About Thornybush Game Lodge
Thornybush Game Lodge was the first of its kind in the Thornybush Nature Reserve, opening its doors back in 1961.
As the original establishment, it put Thornybush on the map and established its reputation for world-class game-viewing.
Now, with a note of sophistication in the design and layout, our thatched main area overlooks a waterhole and riverbed frequently visited by elephants, buffalo and other large game.
The classic lower deck flows between the open dining area and a beautiful bar.
Sunbirds, attracted to the many aloes which surround the main deck, are just some of the many small delights you can expect on your stay at Thornybush Game Lodge.
The warm-hearted staff, riverbed setting, and legacy of excellence are standout features.
Meals, when taken at the lodge, are a mixture of sumptuous lunch platters or lavish buffets.
Dinners are elegant a la carte meals on the deck or traditional South African boma dinners, served around the fire.
The kitchen team will ensure every meal is an occasion!
Bush dinners are a firm favourite with visiting guests, where you get to enjoy a hearty meal, surrounded by lanterns, candles and the sound of the African wilderness, weather permitting of course.
Facilities at a glance
- 18 suites overlooking the Monwana dry river bed
- Can accommodate groups of up to 40 people
- Lodge pool available at the main area
- Deck and sunken lounge and fire pit
- Activities for children
- Conference facilities for up to 60 people
- 2 family suites (two adults, two children)
- Family suites have pvt swimming pool
- Outdoor showers in all rooms
- Boma for open air traditional ‘braai’
- Babysitting available
- Mobile coverage
Children’s activities available include baking, beading, bug walks and treasure hunts
Around the camp
The camp is not fenced but has an electric strand to discourage buffalo and elephant
Your typical day will start with an early wake call. Times will vary depending on seasons. Earlier in summer and later in winter to coincide with the rising sun.
Morning tea & coffee with a selection of homemade rusks, biscuits and fruit will be served on the deck before departing for your morning drive
The drive will be around 3 hours where you will return to have a breakfast served on the deck. You are free to enjoy the swimming pool, or spa facilities until lunch time. Maybe a short nap before high tea just before your afternoon game drive of approximately 3 hours.
Return in the early evening and enjoy a drink at the bar or freshen up first, before dinner is served.
Check in is from 2pm and check out is by 11am
Do not leave checking it too late as you may miss your evening game drive
Thornybush Nature Reserve
Thornybush is one of the original nature reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park, with the first lodge opening its doors in 1961.
Since then, the Thornybush group of lodges now operates in both the Thornybush and Sabi Sand Private Nature Reserves.
Thornybush has 14,000-hectares of private nature reserve that shares a fenceless border with the famous Kruger National Park.
Big 5 encounters are the standout experiences for any guests visiting the area, with lion and leopard sightings almost a common feature of game drives here.
Expect a vast diversity of wildlife which has seen Thornybush emerge as a leading safari destination.
What is the weather in Thornybush like?
- Daytime summer temperatures (September – April) are high and may soar above 36°C/97°F.
- Summer evenings and early mornings are warm.
- Winters (May – August) have chilly nights and crisp early mornings (minimum 3°C/38°F)
- winter days are fine and warm
- Rainfall occurs predominantly in the summer months from October to April in the form of magnificent late afternoon/evening thundershowers