Thornybush Game Lodge

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Thornybush Game Lodge

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Elegant and exclusive, Thornybush Game Lodge offers the complete package for individual guests, family holidays, corporate getaways, small groups or wedding extravaganzas. Exhilarating dawn and dusk safaris, an exclusive on-site spa, gourmet cuisine, the world’s finest wines and sublimely luxurious accommodation await the discerning traveller at Thornybush Game Lodge. A fully-equipped conference centre for sixty delegates completes the picture.


  • The luxury suites are superbly equipped and furnished in the lavish style befitting this five-star lodge.
  • All the suites have private wooden decks, with comfortable seating, overlooking the reserve and waterhole.
  • A number of activities are arranged for children at Thornybush Game Lodge, sign your kids up for the ‘Ranger in Training’ program when booking your accommodation, and they will enjoy fun educational activities throughout their stay.

You should know

  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Children under 6 years of age are not permitted on game drives

The details

Thornybush Game Reserve's exclusive private 5-star Thornybush Game Lodge provides accommodation consisting of 18 suites and 2 family suites.

Each Luxury Suite is positioned to offer guests privacy and features an en-suite bathroom with a bath and separate indoor and outdoor showers' airconditioning, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a private deck with a view of the seasonal Monwana River course or riverine thicket. 

The Family Suites are larger than the luxury suites with a comfortable lounge area, a sleeper couch that converts into a double bed for children, a larger private deck and plunge pool. 

The facilities at Thornybush Game Lodge include a curio shop, swimming pool, award-winning Amani Spa, conference facilities, babysitting services, library with internet access, and a charming outdoor boma where guests can take their meals under a canopy of stars.

The Kids at Thornybush Game Lodge program makes it an ideal family getaway. Children receive a complimentary activity backpack and get assigned a ranger upon arrival. Outdoor activities are tailor-made to suit the children’s needs and include game walks and drives. At the end of their stay, children are awarded ‘Ranger in Training’ certificates. 

Thornybush Game Lodge offers unique exclusive safari experiences in both open land cruisers, and on foot. The private reserve is home to an abundance of species: 147 mammals including the "Big Five", 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 336 trees. The reserve is predominantly open savannah and with a nearly perfect year-round climate, it is the ideal African safari holiday destination.

Thornybush Game Lodge is ideal for solo explorers, couples, small groups and families looking for a luxurious safari adventure.

Price includes

  • Accommodation, All meals and snacks, All local drinks (soft drinks, house wine, selection of local beers, local spirits), Minibar, Morning and afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, accompanied by experienced guides and trackers, Wi-Fi.
  • Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our Agents for the best, most current rates available.
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Rates & Pricing

All promotions for this lodge are shown below, you can also view all current safari specials here.
Stay 4 Pay 3
Last minute SPECIAL
Honeymoon SPECIAL
Honeymoon Value Adds: Bush sundowners, private candlelit dinners and a surprise bush breakfast
$ 720 USD
$ 540 USD
$ 720 USD
SPECIAL - Great news, you appear to be from a SADC country and can enjoy the discounted rate shown!
Rates are starting prices per person, per night sharing.
With specials, we always use the best promotion available, please contact our experts for more guidance.
We include travel insurance that will make this booking totally refundable.
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Get in touch with Nikita, our resident expert in all aspects of this accommodation who will not only help plan but also book flights, transfers and lodging for your trip. Remember, our price is the same as going direct - see our best price guarantee!

