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 All Inclusive 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.

All Inclusive of: all meals and drinks, tea/coffee and snacks. Twice daily game 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

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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (443)
  • Very good (34)
  • Average (5)
  • Poor (0)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Fantastic experiences

Apr 30, 2019 Ian M Christchurch, United Kingdom

My wife and I have just had the most exhilarating experience at Thorney Bush main lodge. Everything was perfect. On arrival we were greated by our ranger, Ross, who was fantastic all the way through our game drives over 3 days. Ross and our tracker Hendrick were a great team and found us all of the big 5 and much more. On our last morning we even… Read more
My wife and I have just had the most exhilarating experience at Thorney Bush main lodge. Everything was perfect. On arrival we were greated by our ranger, Ross, who was fantastic all the way through our game drives over 3 days. Ross and our tracker Hendrick were a great team and found us all of the big 5 and much more. On our last morning we even got to see leopards mating. One evening we managed to get amongst a pride of lions who were around our vehicle in pitch blackness whilst stalking impala and on another trip a group of elephant walked within 10 feet of our vehicle. We were so close to the animals on multiple occasions it made it an incredible experience. Despite these close encounters we felt completely safe and privileged to be so close. The safaris were especially good because of the knowledge that Ross had about the animals, birds and insects and the bush in general. He was also able to get us in exactly the right place to allow us to see the wildlife and take great photos. We stopped each morning for coffee and in the evening for sundowners (drinks) at sunset which allowed more general chat and questions with Ross and Hendrick. We felt really lucky to have them as they were such brilliant trackers and so enthusiastic about the work they do. We learnt so much. The accommodation was luxurious. We had room 8 with a balcony overlooking the watering hole, where just after our arrival a young male elephant arrived for a drink and a shower! The staff were amazing. Our room was always spotless, the food was the most delicious I have probably ever tasted and the staff could not have been more friendly or helpful. Glory our butler was always very attentive and made sure our glasses were always topped up. On our departure we were able to say our thankyous and goodbyes to Ross and Hendrick. This was a lovely touch and was most appreciated by both of us. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Return Visit does not disappoint

Apr 27, 2019 Ionise Brisbane, Australia

Attended a 60th party at Thornybush staying at the main lodge. Fantastic venue for a three day event and the staff managed to surprise us constantly. Rooms have been refurbished since our last visit and they look fantastic. The jewel is obviously the animals and you see everything here - our highlight this time was seeing two leopards mating -… Read more
Attended a 60th party at Thornybush staying at the main lodge. Fantastic venue for a three day event and the staff managed to surprise us constantly. Rooms have been refurbished since our last visit and they look fantastic. The jewel is obviously the animals and you see everything here - our highlight this time was seeing two leopards mating - amazing experience. Our guide Grant was very knowledgeable. Overall highly recommend this place. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Very difficult to Surpass

Apr 22, 2019 ncressy127 Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

From Arrival to Departure everything was geared to making our stay as memorable as possible. Staff were amazing - so friendly, accommodating and helpful. The Room was extremely comfortable and generously apportioned. We went on 4 Drives and saw the Big 5 by the end of the second one. Every drive was so different and the ranger (and spotter)… Read more
From Arrival to Departure everything was geared to making our stay as memorable as possible. Staff were amazing - so friendly, accommodating and helpful. The Room was extremely comfortable and generously apportioned. We went on 4 Drives and saw the Big 5 by the end of the second one. Every drive was so different and the ranger (and spotter) imparted a great deal of information each Drive. Outstanding from start to finish Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 5+ Star Experience

Apr 22, 2019 thomassT8328KW Davidson, North Carolina

Nothing could have been done better. The lodging, food and service were excellent. The game drives were also. We saw the Big Five up close and personal on at least three of our game drives. The sightings on the others were great also.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Incredible Bush Experience!

Apr 13, 2019 Debbie F Gauteng, South Africa

Thornybush Game Reserve really is a one in a million location! Service, accommodation, staff and food are outstanding. Our ranger Tendai and tracker July are in our opinion the best in the business. The Thornybush main lodge is a very special place and we are privileged to have been guests here. In my opinion it is a 6* experience.