Our Big 5 residents are game for
close-range encounters.

Experience unmatched sightings of the Big 5 and up to 52 recorded animal species, with two game drives daily, morning and evening.

Included in your stay with us are two three-hour (morning and evening) game drives daily through 10 000 hectares of untouched wilderness with our own expert Cheetah Ridge rangers.

Sprawling across 22 000 acres of pristine wilderness, Nambiti teems with diverse game and birdlife, offering our guests unrivalled opportunities to view the richest biodiversity at close quarters.

From your mounted seat in an open game drive vehicle, view the wide array of bird and wildlife that call Nambiti home, in their unspoilt habitat.

Traverse varied landscapes and ecosystems/vegetation zones, ranging from cliff escarpments and flat plains to deep gullies and ravines; and grasslands and thornveld, through to thick bush and woody glens.

Morning and evening drives include a drinks stop, usually at a prominent vantage point, where we provide snacks as you take in the reserve’s sweeping views and spectacular scenery.

I would like to experience a close-range encounter with the big 5!

Big 5 super-sized!

For many of our guests, a close encounter with one of our Big 5 residents – lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo and (white and black) rhinoceros – is the highlight of their visit, but Nambiti offers so much more than this – a complete game-viewing experience that few other private game sanctuaries can beat.

Hippos are a regular delight, with a number of them occasionally wallowing in the dam in front of our Cheetah Ridge Lodge rooms.

Amongst our antelope species, expect to see blesbok, duiker, eland, gemsbok, impala, kudu (of which several roam our lodge’s gardens from time to time), nyala, oribi, reedbuck (both common and mountain), steenbuck, and waterbuck.

We also have giraffe, zebra, ostrich, and warthog in large numbers. Less commonly seen are the red hartebeest, and black and blue wildebeest.

Wildebeest and jackals are very common at Nambiti.

Rare sightings include the skittish oribi, the serval, and the occasional bushpig and legewaan (water monitors).

There is one cheetah on Nambiti – it is called Houdini as he is an escape artist of note. He is a highlight to many guests to see.

Big 5 & Mammal Movements and Activity.

Our game drives operate at those times of the day when our Big 5 mammals are most likely to be at their peak and most active. The following is a guide to where they’re most likely to be found – and what they’re most likely to be doing – during their most active times of the day:


  • During the heat of the day, lions conserve energy by remaining largely inactive. Instead, they hunt during the cooler parts of the day, and have special adaptations to help them stalk their quarry in twilight.
  • For this reason, they’re known as crepuscular mammals – meaning that they’re most active during the twilight hours (at dusk and dawn).
  • Lions can be found in any area – their movements are strictly dependant on other predator territories and prey activity.


  • Buffalo are diurnal mammals, but are usually only active in the early mornings and late afternoons when it’s cooler – they do however move to water sources during the day to drink.
  • Depending on water supply, they can be found in both grassy and thicket areas, but during the heat of the day, they can be seen in the shade ruminating, which helps them conserve as much energy as possible.

Our Ranger was Exceptional

We had a lovely 2 night stay at Cheetah Ridge Lodge.  Jonathan, our ranger, was exceptional. We got to see a wide range of animals & birds up close. His in-depth knowledge of the park & the animals was excellent. After some good rains this season, the park is looking green and all the animals are fat & healthy.

Tinks M – Trip Advisor


  • Leopards are wary, nocturnal animals. They hunt at night and early morning. They rest in areas with a good vantage point and coverage during the warmer parts of the day.


  • Elephants are diurnal mammals – meaning that they’re most active during the day when they feed and drink. However, they can cover vast distances both during the day and at night.
  • They can be found in densely vegetated areas during the day as they need to feed for most of the day to sustain their large stature. Elephants are mixed feeders and can be found in any area where there’s grass, trees, and shrubs.


  • Rhino are diurnal, feeding throughout the day, but can be seen resting in the shade on extremely hot days. White (square-lipped) rhino can be found in grassy areas as they are bulk grazers, while black (hook-lipped) rhino are found in thickets with plenty of foliage as they are browsers.

I want a close-range encounter with the Majestic African Big 5!

Your Game-Drive Hosts

Our highly capable field guide team is one of Cheetah Ridge Lodge’s greatest investments – in fact, for some of our guests, it’s the main reason why they keep coming back! From guestbook comments to online trip reviews, it’s clear that their encyclopaedic knowledge, deep insights, charming personalities, and entertaining banter are an absolute hit with our guests!

Julian Geerts, Head Ranger

NQF2 – Backup Trails, obtained from Eco Training

What made you take up a career in guiding?
Growing up in Kenya, I had the opportunity to visit the iconic Maasai Mara* with my parents. These visits inspired me to take up guiding from an early age, and I was lucky enough to get my first work experience there.


When did you assume duties at Cheetah Ridge?
February 2015.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Without a doubt, being able to guide for young children. They’re like sponges, so willing to absorb knowledge – their natural sense of wonder and curiosity inspires me.

What’s been your most memorable experience working at Cheetah Ridge?
Being charged by a lioness (a very protective mother of two cubs) on foot, in full view of guests, who watched the entire unfolding episode from the safety of their two safari vehicles!

What do you for relaxation during your downtime?
Mainly exploring other wilderness areas. Bush, beach, and the mountains are my favoured spots.

Previous career:
Black Rhino Expansion Programme, rhino monitor at Selati Game Reserve.

* A 1 510km² savannah wilderness in the Rift Valley that runs along Kenya’s southwestern border with Tanzania, adjoining Serengeti National Park in Tanzania’s Mara Region


Jonathan “Jono” Caisley, Game Ranger

FGASA Level 1 – Terrestrial; FGASA Level 1 – Marine – both obtained from Bhejane

When did you assume duties at Cheetah Ridge?
February 2017.

What are your outside hobbies and Interests?
Fishing, birding and avoiding city life as much as possible!


Previous career:
I originally worked in home maintenance, then pool installation/maintenance and finally in mobile home construction, before deciding to get into field guiding. After completing my field guide training in 2010, I assisted in training other field guides for a time. From 2012, I worked for Springbok Lodge at Nambiti for four years before joining the Cheetah Ridge team in 2017.


Wonderful Location. Excellent Service. Amazing †Game‡ †Drives.‡

The Game Drives, at dawn and dusk, were just spectacular. Special mention must go to our ranger Jamie, whose spotting skills are close to bionic and whose attention to detail, ensuring we saw as wide a range of game in a relatively short (2 day) period were hugely appreciated. A particular highlight was his speeding across the reserve one evening to show us an elusive cheetah and then thinking nothing of extending our drive well beyond the allotted time to maximize our viewing of this beautiful animal.

Chotitraveller – Trip Advisor

Jaime Levin, Game Ranger

FGSA Level 1 – Field Guide, obtained from Eco Training

When did you assume duties at Cheetah Ridge?
Originally, in January 2016, as Front of House manager. I left to get my field guiding qualification and returned to Cheetah Ridge in 2017.


Hobbies and Interests:
I have a deep passion for birding. I also enjoy visiting other game reserves in Africa.

Previous career:
I started my career as a chef in the UK at the age of 16, but after nine years in the hospitality industry, I joined the Cheetah Ridge team in January 2016 as Front of House (FOH) manager. During this time, I discovered my passion for the bush and left to complete my field guide training in December 2016 and in 2017, rejoined the Cheetah Ridge team as a fully-fledged game ranger.


I want a close-range encounter with the big 5!

Here are a few more reasons to choose Cheetah Ridge Lodge for your Luxury Safari Experience.