• a glass of wine on a table

Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Thornybush Nature Reserve runs adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park and is host to the Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection. With 14,500 hectares to be discovered, the Thornybush Nature Reserve provides guests the opportunity to search for the Big 5, as well as admire the remarkable fauna and flora.

In between the unique safari experiences, relax and observe the luxurious surrounds from the comfortable public areas, or the comfort of your own lodge. Enjoy the delicious cuisine throughout your stay, as you dine in exclusive settings beneath the stars and around the boma. For those seeking some additional pampering, visit one of the beautiful spas, and be immersed amongst nature as you relax and recouperate. 

The Thornybush Luxury Game Collection is proud of its support to the local community, establishing The Thornybush Community Projects. This non-profit organisations aims to nurture and uplift the surrounding local community. Some of the initiatives in place already include vegetable gardens, donations towards education, and medical support. As a guest, you can directly contribute towards the Pack for Purpose Initiative, which the Thornybush Luxury Game Collection are proud members of. Consider saving space in your luggage and take some supplies to support the projects to make a priceless impact on the lives of the local children and families.

Hayes & Jarvis Rating
Average: 4.5 (1 vote)
Hotel Category
Deluxe
Location Type
National park
TripAdvisor Review
Tripadvisor rating 526 Reviews
a cat that is standing in front of a leopard

Hotel highlights

  • Choice of tents and lodges from exclusive and intimate to more family friendly and socialable
  • Exceptional Big Five safari experiences
  • Views across the bushveld, savannah and nearby waterholes
  • Delicious cuisine and dining experiences

Hotel Features

General Information

  • Check-in Time:
    13:00
  • Check-out Time:
    11:00

Main Facilities

  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa facilities
  • Wifi

Accommodation Type

  • Lodge

Board Basis Options

  • Full Board

For Families

  • Babysitting
  • Family Rooms
  • Kid's Club

Hotel Location

Location Highlights

Thornybush Private Game Reserve

  • National park
  • approx 1-2 hours from Hoedspruit airport
  • Accommodation situated in a 14,500-hectare Thornybush Nature Reserve
  • Thornybush Nature Reserve runs adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park
  • Remarkable fauna and flora throughout the Nature Reserve
  • Suitable for those travelling the Panorama Route
526 Reviews 99% of travellers recommended this hotel

Traveller ratings

  • Excellent 485
  • Very Good 36
  • Average 5
  • Poor 0
  • Terrible 0

What to Expect

  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness

Reviews

Feb 12, 2020

A world apart awaits you

London, Canada

On our way to a medical mission for eye surgery we were able to squeeze a day at this superb lodge and get in two game drives. We were put in the Royal rooms with our son having his own cabin to himself, a full separate kitchen dining room and a huge separate bungalow for us with plunge pool overlooking the bushveldt. The food was superb, The individual treatment on the game drives was absolutely perfect. There were only two other guests but you never share a vehicle with more than 2-3 others I am told even when its busy. Our guide (I am so sorry I cannot remember his name) was trying so hard to find us a leopard.. but in doing so we dove into the bush over and over with his agile driving and through streams and dry river beds. I can go on an on but I just wanted to say thanks for hosting us on route to our medical mission in Acornhoek just a few km away where another world awaited us. This lodge was a dream. We wanted to return for another night but we were just too busy at the hospital. I would highly recommend staying here.
Jan 14, 2020

Life changing experience

Seattle, Washington

We couldn't have dreamed up a better place to have our first safari. My two teenagers, husband and I loved everything about Thornybush! The biggest shout out goes to Sarah, our Safari Guide, who made the experience so interesting. She taught us about behaviors and how every thing in the bush is valuable. My father died while on this trip and the experience was truly the best grief counseling I could have ever gotten. You truly see the cycle of life and how we all have a role to play. At Thornybush, you will approach every animal sighting with respect. There will never be more than two land rovers at any sighting. You will go for long periods of time without seeing any other signs of human life. It's so beautiful, varied, and spectacular. Seven game drives and we saw different animals and behaviors each time. I thought a safari might be like a glorified zoo visit - but it's nothing like that. We truly are just guests in their home. In a three hour drive, you'll see virtually the entire cycle of life - mating, playing, eating, hunting. It's truly life changing. The luxury at Thornybush is also amazing - a beautiful, relaxing pool; an incredibly comfortable bed; a huge bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers; drinks and meals in the bush. It's a dream from start to finish. We all loved it!
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Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Room Types

