Your home in the African wilderness

Our purpose at Thornybush is to create out-of-the-ordinary safari experiences for our guests, while also enriching the lives of our staff and the well-being of the surrounding communities. We understand that while our guests enjoy the comfort and luxury of our lodges, what they’ll remember most are the people they meet, the experiences in the wilderness and how both combine to give them that special Thornybush feeling.

We can’t wait to welcome you to your home in the African wilderness!

Beautiful Lodges

Spectacular Sightings

Expert Guides

Passionate People

Community Engagement

Thornybush Story

Thornybush is one of the original nature reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park, with the first lodge opening its doors in 1961. Since then, Thornybush has added more lodges to its collection and now operates in both the Thornybush and Sabi Sand Private Nature Reserves.

Along the way, we’ve been involved in a range of wildlife projects such as the first translocation of an entire elephant herd from Kruger, one of the first leopard introductions onto a private reserve, extensive studies of pangolins and the first release of a black rhino onto a private nature reserve in the lowveld.

In 2017, Thornybush dropped its fences adjoining the world-famous Kruger National Park, allowing for new herds of wildlife to roam freely across the 14,000-hectare reserve and realise our full potential as a private nature reserve.

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Thornybush Community

In our eyes, the Thornybush Community includes all our dedicated staff, the people in the surrounding communities and each of our guests. We also have a non-profit arm of Thornybush which aims to nurture and uplift the surrounding local communities and businesses that many of our staff members come from. Currently we support a primary school, high school and local NGO that focuses on medical care for farm workers and child support for their children.

The greatest successes, however, have come from two small farms, run by the local enterprises, that supply luxury lodges with their fresh produce.

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Food at Thornybush

From home-style South African classics to contemporary dishes with international flair, all of our meals at Thornybush are grand events where the chef’s individual creativity shines through.

The range of dishes, often with a local flavour, will be one of the highlights of your safari at Thornybush. And, whether it’s a romantic dinner on your private deck, in a lantern-lit boma or the magical setting of a dry riverbed – the locations of the dinners are often as impressive as the meal themselves.

Thornybush spa

Add another element of relaxation to your stay with our incredibly popular spa treatments. Let your mind drift off, with the sounds of the African bush calling from outside, as you treat yourself to a treatment or massage. Thornybush lodges use a distinctive 360-degree approach to health and wellness.

The spa treatments are just one aspect of the wellness, relaxation and transformation that we seek to provide, with the bush air and revitalising nature of the wild landscape also playing an important part.

Transformative Travel

At Thornybush, we strive to make our experiences more meaningful, immersive and sustainable. We’ve seen first-hand how this can have a positive impact on not only our guests, but the community and environment our guests encounter too.

Our goal is to help you reconnect with nature and, in turn, reconnect with yourself and the friends and family you’re traveling with.

As you explore outwardly, you also enrich your inner life, creating a positive personal impact that continues beyond the trip and stays with you for the rest of your life.

Personalised Experiences

We’ve come to understand that every guest is different at Thornybush, each with their own dream of what they’d like from their safari with us. By customising experiences specific to each guest – whether it’s on a game drive, a mid-morning bushwalk or a private dinner – we’re able to create unforgettable, lasting memories.

Being somewhat flexible in how we do things, we’re able to cater for different dietary requirements, offer a romantic bush dinner in a secluded spot or special event to celebrate something significant or meaningful.

People Development

More than the aesthetics of the lodges or even the wildlife experiences, it’s the people who are the soul of Thornybush and the reason people love coming back to us. Knowing this, we always aim to keep our teams engaged and passionate through setting goals, creating opportunities and developing skills.

Helping every member of our Thornybush family reach their full potential is incredibly enriching and creates an environment that is easy to work in, bringing out the very best of  what each and every one of us has to offer.

Find out why guests love Thornybush

alancA9323WG Avatar
Simply the best !! ( apologies Tina)
5 star rating

It was our 50th wedding anniversary and due to Covid we delayed booking anything due to travel restrictions. Eventually as the restrictions lifted we opted for a local experience to limit flying and quarantine. Found this lodge online and due... read more


2 days ago
644robertoa Avatar
5 star rating

Posto a dir poco stupendo!
Struttura fantastica, camere spettacolari e servizio eccellente.

Il safari è davvero unico e abbiamo visto davvero di tutto, leoni, elefanti, Leopardi, rinoceronti…oltre a zebre, giraffe, iene e molto altro

Il cibo è delizioso e tutti sono molto gentili...
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3 weeks ago
SuvanaS1 Avatar
Dreams do come true
5 star rating

We had an epic stay at Saseka Tented camp. Jimmy our butler was always on point and never hesitated to pander to our every need. Zanele was amazing and even stayed with us to take pictures of our engagement. They... read more


4 weeks ago
SuvanaS1 Avatar
Awe Inspiring
5 star rating

Undoubtedly the best private game reserve stay we have ever had. The hosting, the accommodation, the food and the sightings were all sublime. We even had the pleasure of seeing Hosana (the famous male leopard) twice in our stay. Thank... read more


4 weeks ago
SuvanaS1 Avatar
Tasteful Elegance
5 star rating

We spent a very lovely 2 night stay at Thornybush Game Lodge. It was a tasteful elegance despite its large size. We were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed our time with Tracey our ranger. The food was delicious... read more


4 weeks ago
DonnaFay00 Avatar
Best bush experience of my life!
5 star rating

I am only getting to this review a year after staying yet the impact this absolutely incredible place had on me is still very fresh in my heart and mind. Our entire experience at Saseka was the most amazing time... read more


1 month ago

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