Nestled in the gorgeous Nambiti Private Game Reserve, Lions Valley Lodge is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s best-kept secrets. Get ready to experience the bush in 5-star luxury.


Lions Valley Lodge is the epitome of luxury and adventure with ten lavish free-standing suites that boast all the indulgences you’d expect from a 5-star game lodge.


Experience South Africa like never before with Lions Valley Lodge.
Prepare to track over 40 different species of game as you set out on the adventure of a lifetime.


For the adventurous, prepare to get up close and personal with wild
game on a walking safari. Experience the thrill of the African bush,
while accompanied by our qualified trail guides.


Have your wedding in a truly unforgettable setting. Imagine unspoiled
starlit nights and gorgeous vistas of untouched wilderness. Lions Valley Lodge is the ultimate choice in wedding venue.

Meet the Big Five
Nambiti Private Game Reserve is one of the few Private Game Reserves in KwaZulu-Natal to house all five of the “Big Five”. Situated on a spacious 22 000 acres of land just outside of Ladysmith, this game reserve provides the ideal setting to get to know these five iconic creatures.

Long sought after as some of the greatest wild animals in Africa, the African Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, African Leopard, and the Rhino (both Black and White) were originally referred to as the “Big Five” by hunters in the 19th century. These great creatures earned their positions in the renowned grouping by proving to be some one of the most difficult animals to hunt on foot. Now, in the 21st century, the “Big Five” term still applies, but the preferred form of shooting is of a different kind ‒ through the lens of a camera.

african-elephant leopard

It is the “Big Five” that people look forward to spotting on their trips to African game reserves. Despite sharing an air of majesty, an underlying danger, and a prominent space on the South African Rands, no two “Big Five” members are quite the same. Here are a few interesting facts about these iconic animals:

Elephants are the largest living land animals. Weighing in at between four and seven tons, and with heights of between three and four metres, it’s not surprising that their size contributed towards a reputation of being both dangerous and difficult to hunt on foot. These massive herbivores are also able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than any other species. Elephants are known to be very intelligent, have unique personalities, and to develop close bonds with other members of their groups.

Both the Black and White Rhinoceros qualify as members of the “Big Five”. The White Rhino, which is slightly larger than the Black Rhino, is the largest land mammal after the elephant. A group of rhino ‒ although rarely seen due to rhinos’ solitary, independent natures ‒ is called a ‘crash’. Sadly, the rhino (particularly the black Rhino) has become critically endangered due to a great demand for their horns on the black market. For this reason, rhino sightings have become increasingly rare and, as a result, more momentous.

lion buffalo

Perhaps the most unassuming of the lot, the Cape Buffalo is considered the most dangerous of the “Big Five”. This large bovine’s characteristic feature is its horns. The fused base of the horns forms a continuous bone shield referred to as a “boss”.

The leopard is known for its secretive, solitary and nocturnal nature. The smallest of the big cats, the leopard rarely exceeds 91kg. Like most cats, the leopard is very agile and is capable of making great leaps. Unlike most other cats, however, the leopard happens to also be a great swimmer! Fully grown, the male leopard is less than half the size of the male lion.

Synonymous with the African safari, sightings of the lion are often the most sought-after. The King of the Beasts is the only social member of the cat family and lives in a large group known as a “pride”. Female lions do 80 to 90 percent of the hunting, while male lions’ primary concern is patrolling their territory and protecting the pride. True to cat form, lions are the laziest of the lot – often sleeping between 16 and 20 hours a day.

As one of the few private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal to feature all of the “Big Five”, Nambiti Private Game Reserve is the ideal location for an authentic African safari experience. And, with the guidance of Lions Valley Lodge’s expert rangers, guests’ wildlife encounters are guaranteed to be all the more memorable. If you’d like a chance to see these phenomenal wild creatures in their natural habitat, why not contact Lions Valley Lodge today to arrange an unforgettable African adventure?
For more details or to book, contact or +27 31 539 8238.

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