Thornybush Game Lodge

Thornybush Game Lodge public area

Thornybush Game Lodge  

Situated in the Thornybush Nature Reserve - Part of the Greater Kruger Park

Thornybush Nature Reserve is a 15,000-hectare private nature reserve in the Greater Kruger Park area of South Africa that shares a 22-kilometre fenceless border with the Kruger National Park.

A grande dame in the safari industry, Thornybush Game Lodge was one of the first commercial camps in South Africa and firmly established Thornybush Nature Reserve as a world renowned game-viewing destination in the Greater Kruger Park.

Another key element that’s integral to Game Lodge’s success is the passionate management and staff who’ve worked there for years, and you can expect warm smiles and engaging, personal service throughout your stay.

Thornybush Game Lodge purpose is to give each one of their guests a life-changing safari experience in this treasured part of the world. We also know everyone enjoys spending their time in their own way, whether it’s a guided bush walk or wellness treatment, interacting with our local communities or dining by candlelight on your private deck.


Sixteen luxurious suites fan out from the main area with riverbed views

Thornybush Gale Lodge Luxury suite
Thornybush Game Lodge

Private and stylishly decorated, the Luxury Suites are a joy to spend a night in and difficult to leave. The large windows above the bath and giant sliding doors to the deck offer incredible views of the riverbed and any animals that may be wallowing there.

Each of the 16 Luxury Suites have an en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower and have been carefully designed and spaced to provide privacy. The elegant finishes and extremely comfortable beds complete the impressive rooms.

We pride ourselves on a personalised approach, and do our utmost to accommodate our guests’ particular interests or requirements – so if there’s something particular you’d like to do please just let us know.


A family enjoying a private game drive - this could be you!

Lodge Facilities

Gym The lodge has a fully air-conditioned gym available for guest use. Facilities include an electronic bicycle and step machine as well as free weights. Water and gym towels are available in the gym for your convenience.

Curio shop A range of local and other African curios and crafts are available for purchase in our curio shop. Where possible, we source products locally to help support and develop our communities.

Spa Our bush Spa is a haven of peace and tranquillity, a sanctuary to reset body and mind. From deep cleansing facials and wellness massages to manicures and detoxing body treatments. Our professional therapists will tailor the treatments to suit your specific needs.

Library There is a well stocked library with a relaxing atmosphere for you to enjoy.

Enjoying the lodge

What you will like about Thornybush

  • Intimate lodge with only 16 luxury chalets
  • Highly experienced and knowledgeable game rangers and trackers
  • The lodge is solar-powered during the day and is a plastic-free zone
  • Chef Solly’s legendary oxtail stew served at our boma dinner and his signature Ottolenghi-style salads
  • Treatments at the Spa with the sounds of the bush in the background
  • Easy access by road and air

Thornybush Game Lodge
Thornybush Game Lodge

Safari activities

Thornybush offers a five star safari experience.

  • Game Drives With a steady stream of the Big Five roaming freely under the vast skies of the Greater Kruger Park, we’re able to give our guests consistent and thrilling sightings of these iconic animals on twice-daily game drives, no two game drives are ever the same.
  • Private Vehicle Safari For a more exclusive bush experience, you can book a private open-air safari vehicle and our expert guides will tailor game drives to suit your needs.
  • Family Safari It is the perfect Kruger safari destination as it caters for multigenerational families. Thornybush Game Lodge now introduces Kamara house, a new private two-bedroom family safari villa.
  • Bush Walks Guests can enjoy informative bush walks for guests over the age of 16 years. Professionally trained guides cater to guests’ preferences and fitness levels pointing out animal tracks, dung, hiding spots, rare birds and sharing details about the rich cultural history of the area.
  • Honeymoon Safari From bush sundowners and private candlelit dinners to couples’ spa treatments and a surprise bush breakfast, our staff will take care of all the romantic touches so that you can relax and enjoy this special time together.
  • Photography Thornybush now offers professional photography services for all your ‘on-safari’ needs! Think of the African bushveld as your backdrop, whether is sunset, sunrise or your entire trip, our on-site photographer will make sure you leave our lodges with more than just beautiful memories.
  • Wellness Safari Wellness Centre harmonises with the four elements of nature: earth, water, air, and fire. Each element is thoughtfully incorporated to create a serene and grounding atmosphere, providing guests with natural wellness.

Your day includes:

  • Early morning tea/coffee, a selection of fresh fruit and pastries on the deck overlooking the river
  • Morning ame drive (approximately 3+ hours) including a coffee/tea stop in the bush.
  • Mid-morning breakfast/brunch (continental and full hot breakfast).
  • Leisure time – enjoy the use of the swimming pool, relax on the deck chairs on the deck looking for animals coming to the riverbed. Alternatively, relax in library or in the luxury of your own suite.
  • Lunch (A la carte or chef’s specials)
  • Afternoon High Tea (tea or coffee and freshly baked sweet and savoury treats)
  • Afternoon/evening game activity (approximately 3+ hours), which includes a bushveld Sundowner break and a short night drive.
  • Dinner of African-inspired cuisine is served on the deck, or – weather permitting – around the fire in the open-air boma.

We suggest that guests arrive in time for lunch on their day of arrival not to miss out on any game drives during their stay.

Thornybush Game Lodge
Thornybush Game Lodge

Making a difference

Established in 2005, Thornybush Community is a registered non-profit organisation that aims to nurture and uplift our surrounding local communities. We recently collaborated on an exciting project with our NPO partner Nourish and the Anderson Construction Foundation to create the SEDIWA Hub at Nourish Eco Village. Nourish and SEDIWA (Sustainable Enterprise Development in Wildlife Areas) have two focus areas: connecting communities and conservation and enabling those communities to generate income through entrepreneurship and enterprise.

The SEDIWA Hub provides accredited and non-accredited training as well as hands-on learning in everything from basic early childhood development to financial literacy, sewing, hydroponics and agro-processing (making chilli sauces, chutneys and jams, for example). A computer lab encourages children and adults to learn essential tech skills, but also enables start-ups and small business owners to use Internet banking, websites and social media platforms.

Visiting Nourish Eco Village is a great cultural tourism experience as it brings together people from all walks of life and supports the SEDIWA Hub through its coffee shop, bakery and craft store. Nourish Eco Village is located just outside Thornybush Private Nature Reserve. The tour takes about three hours and transfer costs are quoted on request.

The Tango K9 Anti-Poaching Unit was created as a non-profit organisation to assist in the conservation of these endangered species on the ground utilising the specific skills of trained K9s (dogs) and their handlers. Thornybush guests can visit the Tango K9 unit to see first-hand how these highly trained dogs and their handlers operate and the brave work they do to combat poaching in the Greater Kruger Park area. You’ll also witness the remarkable relationships that have formed between man and his most loyal companion. The training centre operates in an undisclosed location within the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve to keep the K9s safe and undistracted so that they can carry out their training as working dogs.

Thonybush Game Lodge with Go Safari

Nothing arouses your senses like a game walk.

This is a Low Risk Malaria area.

Let Go SAfari design a Big 5 safari for you!

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