An international group are investing an estimated R200 million to develop and operate a new luxury lodge in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve outside Ladysmith (KZN). Under construction, the new  lodge, known as The Homestead, is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2021

The Homestead will be a low-impact, sustainably-built lodge set against 23,000 acres of the Nambiti Private Game Reserve. Accommodating up to 24 guests in deluxe suites with private infinity pools and luxury units, the main lodge will offer multi-sensory dining venues, conference facilities, a lavish spa, gym with a view, and pool that extends over the edge of the escarpment.

Really Epic Dog (RED) headquartered in the US bought the land in 2019. The group are working with Durban-based architect Dean Jay and his team, responsible for game lodges such as Singita and Lion Sands.

“The Homestead site evokes a unique spirit of place with … historical ruins, the lake and escarpment,” says Dean Jay, who is creating “a powerfully-understated lodge built from endemic ironstone that will harmonise with the landscape.”

Benjamin Smith, president of Really Epic Dog, which is financing the project, says the group of companies have a longstanding deep-held passion for South Africa.

“So (despite) what has been an unprecedented time, we have not wavered in our commitment to The Homestead project. We believe South Africa will emerge from Covid-19 and continue to attract tourists from all over the world.  We want to … offer our guests a place to reset and reconnect with themselves through experiences that help them reach a sense of … peace with the world.”

The Homestead is being developed on a historical site. During the Boer War, a young British Captain fell in love with a Boer girl and  built a home here. They were eventually accepted by her Boer family and The Homestead became a place where rivalries and weapons were put to one side and people came together in the spirit of love and understanding.

This ethos will be at the centre of the guest experience at The Homestead.