Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

The hotel

Romantic riverside cabins; a tented camp in the African bush; family hideaways with child-friendly game-drives – each of the small and intimate lodges in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve collection brings you a unique and unforgettable safari experience. Set in 14,000 hectares of wilderness in the game-rich Timbavati region, which fringes Kruger National Park, the camp has recently dropped its fences to allow wildlife to roam freely and give you optimal game spotting opportunities. From the crest of a hill overlooking the Drakensburg mountains to the banks of a lake, this collection lets you pick your lodge location and safari style – but whichever setting you choose, you can relax with Thornybush’s service and enjoy incredible game-drives in search of some of the 48 mammal species that call the reserve home, including that photogenic 'Big Five'.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool

Where is it

On 14,000-hectares of private land, bordering Kruger's Timbavati Game Reserve, home to the 'Big Five'. Transfer time from Hoedspruit Airport: 30 minutes.

Hotel information

The 4V Monwana Game Lodge - offers 4 elegant suites each with private deck or patio overlooking the bushveld or the Monwana watering hole, en-suite bathrooms with bath and shower facilities. Luxury King Suite has a lounge area with open fireplace, private deck and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults. Family Suites can sleep 2 adults and 2 children.

Full Board includes: all meals (drinks are not included) and two activities.

The 5V Waterside Lodge - set on the banks of a tranquil lake, adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, offers 20 en-suite thatched suites. Each suite has an en-suite bathroom, indoor shower and private deck area, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

The 5V Thornybush Game Lodge - offers 20 stylish air-conditioned suites, including 2 family suites. Luxury Suites overlook the Monwana River, each with en-suite facilities, outdoor shower and private decks. Family Suites are larger with a lounge area and sleeper sofa, suitable for children, these suites also have a private plunge pool.

The 5V River Lodge offers only 4 luxurious and spacious suites that overlook the Monwana River, each African styled with a private pool on an elevated deck, floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the bathroom and an outdoor shower.

A choice of 4V and 5V lodges and camps of differing sizes, each offering a BOMA area, swimming pool, curio shop, bar and viewing deck. Spa* (Thornybush Game Lodge only). Game-drives and bush walks.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (489)
  • Very good (36)
  • Average (5)
  • Poor (0)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent

Apr 14, 2020 108nigelj Sutton, United Kingdom

Only spent 2 of our 3 nights due to COVID19. That said we were made to feel special and I couldn’t think of a better place to escape the concerns of the world. Our ranger Grant and tracker John were great and we got to see the big five and a lot more. Food was very good and lots of it throughout our stay as well as on the safaris themselves.… Read more
Only spent 2 of our 3 nights due to COVID19. That said we were made to feel special and I couldn’t think of a better place to escape the concerns of the world. Our ranger Grant and tracker John were great and we got to see the big five and a lot more. Food was very good and lots of it throughout our stay as well as on the safaris themselves. Great setting and the rooms were just the best ever, with views across the bush. Would love to revisit when the world gets back to normal. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Not quite up to 5* but almost

Mar 27, 2020 P598738 Stuart, Florida

We were lucky to stay there before the worst of the C19 problems. Our experience was largely superb. The rooms were wonderful and the staff was super. Both our ranger and tracker were top shelf. We saw every animal we hoped to see more than once and some animals we did not expect to see. That brings us down to the food. Like wine, food can be… Read more
We were lucky to stay there before the worst of the C19 problems. Our experience was largely superb. The rooms were wonderful and the staff was super. Both our ranger and tracker were top shelf. We saw every animal we hoped to see more than once and some animals we did not expect to see. That brings us down to the food. Like wine, food can be very good but not to one's taste, That was the case for us at Thornybush. We thought it was 'pretty good' but not great. 4 nights with 6 game drives. Rated 4.5. Thornybush is highly reccomended. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating The Ultimate in a South African Safari

Feb 23, 2020 Doc687 Rochester, Minnesota

I didn't think anything could top our trip to witness the great migration in Tanzania. I was so wrong! This lodge, the beautiful preserve, a superb group of trackers and guides as well as supporting staff made this an excellent adventure. Everything was beyond expectations. The accommodations were well thought out, comfortable, private and well… Read more
I didn't think anything could top our trip to witness the great migration in Tanzania. I was so wrong! This lodge, the beautiful preserve, a superb group of trackers and guides as well as supporting staff made this an excellent adventure. Everything was beyond expectations. The accommodations were well thought out, comfortable, private and well cared for. The food was also fresh, delicious and served with gentility. The enthusiasm and commitment of the staff shone through at every turn. I would highly recommend this as a must see and do if in South Africa. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A world apart awaits you

Feb 12, 2020 HonestElliot Toronto, 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… Read more
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. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Life changing experience

Jan 14, 2020 TrianaTeresa 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… Read more
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! Read less