- 2 nights at Lions Valley Lodge
- 2 nights at Cleopatra Mountain Farm house
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Lions Valley
- Breakfast and Dinner at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
- Morning and Evening Game drives at Lions Valley Lodge
- Hot drinks and snacks on Game drives
- Transfers to Nambiti or Cleopatra's or between the 2 properties
- All tips and Gratuities
- Rhino Protection Levy of R 50.00 per person per day Payable at the lodge
- All items of a personal nature
This package is not really suitable for pre-teens.
Lions Valley Lodge does not accommodate children under 8. Please see a more suitable package for children here
About this Package
Before we get ourselves into trouble we should let you know that Cleopatra's Mountain Farmhouse, strictly speaking, isn't actually in the Drakensberg. It is in an area of KwaZulu Natal known as the Midlands, famous not only for the naturally occurring beauty but also by a great marketing plan some of the crafts people in the area came up with in the late 80's, early 90's called the "Midlands Meander".
The concept was that you could follow a route and visit a collection of local craftsman and artists at specific time at their studios and you could be sure that they would be "open for business".
The idea grew and expanded from there and now the route includes farm stalls, restaurants, hotels, guesthouses as well as all the local artists and craftsman
This package would suit those looking for an upmarket experience perhaps as a long weekend away, a short honeymoon perhaps or even as part of a longer itinerary on a drive between Joburg and Durban ( or vice versa )
Please see below a sample itinerary for the 5 days. The route can be done in either direction and this is just an idea of what you can expect from this package
Arrive at Nambiti game reserve by 13h00.
After registering at the main gate, you drive a short distance through the reserve to the parking area where a game ranger from Lions Valley Lodge will be to meet you and transfer you to the Lodge. Your Safari has already begun!
You will have a couple of hours to freshen up before your late afternoon game drive.
Your suite will be one of 10 exclusive, freestanding thatched suites which offer guests maximum privacy.
The suites are constructed from natural, locally sourced building materials. The decor of each of the suites follows an elegant and tasteful theme, is unique in style and includes a lounge with a built-in fireplace and a mini bar.
Each Suite has twin baths, twin indoor showers, twin outdoor showers, walk in closet, double basins, lounge, coffee table, king size bed and more than enough space. The views of the reserve are incredible and it is often said that missing a game drive is not no big deal as you often see game from the comfort of your private deck ( or even from your bath or shower!)
Lunch is usually served at 14h30
The game drive lasts around 2.5 hours and you will get to enjoy a Sundowner Experience where the ranger will find a suitably beautiful spot to watch the sun go down.
Your final 30 or 60 minutes of the drive will be in the dark where you can try and spot some of the more nocturnal animals.
Dinner is served at around 19h30 and will be in one of the spectacular settings available, around the fire, by candle light in the dining room or on the lodge deck.
You will be woken just before dawn by your game ranger for your morning game drive. Hot coffee's and Tea's are available along with biscuits and rusks to help you start the day.
In winter the nights and early mornings are chilly but the days are usually gloriously sunny and warm. The sites of ochre and biscuit-coloured winter bush and the easier game viewing more than make up for the cold you may feel when waking up for pre-dawn game drives.
Blankets are provided and on request, a hot water bottle will also be waiting for you.
Game drives normally last from 2 to 3 hours depending on conditions and sightings.
At a convenient ( and safe ) time during the game drive, your ranger will find a spot for you to pull over and enjoy a light snack and some hot chocolate, coffee or tea. It is a good time to ask questions and discuss the morning sightings
On your return, friendly, professional, attentive staff will be there to serve you a hot or continental breakfast. You have the morning at your leisure. Spend it next to the pool, catch up on sleep or perhaps enjoy a massage in the privacy of your own room ( extra cost, book on arrival )
You can also sign up for a spot of fishing or a walking safari. For fishing enthusiasts there are several dams, where guests have the opportunity to catch bass. This activity is dependent on the season and availability of the guides.( Fishing equipment is not provided, guests will need to bring their own.)
The walking safari offers you the chance to see all kinds of wildlife up close and in their natural surroundings.
