Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nambiti Plains Lodge - Nambiti Private Game Reserve

Our second stop was Nambiti Plains Lodge , we did a trade off from one game vehicle to the other in the Car park and then we were off and on our way to Nambiti Plains, on arrival we were greeted with a cold towel and a welcome drink then shown through the Main Lodge area to their Deck where they overlook a waterhole and bush, then it was through to our chalet which was to be our home for the next 2 days, a lovely large room with a king bed (which can be converted into twins) tea & coffee station and a minibar, the bedroom was open plain into the bathroom where there was a bath, indoor and outdoor shower as well as a separate toilet the large glass doors along the front of the unit lead out onto the Deck where we were lucky enough to have weavers building a nest! I was most excited and sat there for a good 30 min waiting for the little bird to return and continue to build his nest, I managed to snap a few pictures and some of them I am proud of as I don’t normally photograph birds!

Deck Looking out into the Bush
Masked Weaver
Masked Weaver

After we has settled we went through to the lodge for Lunch which was a grilled Cajun chicken salad and for dessert a meringue basket with ice cream and a berry reduction - oh so delicious I finished the whole thing! Feeling a little ill we went back to our room for a relaxing siesta and to get ready for our afternoon game drive, back at the lodge there was tea & coffee and a delicious looking cake which unfortunately none of us touched as we were too full from lunch, what a pity because it looked amazing.

Out on game drive and the afternoon proved productive with sightings of buffalo, elephant, lion , impala , hippo, zebra, hartebeest, eland, kudu, grey duiker, black back jackal, reed buck, nyala, ostrich, wildebeest etc. After our game drive it was back to the lodge for a 3 course dinner for starters - tomato, mozzarella and basil tartlet. Mains: pork roast with carrots, green beans and potato rosti. Dessert: chocolate mousse pot. It was all simply delicious!

a Very Dirty Buffalo Bull

Zebra & Eland in the Background
The next morning we were out early on Game Drive and again had quite a productive morning, buffalo herd, breeding herd of elephants with the smallest baby – so Cute!, ostrich, giraffe, white rhino, impala, eland, kudu etc.  Back to the lodge for breakfast and we had our own private continental buffet at our table then a large choice of hot breakfast. After we had finished we were back to our room for a siesta and for me to try get an even better shot of our
weaver building his nest.

Elephant with small baby
Masked Weaver

Masked Weaver
After our siesta we were back off to lunch which was meant to be a smoked salmon salad, unfortunately I really don’t like smoked salmon but a quick word with Brent and we were enjoying our smoked chicken salad, pudding was rich and creamy crème brûlée.  The Lunch and Dinner menus at Nambiti Plains Lodge are set and they write it up on a little black board, but if there is ever anything you don’t eat/like there is no hesitation to change it to something you would.
Another siesta, high Tea which was the yummiest little mini cakes and then we were off on our afternoon game drive where we found elephant, 3 white rhino, lions, all the general antelope, back to the lodge for another 3 course Dinner: starter - cold tomato soup (bloody Mary soup), mains - lamb cutlets, soft corn polenta, vegetables and a jus sauce, Dessert - mixed berry panda cotta - deliciousness!! 

Our last morning was extremely overcast so we opted for a sleep in instead of the early morning game drive, once up and packed we headed off to breakfast, after we has eaten our full we sadly said goodbye and headed off back to Durban.
Can you tell I Love Zebra?

Esiweni Lodge - Nambiti Private Game Reserve

Last month we had the pleasure of visiting Esiweni Lodge, the day we arrived was a scorcher which according to the car thermometer the temperature was 40C! We parked our car in the shaded car park and awaited our ride to the lodge in the open Game Vehicle.

On arrival at the lodge we were welcomed with a small drink and a cold towel which was most certainly appreciated, then shown through to our chalet for our 2 night stay. The chalet are very comfortable with a double bed (which can be converted into Twins) sitting area, tea & coffee station, the bath is in the corner of the room and can be seen from the Bed but for those who are not couples there are screens available to separate the bath, indoor shower as well as an outdoor shower and a separate toilet with a door. A lovely deck completes the chalet and the views out over the cliff and looking down to the river below are beautiful to say the least. 



 The food at Esiweni Lodge is satisfactory with the standard fare being offered for Breakfast – cold buffet with the most tasty muffins and a hot breakfast, lunches were a little unusual for my taste but still had generally a good flavour, lunch on the first day was a Thai style prawn noodle salad which the flavours were good but just a little unusual, lunch the second day was more to my liking a chicken stew with wild rice and vegetables. Dinners were good and the lemon tart desert was absolutely fantastic I could have eaten more than just a slice it was sweet but tart with a crumbly short pastry base, delicious! I have been told that the chefs are undergoing training so that their flavour combinations will be more harmonious.

Now onto the main reason we visit the lodges, the Game. Nambiti Game Reserve is and always will be a very special place to me, the game here is fantastic with so many different antelope from Kudu to Eland you rarely travel very far before finding an animal, obviously the animals do sometimes hide and make it difficult to find but over our 4 game drives we managed to find Impala, kudu, eland, mountain reed buck, warthog, water buck, buffalo from a distance, ostrich, cape vulture, white backed vulture, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe from a distance, Red heartebeest, buffalo, hippo, two elephants bulls in the very early morning and the list goes on! Unfortunately for me the weather over our two night stay was not extremely conducive for photos but I did manage to get a few of the lion as the sun broke away from the clouds and a nice shadow elephant as he pushed over a tree.