Your private and exclusive bush lodge elevated on stilts in pristine African bushveld in Botswana
Book your 6 night family stay or corporate think-tank at Nitani Lodge now.
Self drive or fly-in.
6 nights for 10 people in 5 luxury suites – each with its own plunge pool. Pricing is structured for either self-catering or full board. Please advise your preference on the form below.
The full board option includes a full staff compliment, experienced bush guide and a private chef. Availability excludes Easter weekends which are permanently booked.
The lodge is hidden amongst the riverine trees along the Majali river and is built on stilts to allow animals to move freely and undisturbed under the buildings.
Nitani’s environment is increasingly rare – an unspoilt wilderness where human impact has been minimised through careful architecture and environmentally friendly technology.
About the Botswana Tuli Block region
The greater Tuli region in Botswana, which encompasses the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, is bordered by the Motloutse, the Shashe and Limpopo rivers in the north-eastern corner of Botswana and the south-western part of Zimbabwe.
The lodge is tucked into the greenery on the banks of the Majali River – a quiet mecca in the middle of the wild. The entire lodge, incorporating five luxury bedroom suites, is of timber construction – built on elevated on stilts two metres above the earth, enabling elephant to browse almost within touching distance. Lengthy walkways meander between the suites and the centralised facilities. The entire camp was designed for optimum appreciation of the bush – not a single tree was cut down in the process). Solar power and generator provide the electricity for the camp.
The wildlife experience within the reserve is also vast, with admirable populations of Elephant, Leopard, Eland, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala and Wildebeest and occasional sightings of Lion and Cheetah. The bird-life is astounding, with more than 350 recorded species. On night drives, one can often see African Wildcat, Spotted Hyena, Black Backed Jackal and a host of other small nocturnal animals.
Nitani operates on a superior service ethic, with sufficient staff to cater to every guests’ need – where privacy is sacrosanct, making Nitani a private Eden.
Nitani Game Reserve is easily accessible via road, scheduled flight or private charter service.
2BWild Safaris will manage all your bookings, including 4×4 vehicle hire and/or fly-in arrangement and transfers to the lodge.
SUBMIT YOUR BOOKING DATES AND DETAILS HERE:
Please indicate your preference for full board or self-catering.
Due to high demand early booking is essential – at least 12 months prior.
Angela, an accomplished gourmet chef of note, whipped up the most delicious 6-star meals, whilst chatting away about the history and origins of Taaibos.
Her partner, James, must be the the most knowledgeable and enthusiast range guide we have met in all our travels. His understanding and deep knowledge of the flora and fauna, and of the Welgevonden Reserve, is unsurpassed.
One of the most striking aspects of Taaibos is the breathtaking architecture, coupled with the bush ambience of the interior design and beautiful artefacts throughout the spacious lodge.
With five suites, two swimming pools (one heated), cosy braai area, a stunning kitchen and fully-stocked bar, state-of-the-art yet intimate conference facility, library, snooker table, a huge deck with comfy couches and a view of the cliffs and adjacent plains – Taaibos is a must for a family group; a family gathering; or a business think-tank.
The seclusion and tranquillity is indescribable, the pulse of Africa tangible, and the company enthralling.
Just 2 ½ hours from Johannesburg – or a 30 minute helicopter flight
Taaibos River Lodge is BA friendly. 2BWild Safaris has negotiated preferential rates for BA crew:
My trip was wonderful and I really enjoyed South Africa. The Wild Ivory Eco Lodge was excellent. Good accommodation with very good service. Herbert, the manager and ranger took me on brilliant game drives. He did his utmost best to show the animals in the park and except for the Leopard I did actually see most of the Big Five. The Lioness wandering around our cars late in the evening after she missed a catch, was one of the most impressive moments.
Everything you arranged worked very well. The transfer was nicely on time and gave me a nice drive towards the lodge. All arrangements were good and worked smoothly and I really appreciated your service. I appreciated that the park was not so crowded.
Having only seen so little of your country I will have to come back once to see more of it.
We had a fantastic trip and game viewing was exceptional. Plenty of great food and wonderful accommodation. Also lots of miles (not the really good part – but we saw a lot of country).
