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.
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.
From Pennsylvania to Southern Africa – a trip of a lifetime!
Deena and her family from Pennsylvania, USA made a dream come true in August last year – thoroughly enjoying a luxury fly-in safari to some of the wilder parts of Southern Africa, as well as some of our beautiful cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg.
A family member had referred her to Viv at 2BWild Safaris for assistance in all aspects of the planning and booking of the entire trip, including all internal flights, accommodation, hotel and airport transfers. A specific request was that there was to be no driving during the trip, only air travel between destinations.
A high level of communication between Deena and Viv throughout this process resulted in the ultimate safari – which ran like clockwork to the delight of the family.
“I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work, help and guidance in planning and organizing this trip,” said Deena in her email. “It was truly a trip of a lifetime!”
Their 14-day itinerary took them to a 5-star hotel at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, where they took in the beautiful sights the Mother City has to offer, as well as undertaking a cultural tour of a nearby township and doing the wine route. Their next port of call was Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe – one of the seven wonders of the world. After flying back to Johannesburg for a brief family visit, they flew out again to a luxury private game lodge adjacent to the famous Kruger National Park to spend four unforgettable days and nights in wild Africa, amongst the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) and other wild game with their own ranger and tracker.
Leaving the buzz of the touristy North behind us, our Toyota taxi headed us south-west down the island towards our much anticipated stay in Stone Town – about which we’d heard so very much.
En route a visit to the Mangana Spice Farm was most enlightening, although the availability and stock of spices on hand was quite disappointing as most are easily obtainable back home (in South Africa) in similar packaging.
Interesting nonetheless to see how each of the spices actually grows, to learn about the plants, and how the spices are harvested. Not to mention the many applications of some – including food-colouring!
Soon we were wending our way through the bustling outskirts of the city of Zanzibar, as we approached Stone Town within. Here we were met by our efficient transfer and tour operator, Masoud Othman and his brother Abdullah, who had enabled all of our transfers around the island with clockwork precision.
As the Stone Town streets are too narrow for vehicles, Masoud and Abdullah guided us and carried our luggage on our short walk to the eminent and elegant Emerson Spice Hotel where we exchanged greetings and news with them before they bade us a pleasant stay and went off about their business.
Russell Bridgewood, Manager of the Emerson Spice, welcomed us and showed us to our first floor room – the Violetta (named after the courtesan in the opera La Traviata). This hotel, which consists of three adjoining World Heritage site buildings, is steeped in history and is known to be amongst the best in Africa, as is it’s sister hotel nearby, the Emerson on Hurumzi.
The main building of the Emerson Spice is a lovingly restored merchant’s house. Each of the eleven rooms (Aida, Camille, Belle, Desdemona, Kate, Semile, Lamour, Mimi, Violetta, Siti and Turandot) have their own unique character and are appointed in the most exquisite Zanzibari furniture and antiques, which, combined with service efficiency and the friendliness of the staff makes one’s stay here a truly unsurpassed and unforgettable experience second to none in the world. Dinner at the Tea House situated on the rooftop is highly acclaimed – and justifiably so – as the menu changes daily depending on what the chefs find in the markets. Enjoying this five-course meal in the balmy evening overlooking Stone Town and the nearby Indian Ocean is a divine experience-of-a-lifetime and certainly not to be missed.
The hotel too is a photographer’s dream, where the colonial architecture and hand-carved Zanzibari lattice-work, creative nooks and crannies, secret gardens and cloistered breakfast areas, hand-crafted staircases and enchanting frescos combine to provide an infinite canvas for the lens.
Next day our small entourage of selves and porters, accompanied by Russell, ambled through alleys to the Emerson on Hurumzi – a mere few blocks away.
Here Russell introduced us to the Manager, Lisenka Beetstra, who welcomed us with true Zanzibari friendship and showed us to our home for the evening – the East Room – situated on the third floor [no lifts in these lovely old buildings!]. Our room was probably the most incredible of our entire trip, appointed in vibrant green and orange colours and entirely “open-air,” enclosed only by hand-carved lattice – simply breath-taking and a totally new experience for us.
After our traditional Zanzibari breakfast of fruit a day of shopping and bartering in the Stone Town street markets followed. Here in the frenzied but orderly chaos, zooming scooters hoot continuously warning pedestrians of their imminent arrival around the myriad blind corners, as bicycles and traders’ rickshaws ply their way through the maze.
In our explorations we discovered the Maru Maru hotel which advertised a “low price, happy hour.” Here we enjoyed another beautiful sunset and balmy rooftop dinner consisting of Chicken Tikka salad for TZS 8000 x 2 and wine at $2 per glass until 7pm. Night-caps followed an hour or so later on our balcony and we retired happily amidst the rolling sound of a massive city Ramadan Saturday-night party! My-my-my! What an audial expression of this truly vibrant city!
In the early hours we were awakened by a surprising torrential downpour which lasted an hour or so, as the gentle wailing “from a thousand mosques” began all over the city at various volumes, combining with the chiming of the bells of the nearby Catholic Cathedral and the drum-bells of the Hindu temple right next door to us. Yet another amazing audial experience as we dozed off back to sleep again!
Piping hot coffee arrived at 7h00 as arranged. Soon after we enjoyed a traditional Zanzabari breakfast on our balcony over-looking the city. This island delight consisted of various fruits: zaitoon, avo, pawpaw, grapefruit, passion fruit, banana, mango – followed by French toast served with a tangy avo-passion-fruit juice. Before we knew it we and our small entourage of porters were making the short walk to the nearby Ferry Port Terminal – sadly marking the beginning of our journey home.
The high speed ferry trip was a little like being in a trance, neither of us believing our dream trip had come to a close. Soon we were at the Dar es Salaam airport, and boarding for the flight home.
An epic trip by all standards indeed, thank you Zanzibar – we’ll never forget you – and we’ll be back!
Kwaheri – tuanane tena – asante sana!!
Au revoir – and see you again soon – thank you so much!!