People of Nambiti Hills
Kev and Gem (Read More)
Head game guide, maintenance manager, writer, photographer. Born in South Africa and raised in Zambia, Brett’s love of wildlife and the natural environment developed early. At 17, he joined the Zambian Wildlife Authorities and then did counter-poaching work as well as educational work in more rural areas through an organisation called African Conservancies. After that, he went to the States where he studied farming for 4 years. After returning to Zambia, Brett moved to Madikwe where he further developed his skills as a game guide. He then freelanced as a game guide, spending a lot of time back at Madikwe, as well as some time down on Cheetah Plains, and also Sabi. Brett also made several trips across the border to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia as a freelance guide before coming to Nambiti Hills to help out for a short period. When asked to stay on, Brett saw it as a great opportunity - “It’s kind of just fallen into place and I’ve been loving it.”
Service manager and computer and fishing enthusiast. Born in Zimbabwe, Amos grew up with wildlife at Victoria Falls. “At Vic Falls, you can wake up in the morning and find a bull elephant eating your bananas!” Very much a people person, Amos always encourages people to do their best and believes that positive change comes about through discussion and finding common ground, not through autocratically imposing his views. Amos worked for a signage company in Zimbabwe for 15 years before coming to South Africa and working first as an assistant front-of-house manager and then front-of-house manager for various top South African lodges and hotels. His amiable outlook and obvious enthusiasm for life spills over into working with his team at Nambiti Hills - “It’s small, manageable. I love it!”
Guest liaison officer, wildlife enthusiast, bodyboarder, baker and craftswoman. Chantal grew up in Heidelberg and also lived in Namibia. She studied tourism management and then worked at Mala Mala. “The hippos would be grazing just outside of my cottage, I listened to lions roaring at night. You can’t get that in the city.” Chantal then spent two years in the UK working for Unilever before returning to work in Namibia which she describes as “more desert than bush but a wonderful experience - stargazing, sunsets, the great history of the place.” She also worked in Phinda, then moved to Johannesburg but pined for the bush. When the opportunity to work at Nambiti Hills came up, she didn’t think twice. Chantal’s passion and main focus is the people at Nambiti Hills and she is responsible for initiating many new surprise bush experiences as well as activities for children. She enjoys getting up early and going out on game drives whenever she can. “You see the sun rise, it’s lovely, and there’s such a big variety of general game in Nambiti. You’re always bumping into an eland or a gemsbok or some other animal. By the time you get back to Nambiti Hills, you’re fresh and ready for the day.”
Game guide, artist, traveller. Ross worked at Madikwe Game Reserve for eighteen months before going overseas for four years. During that time, he worked on a ski resort, lived in London and did a one-year round-the-world trip. This included South America, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and China. On his return, Johannesburg-born Ross opted for game guiding in the neighbouring province of KwaZulu-Natal. “What I love most about being back in South Africa is being back in the bush where I feel completely at peace. I enjoy the silence and the space that comes with this job and sharing my love of it with so many wonderful people. Nambiti is a beautiful reserve with fantastic game viewing and I am so happy I can call this home.”
Chef and wildlife enthusiast. Bryce’s passion for cooking started at a young age, the food channel was constantly playing on his family’s TV. His philosophy behind cooking is that you cannot make great food from poor materials, so it’s important to get the best ingredients you possibly can. He believes in simple, well-cooked and presented meals, emphasizing the quality of the produce rather than masking poor ingredients by making them over complicated. This shows both a respect for the food or animal (should one be cooking meat) and a knowledge of how flavours work. Bryce trained at 1000 Hills Chef School in the beautiful setting of the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal. “My love for the bush and my surroundings is growing each and every day. Having never been in this kind of environment before, it has been a wonderful new experience for me.”
Joyce Nxele Chef. Joyce started at Nambiti Hills at the beginning of 2011 and has quickly become an important part of the team. Her experience in kitchens at 5-star lodges such as White Elephant in Pongola and Phinda in northern KwaZulu-Natal shows in the food she prepares. She is excellent in all aspects of the kitchen but she loves baking. Desserts are Joyce's speciality. Everyone has to try her chocolate mousse! Joyce first saw wild animals at Hilltop, Hluhluwe Game Reserve which is right near her home. She enjoys going on game drives with the guides at Nambiti Hills and looks forward to seeing elephants and lion the most.
Chef. Sibongile comes from the Hluhluwe area where she trained as a chef at the 5-star Phinda Mountain Lodge and Phinda Forest Lodge. It was here that she saw her first wild animals - “I was scared, the first time I saw an elephant, eish! I was trying to hide myself under the seat!” Now she often goes out on game drives with the Nambiti Hills game guides and loves every moment of it. Sibongile (or “Sibo”, as she is affectionately known) now treats Nambiti Hills patrons to many culinary delights. Her true passion lies in the hot section of the kitchen where she prepares meals to die for.