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“Unforgettable!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thornybush Game Lodge

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Thornybush Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unforgettable!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

It was the small touches that really made the stay at Thornybush fantastic, we felt like we were really in good hands. The staff were wonderful, the food was tasty and plentiful, and the rooms lovely. I really liked the balconies on each cottage and the indoor/ outdoor bathroom, allowing a lovely view and total privacy. We travelled as 4 friends, not couples and were concerned that it may be too honeymoon-like, but the accommodation was great for either couples or friends. There was a problem with the hot water in one of our cottages, I was impressed at how quickly it was resolved. Despite wild animals walking around, I felt very safe in the accommodation area. The common areas were homely and relaxing, with a few monkeys and deer always nearby too.
The highlight of course were the game drives. July and Greg were fantastic at showing us the park, we saw so many animals, very close, it was wonderful - literally! There were 4 or 6 guests per car, meaning it was easy to see to animals and with lots of space to move around. With their great communication system, if multiple jeeps were in a particular area, it was ensured that there were only 1 or 2 vehicles at each animal at a time, which was refreshing compared to other parks! July, our tracker is very skilled, and one highlight was tracking a black rhino until we found it! The jeeps were open-top, allowing for great animal-viewing, but I still felt very safe, and rain jackets were provided if necessary. The sunsets during the game drives in the evenings were magical.
I can fully recommend a trip to Thornybush!

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jess150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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332 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

We arrived at Thorny Bush Lodge to drinks on the patio. The staff were well dressed and accommodating.

The Game Ranger and Tracker who took us on our daily trips through the reserve were well spoken and filled with knowledge. Their enthusiasm and passion for their job was outstanding.

Everyday we managed to see the Big Five.

Well done to the staff and management of Thorny Bush Lodge

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

I actually visited Thornybush in 2008 with my mum but I cannot rate it highly enough! Absolutely amazing experience, everything was perfect, best holiday of my life. Incredible! We'd love to go back. The reserve itself, rooms and hotel location, food, staff, guides, trackers and of course the animals were amazing. Couldn't be improved!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yesitsjess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

My boyfriend and I spent 2 nights at Thornybush and it was better than we ever had imagined. It has basically ruined all future bush holidays for us as we don't think we will come close to the spoils that this holiday offered! The food was delicious, the accommodation spectacular and the staff were really fantastic. Our guide, Greg, and tracker, July, were awesome - and for the first time (after many bush trips) I got to see Leopard and Cheetah!

Thank you for an incredibly luxurious bush escape from the city. We hope to be back soon!

Room Tip: All the rooms overlook the dry riverbed and they are all stunning and incredibly private.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank L_H0ward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

My wife and I staid for three nights beginning October 15. The Lodge was everything we could have hoped it would be. All the staff were wonderful from the time we came until we left. They made us feel at home and there was nothing they wouldn't do for us. The food was excellent and available from when we awoke (5a.m.) until after dinner and the staff was very efficient. Ocean, our guide, and Ishmael, our tracker, were outstanding. The knowledge they imparted to us was amazing!! We not only saw the big five, not including the Black Rhinoceros, and Cheetahs, but many other animals as well. They were a joy to be with. We asked Ocean if he would take us on a tracking walk and it was very interesting to say the least. By the way, Ocean has a wonderful laugh. We will always remember it.

I taught Ocean and Ishmael how to "chest bump" as a way to say thank you for an incredible time. The staff got a big laugh watching Ocean and Ishmael do it.

Room Tip: We stayed in "18" which was very close to the main area.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nevnab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

I was part of a group of 20 folks who visited the lodge for 3 days. I can safely say that everyone had a wonderful time. Seeing all the animals was amazing but to say only that would short change the experience. The staff was equally amazing. They were very accommodating in every respect. They always were pleasant and helpful from serving coffee in the cold mornings to tasty dinners late at night.
The animals certainly are the show and seeing the Big 5 within 48 hours is hard to beat. Stalking the male lion at night and hearing its roar is an experience I am unable to describe in words. Having a female lion walk up to your jeep is a heart stopping moment. Seeing the elephants outside your room munching on trees, less than 10 yards away, is an encounter you won’t forget.
The best way to describe it is to say I would get up from my desk right now and go back without any hesitation.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard410QOL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

Great lodge situated close to Hoedspruit airport for easy access to Capetown or Johannesburg.

Very well appointed villas with outdoor and indoor shower. Large rooms with air conditioning, heating, and all conveniences. The main Lodge is the only access to wi-Fi and this drops out a lot of the time! not really an issue until the credit card can't be processed! Food was fabulous with the best Muesli home made! Their pastry chef deserves an award and they can put on the best Boma ever!!! Their guides and trackers deserve special mention for their skill, diplomacy and patience along with their genuine love of Africa's flora and fauna. thank you Christoph for your knowledge on photography and canon cameras!! Highly recommend this Lodge and would love to return.

Room Tip: room 9 and 18 are closest to pool,spa and dinning. Ask for rooms overlooking river
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelmarsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thornybush Game Lodge

Property: Thornybush Game Lodge
Address: Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Thornybush Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thornybush Game Lodge (Graded 5 star by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa)- 18 luxury suites & 2 family suites (40 guests). Nestled in the heart of Big 5 country adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, with a huge diversity of mammal and bird species, lies 11 500 hectares of pristine African Bushveld, this is the Thornybush Nature Reserve. The elegant and exclusive Thornybush Game Lodge awaits discovery by the discerning traveller. Unrivaled big game viewing is complemented by exquisite accommodation and sublime cuisine. Thornybush Game Lodge boasts 18 stylish air-conditioned luxury suites and 2 family suites, all with extensive living areas overlooking the seasonal Monwana River. From within the luxurious suites, each with full en-suite facilities and private decks, sweeping vistas can be enjoyed over the savannah and an ever-active water hole. Superb attention to detail and highly personalised service make for a memorable stay. Enjoy exciting dawn and dusk safaris in open Land Rovers and on walking safaris, take a moment to browse in the intimate library or simply enjoy a treatment in the Beauty Spa or relax at the pool with your favourite cocktail as you bask in Africa’s glorious sunshine. An African safari can be a life-changing experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thornybush Game Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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