependent on the weather, with the outside Boma under the stars all seated around a fire, a favorite.
Then there is coffee on the go – a well stocked bar and notably very friendly efficient service from all the staff.  

The public areas are large and comfortable, allowing couples or groups to have their own private huddles. With a number of people on a vehicle, maximum 10 guests, a couple like ourselves soon get to meet new friends, making for rather social after game drive gatherings. The Ranger staff, have representatives present in the evenings, which so adds to the pre and post dinner discourse, what with their knowledge and insights of the days sightings.

The Lodge staff are vital to the running of such a facility, but its the Ranger that has the closest and longest liaison with guests, such an important person. I have met many, here at Springbok Lodge I admire the standard, knowledge and integrity of their Rangers. A delight to be with, they add so much value to the game experience.
Springbok Lodge is wheel chair friendly, which includes the charming rock swimming pool - set about with comfortable sun loungers - the place to be during the day, unless you are enjoying a Spa treatment.
The Nambiti Private Game Reserve has really good general game viewing, with the Big Five being present, (although the leopard are pretty shy and rarely seen), guests do get to see a wide diversity of species and loads of the high profile species. Here at Nambiti one feels that one may stop at any vantage point in the reserve and looking around, will see some sort of animal, somewhere.

This is unfortunately not the case with most of our National and Provincial Parks. Love this reserve for the quality and abundance of sightings. Springbok lodge very generously, presently offer a 50% reduction for the last night on a three night booking. Three nights at Springbok Lodge, in my opinion should be the minimum stay, in order to have a tremendous wildlife experience and then to truly be able to relax and enjoy your break at Springbok Lodge in its very comfortable accommodation, divine food and attentive service.
The Game drives in the Nambiti Game Reserve can be rewarding. A lioness calling to her three young cubs,

a herd of elephant,

.... herds of wildebeest,

impala in herds,

.. ready to drop their young, all full bellied, coats gleaming and looking so healthy, a female alone away from the herd, having just given birth to her baby. We watch as it staggers to it’s feet and doggedly follows mum, as she retreats protectively from our view, concerned over the safety of her latest charge. She will introduce her offspring to the herd when it’s capable of a better turn of speed. The bachelors, socialising in herds for protection, before dispersing for the rutting season, not too far off. It was not only the impala that had reached termination of their pregnancy, it’s late November and there was a bounty of young ‘uns around. 

The very dry bush and scorched earth had miraculously transformed, from the Midland’s browns of winter, to the verdant greens of spring. This despite the area still needing the dams to be replenished, more rain would be welcomed in the Nambiti Game Reserve. We did have some magnificent cloud formations

and the sunsets

and some light rain– well! The hippo will be a lot happier with the selection of dams filling and becoming a safe retreat for them again.

The Nambiti Game Reserve and Springbok Lodge are really worth visiting, it replenishes my soul out here.
Thoughts and comments are my own. All photographs taken in the Nambiti Game Reserve whilst visiting Springbok Lodge there.

All photographs by Jeremy and Lana Williamson

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