To find out more about our 100% fully refundable bookings, ask Nikita or click here.
Highly recommend Thornybush game lodge. The lodge to the food to the safari was exceptional. I will definitely plan on going again.
the lodge is great the trackers and the guides were fantastic and know the bush we saw everything.the breakfast was 5/5 lunch was 2/5 dinners 4/5 staff outstanding it was a great trip thorny busy is a great lodge
I came to Thornybush in a large group on what was a sort of an extended family honeymoon. We had expected it to be quite special for this reason, but I don't think we could have ever imagined how fantastic it would be. The rooms were delightful, right in the bush complete with bath overlooking the river bed, as well as indoor and outdoor showers! The bride and group had a plunge pool too!Housekeeping excelled themselves - I don't think there was a single trip back to the room in which they had done something. From the turn-down including a little note each night providing information about the resort, the country, or life advice, to the lowering and lifting of the mosquito nets, we couldn't have asked for more.As we were such a large group we had two jeeps, each complete with ranger and tracker. On our jeep we had the hilarious Charles and his affable side-kick Peter, both had us laughing on a daily basis. They absolutely added to our trip and became part of the group in no time. I really felt they went far and above to show us the animals we were looking to see.Dedicated to the group for the whole week was also Glory and Godfrey who made sure we were well looked after when it came to dining (and wining) at all times! But the most special thing about this trip were the surprises, the little added extras, special dinners and extra touches which just had us gasping and shrieking in delight every day. I won't tell you too much about that as it would ruin it for everyone else.And of course, I can't forget the animals. In the few days we were there we saw elephants, giraffe-a-plenty, hippos, leopards, mongoose, and so much more. It really was just wonderful! I have been on safari several times before but I had never seen leopard so this was an absolute delight for me.
Our safari at Thornybush was nothing short of fantastic. Our ranger was Cristoff and his tracker was Herman, who both knew the reserve like the back of their hands and found every one of the big 5 animals and then some. We had rare treats as we caught lions mating, young leopards feeding on a wildebeast, a herd of 14 elephants watering at a pond as our truck sat among them, baby hyenas being nursed by their mothers, two different white rhino herds, hippos, buffalo, impala, warthogs. and much more. Four days may sound like a lot of time but it went fast and every day there were new experiences. The Thornybush Lodge staff are top-notch and so attentive we felt almost self-conscious at first. Our butler was Anthony and he is a gem. Kristina supervised the staff and seemed to be there day and night while we were there. Our lodge was beautifully rustic but extremely comfortable with a bed that seemed the size of a football pitch. We were there during World Cup and the staff went out of their way to see that we could watch the games at night in the lounge area. This was the experience of a lifetime that we will never forget and hope to return some day with grandchildren.
We stayed at the Nkelenga Tented Camp (self catering) in the Thornybush Game reserve. We were a family of 10, staying for 3 nights. For some of us it was our 2.visit.The camp and game viewing is excellent. We enjoyed the privacy of the camp, as we had the whole camp to ourselves.
From the first time landing in the Hoedspruit airport, we had already seen a warthog family! Just the drive from the airport to the lodge was amazing in the fact that we got to see so many different animals. We were blown away when we got to the lodge. It was just my husband and I, our friends, and one other couple staying the first night. There can be a max of 16 people there so you feel very special. Our room was our own little hut, very spacious, nice bathroom with a jacuzzi and outdoor shower. It was secluded in the bushes. We even saw monkey paw prints outside our windows! Every meal felt like a gourmet meal they had prepared just for you. One night they set up dinner outside right in front of the fire pit with the watering hole spot lighted in the background so you could see any animals coming for a drink. They also surprised us on our last day with a breakfast they set up in the African bush! There was a giraffe eating the trees about 50 feet away from us watching curiously. Also, during the day in between safaris we could relax in the main living area with drinks and we could see just beyond the fence monkeys playing, giraffe, and impala.The safaris were amazing. Our guide were very knowledgeable and we had seen most of the big five by the second day. Our guide spent almost three hours on safari tracking a leopard since it was the only one we hadn't seen on our last day, but sure enough we finally found it! What an absolute blast this place was. The atmosphere, food, staff, and experience was all amazing. I already want to go back next year.
We have just returned from a wonderful family holiday in South Africa. Every single aspect of our trip was fabulous but the pièce de résistance was our two nights at Thornybush Game Lodge.The lodge itself is stunning, the suites magnificent, the food to die for, the people were just so friendly and our ranger Doug and tracker Alson were awesome. The game drives were exciting and the animals we saw were fantastic - lots of lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, rhino, honey badger, bush baby, chameleon to name but a few. And all so close you could almost reach out and touch them.......This is surely one of the best safari offerings in South Africa today and we would not hesitate to recommend it.
