Qambathi Mountain Lodge Hosts Tom Cruise

The Midlands MagazineDecember 12, 2023

It’s not every day that a movie star comes to our neck of the province, but it’s also not an impossible mission to find great accommodation in the Midlands that is ‘celebrity-worthy! Qambathi Mountain Lodge, a boutique eco-lodge and nature reserve in the upper Kamberg Valley, hosted none other than the acclaimed Hollywood star Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and their production team for a few months last year during the filming for the eighth Mission: Impossible film, Dead Reckoning Part Two. The lodge shared the details of this incredible experience with us.

“There has been a lot of buzz in South Africa as he filmed in Hoesdspruit first. For us, it was a huge compliment to have been chosen and we felt very honoured.” This is definitely a feather in Qambathi’s cap!


Qambathi is an adults-only, private, secure and beautiful venue, offering a stress-free and restful oasis amongst nature. The owners, Stephen Maritz, who was born in South Africa, and his wife Nadia, who is originally from Poland, met in 2007 in Wales, got married in 2013, and found their way to South Africa in 2019, a place they truly called home.


As a married couple on a mission to create a fulfilling life and start a family, they ended up buying Qambathi Mountain Lodge in 2019 from the architect Gerhard LeRoux. LeRoux initially refurbished what was originally a farm into a lodge and nature reserve, which the Maritzs further developed into the eco-lodge it is today. From this, they created 15 new jobs and built a team who upkeeps the high standards that the lodge stands for. With breathtaking views, the lodge now also caters to weddings, retreats, perfect picnics, horse rides, private photo shoots, and much more. Additionally, their gourmet meals create a memorable fine dining experience, with dinners being five-course affairs. It’s no wonder Tom Cruise and his team chose the lodge as their base!


Before we go into some of the details of Mr Cruise’s stay, we would like to highlight another aspect of what his visit represents. It epitomises that we have a burgeoning hospitality and travel industry in KwaZulu-Natal, notably our very own Midlands, and its allure is fast making it an attractive escape and destination for not only local but international travellers – and movie makers! “I want to emphasise the importance that the movie industry brings to our economy. Many businesses survived and thrived while the film crew was in the country. Hotels, restaurants, food suppliers, farms and other industries were given a huge boost thanks to them choosing our country as a backdrop for the movie,” says Nadia. If Tom Cruise loves the Midlands, everyone will! #midlandsproud


So, here is the scoop. Tom Cruise stayed in Qambathis Stable Suite, which is the honeymoon suite, now endearingly named “Tom’s Room”. Undoubtedly, the movie star’s stay has piqued the curiosity of many who want to know what he got up to in our hometown. “Tom worked very hard and was up before sunrise every day! Breakfast was a working breakfast on the pool deck with Chris. Tom and Chris would fly every day via helicopter to set and back, often only getting back at sunset. They also enjoyed using the lounge to edit the film.” Nadia describes Tom as super friendly with the Qambathi staff and always made an effort to talk with them. He enjoyed the wildlife on the farm and the complete privacy and quietness of the Kamberg. “Tom was very impressed with the quality of the local foods such as Dargle Valley Meats, Essenwood Micro Dairy, Bramleigh, Willowbridge, Freshly Pick’d, The Gourmet Greek and Miche Bakehouse, to name a few.”


Nadia further shared that to have a celebrity like Tom Cruise enjoy his stay at the lodge was a “huge testament to the work our team has put in over the past four years to put Qambathi on the map. It also means that South Africa becoming an international destination on par with many European places.”


And so it goes to show, with hard work, perseverance and a bit of love, what seems impossible can be made possible.


Words by Alicia Du Plessis 

Photos by Ruby Jean Photography