On the Botswana / Zimbabwe portion:
First, we were beyond impressed on the smoothness of the hand-over from one location to another. Someone was always there waiting for us and took good care of us whether getting us to an airplane, across the border or to a park.
Accommodation at all four locations was very good. Rooms were very clean, very comfortable, well furnished, and very attractive and appealing. Calling them tents may be technically correct but certainly misleading. Staff were fantastic.
The Delta was WET!! – but plenty of animals and a great guide and we would certainly return. The food service here was the best of any game camp we were at either in the Botswana/Zimbabwe area or South Africa. The staff here were also the most accommodating. We enjoyed the hippo ‘party’ outside our room the first night and were mildly disappointed that the party did not continue the other nights (of course the absence of a party made sleeping easier).
The Linyanti area was dry of course – and again a great room. The food here was wonderful but not as great as it was in the Delta. Again good staff. Not as many animals as at the Delta but we did witness a leopard stalking and ultimately succeeding with a kill within a few feet of our vehicle. Very impressive.
Hwange also had great rooms – and a view – as did the rooms at the Delta and Linyanti. The cook here went to a lot of trouble making special meals for us and they were very well received. I was quite surprised at the lack of game but I guess the weather had a major impact. We did see the pride of lions (Cecil’s pride minus Cecil of course) and we upset a sleeping old bull elephant who was lying down. For a few moments it was exciting because the elephant wasn’t happy and couldn’t decide whether to charge or leave. The driver stayed in reverse with the engine running and said he was very concerned because the elephant was not behaving normally.
The charter flights were enjoyable and comfortable. The flight from Victoria Falls International airport to the bush airport (ie a dirt airstrip) was in a 4-seater Cessna 206 – with the returning flight on a much larger Cessna Caravan which was very comfortable.
The Stanley & Livingstone hotel was first class and highly recommended. A good trip to the Falls – and of course we were soon wet through from the mist. Certainly a magnificent sight.
And then back to Joburg and a relaxing night repacking in the Intercontinental. We decided that the Intercontinental at the airport is the place to stay waiting for a flight. Service there is first class. The staff checked on us to make sure our room service was satisfactory, when we didn’t talk to anyone after our wake up call someone knocked on our door to make sure we were up (can’t have the residents missing their plane).
Thanks for everything Viv! Finally, what do you have on walking with the Gorillas? Debbie wants to include that area (activity) on our next trip probably next year.
An unforgettable excursion to a little-known wild and remote corner of Africa
The Gonarezhou National Park, meaning “Place of the elephants”, is one of 11 national parks in Zimbabwe and is situated in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. It covers an area of approximately 5 000 km2 and was proclaimed a national park in 1975, although some sections were already designated as a game reserve in 1934. The reserve forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Our party of six adults, three children and three 4WD vehicles were advised to stay in Punda Maria, northern Kruger National Park, by 2BWild Safaris, for our first night in order to exit through the Pafuri border post the next morning – destination Mabalauta Camp, Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe!
This route took us along the north-western edge of Mozambique, across two major rivers – the Limpopo and the Nuanetsi – making two border crossings en route, to Chicualacuala. It took us MUCH longer than we’d anticipated and we were quite anxious as the border post closed at 6pm – but we made it! (Moral of the story: allow plenty of travel time leeway in your escapades). The Mozambique side was super easy and the Zimbabwe side very friendly, albeit somewhat longer to process.
It was getting dark as we headed into Zim. The park staff were so friendly and radioed ahead to Mabalauta to let them know we were on our way. We were shown to our campsite and they had kindly lit the “donkey-fire” for us so that we could have a warm shower. Our campsite was right on the banks of the Nuanetsi river under a huge canopy of trees. We heard very odd noises only to discover they were made by a massive fruit bat. Nyala were grazing just down the bank and we heard hyena which sounded very close.
The next morning we headed for the exclusive Hlaro Camp (exclusive camps cannot be used by any other visitors, nor may anyone enter the campsite). Again, darkness was falling as we drove into camp. We were getting quite adept at putting up camp in the dark. We could hear hippo nearby with one lying on the river bank about 200 metres from camp. The next morning we were greeted with the sound of lions roaring and the amazing sight of the sun rising over the Chilojo Cliffs. A little later we saw two young male lions on the riverbank downstream.
