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All reviews game lodge bush experience white rhino animal sightings exceeded expectations an unforgettable experience five star three nights food was amazing out of this world orlando thornybush guide ranger tracker accommodation africa
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Reviewed 3 December 2016 via mobile

The reviews are so good I was prepared to be a little let down.
I won't be overly redundant but the service and the quality of people working here are extraordinary. From the moment we checked in we felt appreciated and welcome. The food is good but the experience is great.
Noel is a true gentlemen and made sure our 5 year old was thrilled at every meal. The ladies that helped her bake cookies were sweet and kind. Even the guides that walked us back to our room went out their way to connect with our daughter and make her feel special.
Grant and Million are the absolute best. Each of our 6 drives had something epic happen. They are true professionals and deserve all the praise they receive on this site. We really enjoyed spending time with them and they worked hard to make our experience memorable.
I gained additional appreciation for Grant when we visited another high end lodge later in our trip. The game drives were so weak by comparison. I explained to our new guides what we saw with Grant and they were blown away. They themselves haven't seen that much action and this is their livelihood. Lions killing and eating an antelope, elephants enjoying a swim, a leopard moving her cubs, multiple rhino encounters, you name it. We saw each of the big 5 on almost every drive. Absolutely amazing.
I would highly recommend this game lodge to anyone looking for a luxury, authentic, memorable experience. A true 5 star facility and a staff that we'll always remember. Genuinely good people that are exceptional at what they do. A very sincere "thank you" from us.

Date of stay: December 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank traveler32678
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 20 November 2016 via mobile

The best safari experience ever! The lodge is a 5 star accomodation, simply excellent in everything. The room is spacious and beautiful, food is good and people lovely. The safari is a great experience! A very special thank to our rangers Orlando Reyno and Simone, professional, nice and truly passioned in what they do! Looking forward to do it again!!!! Top!

Date of stay: November 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Giuliagr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 17 November 2016

We have been to a few luxury game reserves before but the experience we had at ThornyBush blew all of those out of the water!
What a truly amazing experience, from the time you step out of your arrival vehicle!
The staff are attentive, friendly and helpful.
The lodge is truly beautiful!
Seeing as we had a child aged 9 with us, we booked the Family suite, of which there are only 2 at the lodge.
The suite was spacious, clean, well kitted out and very luxurious.
WiFi was excellent which took us by surprise seeing as we were out in the sticks.
My son was VERY happy :)

Apon being introduced to our personal ranger and tracker, we expressed our desire to see a leopard - that sighting has been on our bucket list for awhile.
Our ranger, smiled and told us he would see what he could do!
AND WOW!! He delivered!!
Our first morning game drive started with a BANG!! Female leopard with a kill and we managed to get within 2 metres of her!! WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!
Seeing as we had our own vehicle, ranger and tracker we had the time to follow her for awhile, watching & getting the most amazing photos - she was gorgeous!
That afternoon drive also did not dissappoint! Elephant, Buffalo, vultures, lion, lion cubs even a Pangolin!! The list of viewings went on and on!

The knowledge of the rangers and trackers is immense - your time in the bush with them will be so memorable!
During the coffee breaks on the game drives, our tracker would take my son aside and show him all the spoor/tracks... We were amazed that a square metre could hold SO much information!

At meal times you are assigned your own waitron, who was attentive and could get the chef to satisfy my son's picky eating habits. Quite an achievement! :)

We still talk about our wonderful family holiday at Thornybush lodge.
We will definitely be back!
If you plan a few days here on your holidays you will not be dissappointed, a truly magical space - its animals and its people.

Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank DeimosMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 7 November 2016 via mobile


This was our second trip to South Africa and our third experience of a stay in a game reserve. Our first had been at "The Outpost" and "King's Camp" in September 2014; both different experiences but amazing stays. After a couple of suggestions from our travel agent, we decided on Thornybush Game Lodge this time, primarily for it location (situated on the banks of a dry riverbed). We were certainly not disappointed by the location, accommodation, service or meals. The meals were delicious and our ranger (Christoff) and his tracker (Hendrick) gave us some fantastic game drives. We couldn't have asked for more... up close to many animals such as lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, leopards.....the list goes on. Christoff was extremely knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions patiently. We had a fantastic 5 nights there and would thoroughly recommend this place to anyone considering a African safari experience.

PS The only negative that I would mention was the suggested "average" tips in the
information manual in our room. Although it stated that "of course they were discretionary" we felt the mention of figures was unnecessary. If we had indeed taken notice of the suggested amounts we would have had parted with another $500 (Australian).

Date of stay: November 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Janette A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 October 2016

It is ridiculous how the first 70 game lodges in this list have similar glowing reviews! I stayed 2 nights at the Shumbalala lodge and 2 nights here. I gave excellent reviews to both! I am guessing that the whole touristic industry in the area have very high standards. The Thornybush lodge is bigger and cater to larger groups or families. It has a spa and a large and comfortable common area. One dinner was served in a dry riverbed with candlelights. It was surreal! The game drives are excellent in both lodges. Because Shumbalala is smaller, they can provide warm jackets which are really helpful during the early morning drive in early September. You can't go wrong in any of these two lodges. Book it now!

Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank foncho11
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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