After lunch prepare for your evening game drive. Something you will notice about Nambiti is the diversity of the landscape. There are waterfalls, rock pools and dams, rolling savanna, thornveld, ravine bush, acacia trees and vast grasslands.
Your evening game drive sundowners, gives you a chance to discuss questions you have thought of during the day or to discuss one of the animals you have spotted or birds that may have joined you while you were relaxing next to the pool. It is also a time to meet new arrivals and share stories about what has happened so far.
After your game drive, there is time to freshen up before joining your fellow guests at the bar, perhaps to enjoy a perfectly poured Gin and Tonic before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.
Your morning again begins with an early wake up call and your ranger will take on new routes through the reserve to enjoy a new game experience. Nambiti is an 11 000-hectare (2016) reserve with three biomes – savanna, bushveld and riverine forest. This results in a large diversity of wildlife.
In addition to the Big Five, there are more than 30 other species of game, including cheetah, hyena, giraffe, hippo, kudu, eland, zebra, hartebeest and gemsbok, as well as more than 280 bird species, including the secretary bird, blue cranes, several types of vulture, martial eagles and water birds – the Goliath heron, sandpiper, red-billed teal and giant kingfisher.
Check out time is at 10h30 when you will be transferred to your car for the drive to Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse.
You have a little time before your drive "down the hill". Nambiti is in the heart of the KZN battlefield and Ladysmith is one of the most famous of the battlefield towns. The town was catapulted into world fame when the Boer Forces laid siege to the town on 2nd November 1899. For the next 118 days the British forces were held in Ladysmith which made headlines worldwide, until their relief on 28th February 1900. To see more details of for the Battlefield routes take a look at this Battlefields eBrochure [pdf: 943kb ]
There are various monuments and grave sites around Nambiti of historical relevance that you can visit. The drive to Cleopatra's is an easy 90 minute drive which gives you plenty of time to stop and visit attractions along the way. You can plan a route that will take you via the Drakensberg Mountains where you can stop for a spot of lunch before going down to the Midlands.
Cleopatra's is reached via some beautiful country roads underneath the Drakensberg mountains. Tucked in the Kamberg Valley, Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is owned and run by Richard and Mouse Poynton, whose love for country living and food permeates through every corner of this charming farmhouse. The 11 rooms are individually decorated with unique themes featuring subjects like Natal history and the surrounding nature.
You will immediately feel at home, the house really is farmhouse cosy and you don't get the feeling you are staying at a hotel at all. It has comfortable couches dotted around, warm fireplaces to sit round in winter and walls filled with family history.
You can relax the afternoon away, catch up on books and catch up on sleep you may have missed out on with your early morning game drives in Nambiti.
Cleopatra' is all about the food.
Dinner is a sumptuous 7 course affair and is hosted by Richard. His motto is "Real Food, Real Flavor" and he takes you through the different courses with passion and enthusiasm.
While dinner is the obvious highlight of your stay, breakfast is by no means a small affair. it is nothing less than a gourmet treat.
You can spend the rest of your day doing as little or as much as you want.
There is no end of activities in the area with horseriding available close by, Bushman rock art sites and some excellent trout fishing spots. If you fancy a birds eye view of the area, you can book a helicopter ride that will take you over Giants Castle in the Drakensberg. The flight is about half an hour in duration and a fantastic way of seeing Ukhahlamba (The Barrier of Spears – the Zulu name for the Drakensberg mountains).
Close by is the Mandela Capture site monument and the many art and craft studios and workshops along the Midlands Meander route.
Make sure you are back in plenty of time for dinner which always starts with a lively introduction to the menu from Richard as well as other Battlefield and family history stories
No need to worry about early mornings the next day so feel free to enjoy a long dinner and plenty of wine before going back to your room for your final night of this trip
Breakfast is served late unless an early start is requested. Check out time is 10.30am.
If this itinerary doesn't suit you and you would like something similar, please let us know. Perhaps you would prefer just 1 night at Cleopatra's and an extra night Lions Valley, or would prefer a different combination of properties in the same area, whatever your travel requirements, let us know and we will be able to put together a combination to suit your needs.
These 2 properties are not suited to younger children, perhaps look at a combination of Springbok Lodge in Nambiti and The Cavern in the Drakensberg.