This was the center of peace and tranquility of our best vacation ever and we've had some really good one's over the past 15 years. Just from the drive into the lodge one could tell it be a vacation of luxury and viewing the wonderful lodge and as we walked in wart hogs munching on the front lawn. We were met by Kersti Butler and Knstina Perlerius with a damp towel and cold drink promising us a great stay and pressed to do. We were shown to our stylish air-conditioned luxury suite to change - get ready for a very nice lunch and afternoon game drive - we over looked the dry riverbed watched a host of animals play in the sun. At 3:00pm we were met by our guide Ryno Vosloo and tracker Orlando who over the next 3 days would be our constant companions. First afternoon we encountered 4 of the Big Five including a heard of 25 elephants overseen by a huge matriarch giving guidance to her herd, a mother rhino with her calf, a lion and his pride, and other animals to numerous to mention. Our drive (all of them) included a stop with hot or cold beverage and snacks - silver goblets no less. All meals were all first class especially the bush dinner under candle light and the special fireside BBQ. Morning drives were quite early with wake up at 5:00am morning coffee and snack then to the drive vehicle which had a blanket and much appreciated hot water bottle. Every drive and activity was special and I could go on and on speaking of our experience - We'll be back. A special thanks goes out to Ryno and Orlando for an unforgettable time in Africa - Thornybush and it's people are GREAT.
Recently spent a weekend at the Thorny Bush Lodge and really had a great time. The service and facilities are really top class with great game sightings. The meals really are a treat with very good variety.
After a pleasant flight of just on an hour we touched down right outside the main lodge. We were pleasantly surprised by the lodge and its surroundings. We have visited many lodges in Africa and weren't too sure what to expect - really fantastic. The surroundings are beautiful with a dry river bed as the focal point. The rooms are well appointed - just a little tired. But I believe they are due for a facelift. The staff were really helpful and the ranger Charles and tracker Peter get full marks. A special last evening was arranged by the ranger and tracker for sundowner's on the riverbank. Beautiful lanterns light the path down to a lovely fire and a table set and decorated with such care.The game viewing was also fantastic, mother leopard and her two cubs playing with each other in the early morning, All of the big five in our 4 night stay. Best of all was a relaxing massage at the spa.
Thornybush was our first stop on our South Africa trip. Being a little jet lagged and tired from the drive from Joburg, I was probably a bit cranky. However, that changed quickly as we entered the park, saw a few animals, and were greeted like we were family. The place is all about friendly service. After a quick greeting and getting settled, we were off to our first game drive. Amazing is all I can say. The scenery and animals were amazing a very close up. Our guides, Jack and Owen, were incredibly knowledgeable, engaging and informative. There is so much more I can add to my review of Thornybush, but time limits me. The food, rooms, accommodations were all 5 star. We will be back!
We just returned from a trip to South Africa in which we spent 3 nights at the Thornybush Main Game Lodge. The staff was friendly and helpful and the cabins were very nice and comfortable. Food was very good. Of course the highlight of our stay were the early morning and late afternoon game drives. Charles and Peter (our guide and tracker) were very knowledgeable and we saw more animals than we had anticipated. I must admit being a few feet away from Lions was a bit unnerving but also an unforgettable experience.
J. Mac
If you have to decide upon where to go when you win the lottery heres a place for you! Luxury unlimited. You are welcomed and nutured so well here, you immediately feel like you belong. If you can ask for a suite. It's so amazing I could go on forever. The morning and evening drives are so interesting. You get cosy blankets for your knees when it gets a bit cold on the drives. All staff are amazing. Food super.
my husband, and two children (8 and 10) spent 4 nights at the Thornybush main lodge in August. It was wonderful. they brought out a cake for my daughter's 11th birthday and made her feel very special. Of course we saw the big 5. Our safari guide and tracker made sure of it. The entire experience was surreal. It was amazing to be 5 feet away from a lion and not have any barriers between us and the animals. This was supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip, but we can't stay away. We have already booked for next year. A couple of things we learned this year that will come in handy. There are no mosquitos in Kruger in December. We threw away our malaria medicine and none of us got sick. Also we were quite unprepared for how chilly it got some nights. Also the guides prefer it if you wear dark colored clothes so as to not stand out. Another mistake we made this year that we won't make next year.
out of 5 based on
Nov 27, 2023
They are the best
your team is just the best. very very helpful even when I changed my plans several times. Congrats
ioma carvalho
Nov 24, 2023
Friendly, helpful, great experience.
Sara was very friendly and helpful. She gave a lot of information and tried to fulfill our needs as much as possible. There was a good and also fast communication. I will definitely book with again!
Nov 21, 2023
Great support
Great support. Very efficient.
Nov 18, 2023
We booked one of the most beautiful…
We booked one of the most beautiful trips we've ever had through The service was excellent and uncomplicated. They catered to special requests, booked additional flights, and the accommodation (Simbavati River Lodge) was simply unbelievably beautiful. Our expectations were far exceeded, and we can only recommend We will definitely book our next vacation through and recommend it to our friends. Many thanks, Nelia & Catherine!
Nov 14, 2023
They work hard for you
Anja has really gone above for me. I changed my mind a couple of times but she has willingly worked her magic to get me my bucket list trip in September 2024. Cannot wait!!
Nov 13, 2023
Great Service
Great service and response time. Candis answered all my queries immediately and satisfactorily. She tailored our trip to our requirements really well. I would highly recommend her for your trips to South Africa.
Hilary Gough
Nov 9, 2023
Very personal treatment and always…
Very personal treatment and always available to answer all of our questions.
Nov 8, 2023
Great Experience
Keagan and his team were great at getting our reservation booked at Shalati. Timely and professional communication made this a great experience. Thanks
Nov 7, 2023
Sara was “Fantastic” a true…
Sara was “Fantastic” a true professional, found a solution so we could experience a wonderful Safari, with great hotels, the Revos train and flights. Great!
John, USA.
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