Thornybush Chapungu Tented Bush Camp

Overlooking the magnificent bushveld, this small camp accommodates eight comfortable tents each with private facilities, a feature bushveld bath and connected by pathways to the main Camp. The decor of Chapungu Tented Bush Camp is tastefully furnished in old-world colonial splendor, offering guests the opportunity to relive the style and class of that bygone era. An ideal entry level lodge, all meals are taken together to share the excitement of the days game viewing experiences. Just a few minutes drive from Thornybush Game Lodge, visit their spa and inudlge in an early evening treatment.

Please note, Chapungu Tented Bush Camp only accepts guests 16+ years old. 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Family Suite

Thornybush Game Lodge

Offering unrivalled big game experiences and fantastic views over the savannah and nearby waterhole, Thornybush Game Lodge is a very stylish safari retreat which is enhanced by exquisite accommodation and sublime cuisine. 

As a slightly larger safari lodge, Thornybush Game Lodge offers the versatility to cater for couples seeking a romantic setting and seclusion, as well as families and small groups. Children are truly welcomed and entertained at Thornybush, with game drives and special activities tailored to meet their needs, including a complimentary 'Ranger in Training' pack. 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included

Thornybush n'Kaya Lodge

With just four exclusive suites surrounding an inviting communal pool area, nKaya Lodge overlooks the Drakensberg mountain range, and is the ideal place for discerning guests to experiences a quiet, private and peaceful safari experience. nKaya Game Lodge has recently undergone a soft furnings upgrade, with the lounge, bar and verandah decorated in warm earthy tones and indigenous woods. The enormous fireplace in the lounge becomes the focial point where guests can listen to the crackle of the fire and the night sounds of Africa as the animals come to drink at the floodlit waterhole.

Unique to the Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection, nKaya has the flexibility to accommodate either eight single en-suite facilities, perfect for small solo groups, or 4 spacious completely self contained suites with a comfortable lounge area for private entertaining and relaxation.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room

Thornybush The River Lodge

Secluded amongst the vast bushveld panoramas of Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, The River Lodge discreetly accommodates five luxurious suites overlooking the seasonal Timbavati River. Enjoy exclusive safari experiences either by vehicle or on foot and admire the abundance of wildlife.

Each suite is spacious and decorated in sophisticated African chic. Sit out on your elevated deck with private plunge pool and admire the magnificent views. For ultimate relaxation choose to soak in the bathtub, or be at one with nature in the outside shower, as you look out across the spectacular panoramic views.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • In Room WiFi
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Telephone
  • Towels included

Thornybush Simbambili Lodge

Unlike the other lodges, Thornybush Simbambili Lodge is actually situated in the northern part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, nestled amongs dense stands of knobthorn and jackalberry trees along the meandering Manyeleti River. Nine recently renovated suites are elegantly designed immersed within the surrounding natural environment, with private plunge pools overlooking the savanna and woodlands. 

Renowned for regular leopard sightings and an abundance of game species and extraordinary bird life, Thornybush Simbambili Lodge combines an exclusive safari experience with tireless attention to detail and a luxurious personalised service. 

Please note,  Thornybush Simbambili Lodge only accepts guests 16+ years old. 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Hairdryer
  • In Room WiFi
  • Minibar
  • Private Pool
  • Safe
  • Separate Shower
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Telephone
  • Towels included
Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Family Friendly Facilities

hayesandJarvis kids club

Kid's Programme

On arrival children receive a complimentary welcome pack which will keep them entertained throughout their stay. Children are allocated to specific rangers who enjoy looking after younger guests. Game drives and activities can be tailored to suit children's interests and attention spans. Baby sitters and child minders are available at an additional cost. There are also menu's specially prepared for children.

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