Nikki McCartney was raised and educated in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, where she also worked for many years before moving to Sabie, Mpumalanga. She moved to Welgevonden with her husband Shaun in 2010, living on the reserve for just over 4 years. The couple returned to Sabie in 2014 and opened a craft brewery. They returned to the Waterberg (Welgevonden) in July 2018. Nikki has had a varied working life; working as ISO14001 Systems Administrator at Sappi, Events Coordinator for the SA Institute of Forestry, Events Manager at BirdLife South Africa and recently as Admin Coordinator for the craft brewery.