We headed down to Bhenji Weir, passing the one and only car we saw the ENTIRE time we were in the park! We saw two baby jackal frolicking in their den as well as a number of elephant. Bhenji Weir was a great viewing site comprising a double-decker viewing platform enabling visitors to see all the way down to the weir and up the valley. We were privileged to see a large herd of sable coming down the valley to drink. After a tasty brunch we set up our hammocks and had a snooze in the shade before heading back, crossing the Runde river at Bopomela then driving up to the Chilojo Cliffs viewpoints which provide a magnificent view of the entire Runde valley. The highlight here was our sighting of a pair of Verreaux’s eagles.
The next day we started a slow trek towards another exclusive camp, Chitove. We enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast at the west viewing point of Chilojo Cliffs and from our vantage point we saw plenty of game including buffalo, kudu and elephant. We carried on to the east viewpoint and saw about six different herds of elephants amongst the Mopane forests and on the plains. The Chitove campsite was breathtaking, right on the river, which was patrolled by resident crocs and hippo. Fishing is allowed in Gonarezhou and the guys decided to try their hand in one of the pools upstream, managing to land a fair sized Tiger fish.
The following day, we headed off towards Machaniwa Pan and saw a plethora of game – eland, warthog, zebra, baboons and a large elephant bull. The pan was stunning with plenty of birdlife – African jacana, white-faced ducks, herons and many more. Here we cooked up a delicious meal on the skottel before making our way across the Runde river towards Gayiseni campsite and the confluence of the Runde and Save rivers. The road to Gayiseni turned out to be little more than an elephant path, completely overgrown with palms, and without Tracks4Africa telling us we were there I’m not sure we would have known! From here we headed back via Tembwahata Pan and again saw loads of game with many rafts of hippo! The weather was quite cool, so many of the hippo were in the shallows which made for some great pics. The baobabs around here were stunning. We crossed back over at the Chitove water crossing after seeing more game.
The following morning we struck camp and headed back along the river, the highlight of the drive being a sighting of three young lions! Lunch at Chilojo Cliffs picnic site with a sighting of large elephant bull and also a large herd of ellies with very small calves coming down to drink. As we neared the Chipinda Pools camp the amount of game increased and we saw herds of elephant, zebra, impala and kudu. The sun was again setting as we headed down the final hill to Chipinda, giving us a stunning view of the Runde valley with the broken bridge way off in the distance. The campsite at Chipinda Pools was very well appointed with newly-refurbished ablutions, hot water and a thatched lapa dining area. We were welcomed by a small Mozambique spitting cobra but he soon moved off. Great excitement – two of our party nearly walked smack bang into the resident leopard as they were leaving the bathroom!
Next day we were really sad to leave. Heading south across the Runde crossing to extend our adventure and following Tracks4Africa to try and keep off the main road as much as possible, we stopped for an obligatory “G&T” under a baobab along the way! We were welcomed at the Elephant and Lion Motel, although it felt very strange not to be putting up the tents!
This safari was a truly fantastic experience – a trip of lifetime. And the staff in the Park went out of their way to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.
Our huge thanks to Viv at 2BWild Safaris for all the bookings and advice – you really made our trip unforgettable and hassle free!
BEST TIME OF YEAR
The ideal time is June to August when the Limpopo is at its lowest and temperatures are mild to warm.
You will need to be completely self-sufficient. 2BWild will book a self-drive 4×4 for you if required, as well as provide you with a comprehensive Trail List with everything you will need, depending on where you choose to stay, and the time of year.
For overseas or local visitors wishing to fly in to Chilo Gorge 2BWild will book your flights and accommodation and arrange transfers.
Panthera leo – the African Lion – demonstrates its enormous power and kill skill
By John Thomé
Whilst on a recent visit to the internationally renowned Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa, a Big Five reserve, Viv and I from 2BWild Safaris were thrilled to witness a lifetime experience – a lion kill – which unfolded right before our very eyes.
A small pride of lion ambled listlessly towards Mankwe Dam in Pilanesberg at around 7:30am this hot summer morning for a pre-snooze drink. We were fortunate enough to spot them – two large males, four cubs and two lionesses – with one of the lionesses leading by a few hundred metres.
