A decidedly different Safari
Getting to Qambathi Mountain Lodge through the Kamberg Valley is a scenic if decidedly dodgey journey. When I say dodgey, I mean it literally. The road has clearly taken a beating of late and potholes abound, sometimes bringing you to a halt to try and figure out how to traverse sections of road. That being said, it affords you the time to look around and appreciate the vistas that the Kamberg serves up.
New owners, Nadia and Steve, originally were interested in developing and running a Safari Lodge in the Dundee area but heard that Qambathi was on the market. On further inspection, they proceeded to fall in love with the Lodge and surrounding areas. The Lodge has since had a new lease of life injected into its hospitality veins with both the experience and enthusiasm that has come with the ownership of Nadia and Steve.
Where is Qambathi?
Follow the Rosetta Road for 29,2 km along scenic (and potholed) road and take the left turn onto the Mpofana Road (signposted as the Kamberg Rock Art Center). Travel for 2 km and the entrance to Qambathi is on your right along with views of the valley and mountain.
The Mountain Lodge is located on the Kamberg conservancy and the property is host to zebra, a donkey, buck, jackal and a large variety of birds. These can all be admired from the comfort of the Lodge, deck chairs on the porch or your private suite while you relax and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Qambathi is a boutique lodge that can host up to 14 satisfied guests at a time. Due to being located in a Conservation area, the Lodge capacity is intended to allow limited guests at any given time and in doing so, practice responsible tourism on a sustainable basis.
There are 2 rooms located in the main lodge and 3 garden suites with private decks. A two bedroom self-catering cottage is being renovated and will become available to allow space for families or small groups of guests.
The rooms are luxuriously appointed and exude an air of comfort with beautiful wooden bedside tables and chandeliers. This is all complimented by the warm shag pile carpets and soft lighting. The white blinds are a fantastic block out while maintaining a cocoon-like experience.
The hand-beaded waterfall is a theme that flows throughout the lodge acting as a creative wall hanging and art piece at the same time.
The bathrooms are the purest form of encouragement to linger. Every one of the bathroom designs owns a special, cultivated view, ample bath for stretching out in and shower. A glass of bubbly or wine would not be amiss in this picture 😉
Qambathi Lodge Specialities
Meals with a Chef
Food is a healthy, yet indulgent experience at Qambathi Mountain Lodge. Funghi, the Head Chef, works hard to ensure that guests tastebuds are signing while looking after their nutrition.
You can consider lucky if you are able to sit at the preparation area and talk with Funghi while she tells you about the meal and anecdotal food stories which will have you chuckling into your wine.
If you are a foodie, this will be an experience you do not want to miss. Speak to the owners to organise your Qambathi Chef demonstration in advance. It will be well worth it!
Qambathi prides itself on ensuring that you have a great selection of wine for the duration of your stay. Nadia and Steve have teamed up with The Wine Cellar for the tastiest selection of wines for your choice while you wine and dine your way through your time here. This includes the red wine experience of simply massive wine glasses. It is really entertaining to hold the glasses that could probably carry a whole bottle of wine decanted into it. They are huge!
The wine cellar at the lodge also has quite a unique story. The walls of the cellar are covered in dried wine skins providing colour, an interesting texture and a soft, natural wine fragrance.
Hiking and Yoga
Aside from relaxing, you can take a swim, go for a hike or set up a yoga class with Nadia. There are trails with scenic spots along the river and through the forest that you can walk where you can enjoy panoramic views of the valley.
There are also a wide variety of activities available in the valley and on the Midlands Meander that you can enjoy for the duration of your stay. Among these are golf courses, running trails, mountain bike trails, hiking trails, birding, hot air ballooning and of course, the Midlands past time, fly fishing. In addition to this, there is always the Midlands to trawl and do a bit of wine, craft beer or gin tasting as well as the variety of coffee shops to get your caffeine fix.
All in all, this area has a full deck of activities you can experience that will have you smiling (whatever your hand of cards).
What is to come?
Sitting and chatting to Nadia and Steve is invigorating. They have so many plans for the lodge and to build into the community in the area.
The lodge has a hall with views of both the valley and mountains which can be used for wedding receptions, conferencing and events. There are also plans for picnic days where people can come and enjoy the beauty of the lodge grounds and the weather while snacking on their picnic basket. There are plans to develop the hiking route with stops that can host braai’s and special surprise areas, as well as potentially creating a mountain bike route.
Nadia is keen on hosting ladies groups who are interested in yoga retreats combined with beauty classes. Steve is also thinking about creating movie evenings at the lodge hall for people to relax and enjoy the hospitality.
There are more plans pending and I have no doubt that as the Steve and Nadia grow with the lodge that this destination will continue to be developed into a place that is a respite from the crazy, busy life we all lead.
My stay at the lodge was simply inspiring. I think it is a combination between the beautiful interior, the enchanting vistas and the endearing staff and owners. The enthusiasm of the people here sweeps you up and just makes you happy.
I look forward to watching the story of Qambathi Mountain Lodge and am fully expecting to see them grow in popularity and stature.
To get in touch and book a stay you can visit https://www.qambathi.com/stay
Disclaimer – This was a hosted trip. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Qambathi for their wonderful hospitality.