Wildlife in Thanda Game reserve
Thanda Safari is a celebrated Big Five private game reserve situated in the soulful wilderness of northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is world-renowned for its exclusive experience of the African bush and understated luxury.
Thanda means ‘love’ in the language of the Zulu people, and Thanda Safari lives this ethos in the management of its 14 000-hectare reserve, its three unique properties, and its community partnerships.
Thanda’s ethos is one of wildlife and communities supporting each other, and Thanda’s neighbouring Zulu communities, many of whose members are employed on Thanda, are partners in conservation, employment, skills development, career advancement and educational community initiatives.
Thanda Safari’s highly skilled wildlife management team, operates 24/7 behind the scenesto manage the reserve, to combat rhino and elephant poaching in the region and to participate in breeding and range expansion programmes for critically en-dangered species.
In addition, a range of ongoing research projects on the reserve ensure that Thanda Safari contributes to leading-edge conservation strategies and methods. In January 2006, Thanda Foundation Trust, in partnership with Thanda Safari, launched a conservation research programme.
This programme includes the monitoring of elephant, cheetah, hyena, leopard and previously, the wild dog, and involves the University of Natal, the Wildlands Conservation Trust, as well as other conservation and wildlife agencies in research projects on both Thanda and the neighbouring Mduna Royal Reserve.
How to get involved in wildlife programmes
Should you be interested in any of the wildlife programmes on offer at Thanda ask us for more details. Thanda has programmes where you can get involved in activities like tagging and microchipping of animals.
Current wildlife programmes at Thanda
Identification and Tracking of Elephant
Thanda Safari has two distinct herds of elephant, although they are known to occasionally link up.
Tracking and Monitoring of Cheetah
Telemetry equipment plays a vital role in tracking and monitoring of cheetah. All cheetah on Thanda Safari are collared and tracked on a daily basis so as to ensure that the cheetah are alive and well.
Identification of Hyena and Leopard
These animals are primarily nocturnal. As a result, it is very difficult to gain a good understanding of the headcount of these secretive predators. However, Thanda Safari has invested in camera traps which are strategically placed in areas where these animals are known to frequent.
Thanda Safari is home to both the black and white rhino. Due to the rampant poaching in South Africa, it is imperative that a close eye is kept on our rhinos. Accordingly, Thanda Safari has its own anti-poaching unit as well as dedicated rhino monitors, whose role it is to keep tabs on the rhino, and in particular the black rhino which are difficult to locate as they favour the thick bush that they feed on.
As a result of Thanda Safari’s multitude of habitats and microhabitats, as well as it being the meeting place of tropical and temperate biomes, it is a hotspot of diversity. Thanda Safari is a member of Birdlife South Africa and has been acknowledged as a landowner within the Zululand Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. Detailed records are kept of all bird species by wildlife team members using Bird Atlasing (distribution, abundance, long-term change as well as their seasonal patterns).