We decided to stay abreast of the lioness as the gravel road ran parallel to her path, adjacent to the shoreline of the Mankwe dam. She wasn’t really in hunting mode, simply checking out the environment ahead of the pride. A fresh breeze was blowing from our right to left, straight towards her. Suddenly her ears flattened and she crouched down, the length of her body hugging the ground.
The reason? A small herd of about 20 Wildebeest were grazing some 200 meters away when something spooked them and they set off at a quick trot – directly towards the crouching lioness – quite oblivious of her presence.
We were astounded and couldn’t believe this was happening. The lead Wildebeest only saw the lioness when almost on top of her and veered off in panic, as did the rest of the herd.
But it was too late. The lioness announced her presence – standing up bear-like on her hind legs, and at full stretch – then gave chase at breath-taking speed. Running towards us now one Wildebeest made her desperate and vain attempt to escape. But the lioness powered forward and in clouds of dust launched onto the Wildebeest and pulled her down, the muscles of her immensely strong “forearm” visible as the pair crashed to the ground – the Wildebeest landing partially on top of the Lioness.
Throughout these few seconds I had both eyes open, monitoring the animals’ progress whilst simultaneously following the action on my Nikon DSLR, which was firing away madly at 5 frames per second !!!
And this sequence (13 of about 180 images!) is the result!
Mana Pools in northern Zimbabwe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site -a pristine, unspoilt paradise with abundant game, spectacular scenery, and an incredible variety of birds. Here 2BWild’s Viv Thomé recounts the indelible experience of visiting this unique part of Africa.
Sitting in our camp chairs on the edge of a dry riverbed after setting up camp deep in the far northern Zimbabwean bush, the four of us had been chatting after enjoying a quiet lunch. A hush fell over us all and my mouth opened in amazement as I pointed through the trees, speechless. We stared in awe through the foliage, too stunned to even move, let alone whisper, as a column of huge grey shadows approached slowly, steadily and silently down the dry riverbed towards us.
We could barely contain ourselves at the privilege of seeing this majestic herd of some 20 elephant, a breeding herd comprising young and old – matriarch, cows, adolescents, and tiny calves – right in front of us, seemingly an arm’s length away.
Our camp was an ‘exclusive’ campsite (meaning no other visitors were permitted), situated beneath the generous and shady canopy of a massive Jackalberry tree in a clearing overlooking the riverbed which led from a spring. There are no facilities whatsoever, only our friendly trees. However, we travel fully-equipped and are completely self-sufficient. We had researched the area well in advance as this was a ‘recce’ trip to experience the route personally for recommendation to future guests.
The awesome pachyderms settled right in front of our campsite and, between gentle deep rumblings and slow shuffling among themselves, they began excavating small, but deep, holes in the beach-like sand for their regular evening drink. The process was slow and laborious, but they were in no hurry.
As the newly-dug holes filled slowly with freshly-filtered water, they slowly slurped up a little into the lower portion of their trunks, waiting a moment to let any sand settle before deftly flicking that away. They then raised their heads and drank deeply, repeating the process over and over for some four hours as we sat riveted to our camp chairs.
We silently soaked up this most incredible scene before us.
And then they gradually disappeared, as silently as they had come, into the dusk that had fallen upon us. This had been a very special experience and one never to be forgotten.
Another day in Africa!
Camping in an exclusive campsite in one of Africa’s last true wilderness areas was an unparalleled privilege
We had set off from Sandton in Gauteng two days earlier with our travel companions, Rob and Di, in our trusty Land Cruisers which have, over the years, been kitted out specifically for such journeys, making us fully self-sufficient for a week or more at a time including carrying all the water and food necessary as well as a bush shower and loo.
We had arrived at Mana Pools that morning, having made our booking a year in advance. Visiting Mana Pools had been on our bucket list for a long time and, for many, it is indeed a lifetime experience. One of my main missions was to find the Red-Throated Twinspot, a 20-year-long dream of mine as an avid birder.
We wanted to visit and understand not only the Mana Pools environment, but also the best route options and accommodation along the way, including a few nights spent on a houseboat on Lake Kariba.
