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 3-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 incredible 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, ecosystems and vegetation zones, ranging from cliff escarpments and flat plains. to deep gullies and ravines, as well as 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 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 watering hole in front of the Cheetah Ridge Lodge luxury suites.

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 Legewaan (water monitors).

There are just two cheetahs on Nambiti – a male named Houdini as he is an escape artist of note and Xanie, a newcomer to the Reserve and we hope, a mate for Houdini at some point. They are 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!

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 at Springbok Lodge at Nambiti for 4 years before joining the Cheetah Ridge team in 2017.


Richard Evans, Game Ranger

School – High School:
St Johns College , Houghton, JHB

Previous Work:
Retail Industry


Bachelor of Arts Physiology & Geography

Why did you become a guide:
I have been going to Ingwelala Private Game Reserve since the age of 4. Always been a passion of mine.


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 start 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.


Justin Ollewagen, Game Ranger

School – High School:
Bryanston High School – JHB

Previous Work:
Shakama Lodge 


FGASA Level 1 and 2 theory, Advanced rifle handling

Why did you become a guide:
For the love and preservation of animals and wildlife



Warwick Neil Guy, Game Ranger

Durban KZN
George Campbell School of Technology. Durban KZN

When did start at Cheetah Ridge?
In December 2017.


Fgasa level 1
Backup trails
Advanced rifle handling (ARH)
First aid level 3
Track & sign level 3
Trailing level 2
Eragonflies workshop
Butterfly workshop
Birding specialists

Why did you become a guide?
I’ve always had a passion for nature and enjoy hiking or backpacking. This was passed down from my late grandfather who taught me about trees and birding. To be honest, anything to do with nature, he taught me! We always found ourselves fishing together and hiking together.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is bringing guests back to basics and teaching them things that the bush has to offer, from medicinal uses of plants to the geographic part of things!

Hobbies and Interests:
In my down time, I research and read books to gain more knowledge, because out here you are forever learning new things! There is so much one can learn from nature.

Previous career:
Before I became a Field Guide, I worked in different jobs including construction, plant hire and personal training. I even ended up in Florida, USA, where I worked on Mega Yachts as a Deckhand.


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.