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“Spectacular!”

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Thornybush Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Spectacular!”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Our safari at Thornybush was nothing short of fantastic. Our ranger was Cristoff and his tracker was Herman, who both knew the reserve like the back of their hands and found every one of the big 5 animals and then some. We had rare treats as we caught lions mating, young leopards feeding on a wildebeast, a herd of 14 elephants watering at a pond as our truck sat among them, baby hyenas being nursed by their mothers, two different white rhino herds, hippos, buffalo, impala, warthogs. and much more. Four days may sound like a lot of time but it went fast and every day there were new experiences. The Thornybush Lodge staff are top-notch and so attentive we felt almost self-conscious at first. Our butler was Anthony and he is a gem. Kristina supervised the staff and seemed to be there day and night while we were there. Our lodge was beautifully rustic but extremely comfortable with a bed that seemed the size of a football pitch. We were there during World Cup and the staff went out of their way to see that we could watch the games at night in the lounge area. This was the experience of a lifetime that we will never forget and hope to return some day with grandchildren.

Room Tip: The rooms are small, comfortable lodges with large bathroom, huge bed and a wooden deck. Each one is...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carl506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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344 reviews from our community

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English first
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We have just returned from a wonderful family holiday in South Africa. Every single aspect of our trip was fabulous but the pièce de résistance was our two nights at Thornybush Game Lodge.

The lodge itself is stunning, the suites magnificent, the food to die for, the people were just so friendly and our ranger Doug and tracker Alson were awesome. The game drives were exciting and the animals we saw were fantastic - lots of lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, rhino, honey badger, bush baby, chameleon to name but a few. And all so close you could almost reach out and touch them.......

This is surely one of the best safari offerings in South Africa today and we would not hesitate to recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank tomcal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

The rooms at Thorny Bush were excellant for our three night stay. The meals overlooking the dry river bed were good and I had one of the best curry's ever prepared by the chef Solly, in fact he even gave me his recipe.
The game viewing was great but Charles and Peter having searched for nearly 12 hours (3 Game Drives) failed to find the elusive Black Rhino. Came very close smelt , heard and saw the trees moving but no visual.
This is quite a big game lodge so request a room close to the main area if possible.

Room Tip: Close as you can to the main area if you don't like walking too far.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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2 Thank horse6633
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We just returned from a trip to South Africa in which we spent 3 nights at the Thornybush Main Game Lodge. The staff was friendly and helpful and the cabins were very nice and comfortable. Food was very good. Of course the highlight of our stay were the early morning and late afternoon game drives. Charles and Peter (our guide and tracker) were very knowledgeable and we saw more animals than we had anticipated. I must admit being a few feet away from Lions was a bit unnerving but also an unforgetable experience.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kathyc2136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

After a pleasant flight of just on an hour we touched down right outside the main lodge. We were pleasantly surprised by the lodge and its surroundings. We have visited many lodges in Africa and weren't too sure what to expect - really fantastic. The surroundings are beautiful with a dry river bed as the focal point. The rooms are well appointed - just a little tired. But I believe they are due for a facelift. The staff were really helpful and the ranger Charles and tracker Peter get full marks. A special last evening was arranged by the ranger and tracker for sundowner's on the riverbank. Beautiful lanterns light the path down to a lovely fire and a table set and decorated with such care.The game viewing was also fantastic, mother leopard and her two cubs playing with each other in the early morning, All of the big five in our 4 night stay. Best of all was a relaxing massage at the spa.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Teresa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vale of Glamorgan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

What we anticipated at Thornybush was far exceeded by the real thing! We stayed in a lodge - overlooking a dry riverbed - which was very comfortable with many luxuries. The main lodge was stunning - real Out of Africa!, the staff were extremely attentive but not in your face, the food excellent... then the best bit - the game drives!

Why did we spend a fortune on a zoom lense I ask! The animals were right by the side of the jeep on many occasions and although we utilised the long lens for smaller birds and mammels, lots of the bigger ones just sat and let us photograph to our hearts content. Charles and Pete our ranger and spotter were so knowledgeable and both met us with a smile each morning and evening for our drives.

The best part of our time there - with just two of us in a jeep with Charles and Pete - sitting by a pride of lions and feeling the ground and jeep shake as the male lion roared! Brought tears to our eyes.... unforgettable! That was Africa to me! For a first time in the bush - go to Thornybush - loved it!

Room Tip: We were in Lodge 14 - excellent but I dont think you could pick a "bad" one!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank avrilk581
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dalston, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014 via mobile

It is always worrying when one has to give full marks for absolutely everything, but in the case of Thornybush every single 5 star rating is fully justified. The lodge facilities, the catering and the lodge service were superb. However, the reason for going to a game reserve is to see the wildlife. Our morning and afternoon game drives were wonderfully run by Owen and July. Their determination that we saw, not just the big 5, but as many animals as possible was much appreciated. Owen's knowledge of birds and their calls was amazing and July's tracking was careful and always accurate. Owen took us on a special 2 hour walk through the bush, with great attention to detail and safety.
All of the staff at the lodge, including the senior management, were fantasic and no requirement was overlooked. Even the odd shower of rain seemed to enhance the experience. How they managed to organise our viewing of a group of 15 or more elephant bathing  and play fighting in one of the dams on our last drive is mind boggling! Thank you to all concerned. A superb experience and to be recommended. If you only have on chance for an African game experience, then go to Thornybush.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ronnie A
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 Spa 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 part of the Greater Kruger National Park, with a huge diversity of mammal and bird species, lies 14 000 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 Cruisers 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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