The concept of camping in an exclusive and remote campsite in one of Africa’s last true wilderness areas was an unparalleled privilege. At our first camp, the intention was to relax without any game-driving. We had discovered that the game was attracted to the nearby spring, which delivers water all year round.
The elephant herds visited us daily at roughly the same time – a photographer’s dream. We also had lions roaring within metres of our camp on the first night, not to mention hyena giggling away a bit further off in the African night. A large herd of buffalo quietly appeared at the spring on our second morning, as well as the ever-graceful impala.
Birdlife in the area is unsurpassed and birders can look forward to adding a few ‘lifers’ to their lists.
After three nights in this paradise, it was time to strike camp and head 40km north to the banks of the mighty Zambezi. This section of Mana Pools is truly magnificent, with wildlife grazing along the riverbank and spread throughout the surrounding pristine bush. Again, these camps are exclusive with minimal facilities – just the way we true explorers prefer it. A guided walk is also highly recommended. Our guide, Tendai, was extremely knowledgeable.
These camps have no facilities – just the way we true explorers prefer it
… Just one thing: my little Red-Throated Twinspot eluded me, not to mention the famous elephant named Boswell, who stands on his hindlegs, lifting his five-ton body to get to the sweetest leaves of the massive Winterthorn trees! I will be back!
For those on a tight schedule, fly-in options to the luxury lodges in the area are available. There is also a large campsite with a number of ablution blocks for those with youngsters, or who prefer a hot shower.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
2BWild Safaris will work closely with you to plan your personalised itinerary, providing you with routing and undertaking all your reservations.
Options are fly-in or self-drive in your own vehicle, or a fully equipped 4×4 vehicle can be hired for you.
BEST TIME OF YEAR
Dry season – June to October
You will need to be completely self-sufficient, as there are no shops or petrol stations in the reserve. 2BWild provides a comprehensive Trail List with everything you will need, depending on where you choose to stay and the time of year.
We will book your flights, accommodation and arrange transfers as well as any activities you may be interested partaking in, eg canoeing.
ZAMBEZI CANOE TRIP
For the fitter travellers, a canoe trip down the Zambezi is highly recommended.
For something completely different after your wild safari, relax on a houseboat for a few days on Lake Kariba, taking a tender-boat along the shore in search of wildlife, casting a line for a Bream for dinner, or simply just relaxing and being pampered.
2BWild Safaris will arrange your transfers and a boat to suit.
Qambani’s generous proportions provide six bedroom villas, living spaces, two pools and lush tropical garden, a promise of complete relaxation and indulgence. A fusion of ancient Swahili crafts – perfected in the palaces of the sultans along the East African shores – and modern coastal design, it gives shady sanctuary, while turning the inside out, so every space takes great gulps of the sea and the balmy tropical air.
A full fly-in package from Johannesburg, South Africa will include a direct return flight to Zanzibar and all transfers – to be published here shortly.
The single greatest luxury in Qambani is undoubtedly the vast amount of personal space and how well it works. At the heart of Qambbani a ring of expanaive communal areas: generous, beautifully equipped and made for dream holidays. A huge living room extends along the garden’s ocean edge opening onto sun-drenched terraces. To one side stands a big, breezy, timber dining room and to the back, the kitchen and entertainment room. The adjacent gym and hammam (steam room) open onto a tropical courtyard.
Guests from the US and Europe fly-in to Dar es Salam then take an air transfer to Zanzibar.
It is certainly difficult to say what the best thing about Qambani may be … : the splendid pools for endless afternoons in the water, the exotic gardens with palms and sunbirds – planted by one of East Africa’s best gardeners – or the Indian Oceans’ craggy coral edge with sea views splashed all the way along the front.
A stroll down through the grounds takes you to five wooden steps and the shore. From June to November, a miles-long white sand beach curls around the headland. From December to May, a smaller beach is no more than ten minutes walk away on the coral at low tide.
2BWild Safaris is well advanced with the planning of a number of personalised safaris for 2017 for a range of clients.
Destinations, amongst others, include Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Self-drive self-catering; fully guided and catered; and fly-in luxury are just a few of the travel styles being incorporated in the briefs.
These unparalleled wilderness areas of Africa offer endless unique bush and desert landscapes, many with Big Five game sightings, all with outstanding photographic opportunities.