Nima Lodge Review South Africa

nima lodge review

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Nima Lodge review

These days, most of us get more than 8 hours of screen time every day which has detrimental effects on our physical and emotional wellbeing. When I take time off, I look for remote getaways that deliver a massive dose of nature, peace and tranquillity. This past week we visited the perfect remote getaway in Wilderness (for the second time), Nima Lodge.

We visited Nima Lodge for the first time in June of 2022 and returned last week for a second visit. It will definitely not be our last.

We’ve travelled to and lived in 23 different countries all over the world and we have yet to find anything like Nima Lodge.

Keep reading for my honest review of Nima Lodge and my insider suggestions for your trip itinerary.

Your Route: Cape Town To Wilderness

Nima Lodge map

The route you drive will vary depending on where you travel from but the most common route would be from Cape Town to Wilderness. From the V&A Waterfront to Nima Lodge the drive is just over 5 hours long so it can be done in a day, however we prefer not to spend more than 3 hours in a car at a time. There are lovely stops along the way if you’d like to break the trip up. We chose Swellendam, which is almost exactly halfway – 2,5 hours from Cape Town.

We found a very affordable guest house called Mountain View, named for the panoramic outlook over the Langeberg Mountain range. On arrival we were received by our lovely host, Vera, who showed us around and got us settled. Our room was well equipped, clean and spacious with a large queen bed and a balcony overlooking the pool. Before checking out at ten the next morning, we sunbathed by the pool and felt that holiday feeling take hold.

Nima Lodge photo

Luna Cabin

Nima Lodge photo review

After our morning in the sun, we hit the road to finish the last leg of our drive to Nima Lodge. During our first visit to Nima we stayed in one of the Sun Cabins but this time we booked the Luna Cabin. The Luna Cabin is much larger and fully equipped with its own kitchen, living room, dining area and swimming pool.

Having driven to Nima before, we knew the road leading up to the lodge itself is steep and single track, so we were a little bit nervous for the drive in our rented Suzuki Swift.

The first time we made the drive it was in a bigger car with a higher ground clearance. In the end our little Suzuki managed just fine and we arrived at Nima perfectly on time for check in at 14:00.

We knew that there was rain forecasted for the next two days so upon arriving at the cabin, we dropped our bags in the entrance hall and headed straight out to the pool.

For Christmas this year, we’ll be with Craig’s family in Scotland so we are trying to soak up as much sun as we can before we head back to winter in the UK. We made the most out of every hour of sunlight, reading by the pool for the next 3 hours.

Nima Lodge review photo

Night One

That evening I prepared a chicken and roast veg couscous salad which we enjoyed in front of the enclosed fireplace.

Given that Nima Lodge is quite remote and the road up to the cabins is so steep and you need to drive slowly, you can’t nip into town for groceries or visit a restaurant that easily.

It’s best to plan your meals and buy groceries beforehand – we stopped to do a food shop in George. There is a small honesty shop where you can find last minute essentials like wood and frozen meat as well as things like wine and chocolate.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about the Luna Cabin was the stylish Scandinavian decor. All of the cabins at Nima Lodge are beautifully decorated but this cabin’s interior style was especially pleasing to my taste.

The furnishings are modern and minimalist but elements of warmth are expertly incorporated to make the space feel cosy. The chairs pictured below are so comfortable that I scoured them for a label, hoping to purchase some for myself!

review of Nima Lodge

After a perfect evening relaxing by the fire, we got ready for bed. When you arrive at the cabin, the sound system has been programmed to play hours of calming music, similar to the kind of music that is played during a spa treatment. 

The effect is extremely soothing to the parasympathetic nervous system, which was much needed as this trip was a break away from a particularly stressful season at work. We kept the sound system playing all day and went to bed with the placating notes still playing softly in the background.

I had cause to search for a label for a second time after I experienced the mattress on our bed. It was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in and the best night’s sleep I’ve had all year.

Craig’s standards for sleep comfort are very high (he travels the world with my own £100 orthopaedic pillow), so believe me when I say that this mattress set a new standard for quality and comfort. We also really enjoyed sleeping lower down to the floor as opposed to a traditional bed that is higher off the ground.

Nima Lodge cabin bedroom

Night Two

Our second day in Wilderness was cold and rainy as predicted.

Given how much stress we had been dealing with at work, a day of nothing to do but read, nap and watch movies was just what the doctor ordered.

There are lovely walks and hikes to do on the property itself and there is even an outdoor gym to use. The gym is equipped with:

  • Pull up bars
  • Dip bars
  • Gymnastic rings 

Craig always brings a curl bar and two 10kg plates on road trips so he managed to get a good workout in.

Oh and the steep hill on the way to Nima Lodge makes a fantastic challenge for hill sprints. GOODLUCK! It is tough!

Wilderness and surrounds also have loads of fun outdoor and indoor activities to offer, during our previous trip to Nima Lodge we drove out to Knysna Elephant Park and did an elephant walk (pictured below).

Nima Lodge Knysna Elephant Park

This time around we were grateful for the opportunity to spend a guilt free day in our pyjamas as the rain poured down outside the cabin and the mist rolled over the surrounding hills.

We had a massage scheduled with a masseuse named Lize for that afternoon, the property manager sent us her contact information with our check-in details and we booked in advance.

Lize brought her massage bed up to our cabin and we had an hour-long massage with nothing but the soothing sound of rain in the background.

We always feel robbed of the experience when we have to drive home after a massage but having the masseuse come to your cabin is fantastic since you don’t have to go anywhere afterwards, you can fully unwind and stay relaxed.

That evening I made us a sweet and sour stir fry with egg noodles. We had spent the entire day horizontal, so we felt like we needed to spend some time sitting up and had dinner at the small dining table.

The cabin caters perfectly for two people with a choice of seating inside – on the couch, at the dining table, in front of the fireplace or even on the giant beanbag. Had the weather been nicer, there is also a table to eat at outside on the deck.

Nima Lodge cabin view

Final Thoughts

This wasn’t our first visit to Nima Lodge and it won’t be our last. The tranquillity of this remote getaway coupled with the luxury of designer interiors and well equipped cabins is something you would struggle to find at a similar price point anywhere else. We will probably come back to Nima Lodge each year.

Amenities in the Luna Cabin include:

  • 75 Sqm Wood Cabin
  • Hosts 2 people max, 1 King Size bed
  • Gas stove, oven, large fridge and freezer, gas braai, equipped kitchen
  • Nespresso coffee machine and milk froth
  • Indoor fireplace
  • Bathroom with shower, organic toiletries, hair dryer and robe
  • Large wrap-around deck with wood-fired hot tub and private swimming pool

We have stayed in the Sun Cabin and Luna Cabin, I think we’ll try the Sand Cabin for our next visit! I highly recommend making the trip out to Wilderness to experience Nima Lodge for yourself.

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