Thornybush Nature Reserve



BEST TIME TO VISIT

May to September



PEAK SEASON

July to October and mid-December to early January



SECRET SEASON

Early January to March and November to mid-December



BEST WEATHER

April to May, and September to October

Snapshot of Thornybush Nature Reserve

  • Unfenced and Part of the Greater Kruger National Park
  • Great Diversity of Wildlife
  • World Class Lodging
  • Easy Access
  • Limited Lodges and Guests

Perfect For

  • Big 5 Sightings
  • Plains Game
  • Honeymoons
  • Family Holidays
  • Walking Safaris
  • Photographic Safaris
  • Fly-In Safaris
  • Celebrations, Weddings, Birthdays and more!

Highly Qualified Guides

Our guides and trackers take a holistic approach to wildlife experiences and strive to explain how the whole ecosystem is connected, from the dung beetle to the elephant. The better our guests understand how everything works together, the more the magic of the bush is revealed to them. Their passion brings something new to every drive or bush walk.

A Private Paradise

The 14,000-hectare Thornybush nature reserve is private, ensuring our guests enjoy intimate, uncrowded encounters with the wildlife as well as extended time on sightings. The game density is exceptional and we can take you as close to the action as possible. Once darkness falls, you’ll be treated to thrilling spotlight-lit night drives in search of rare nocturnal animals and big cats on the move.

Home to the Big 5

An abundance of perennial rivers, good groundwater levels and a range of vegetation means a diversity of plains game is drawn to Thornybush, which, in turn, attracts predators. From trumpeting elephant herds along river beds, to the roar of a lion pride echoing through our camps to the thrill of a close encounter with a stealthy leopard, Thornybush is the ideal place to see the icons of the African bushveld.

Explore Our Lodges

You can expect the finest interpretive experience from our incredible private and specialist guides.

Wildlife in Thornybush Nature Reserve

Thornybush is one of the oldest private nature reserves in South Africa and teems with plains game and the Big 5. It’s this diversity of wildlife that has made it such a celebrated safari destination.

Lion

Very Common
Big 5

Leopard

Very Common
Big 5

Buffalo

Very Common
Big 5

Rhino

Very Common
Big 5

Elephant

Very Common
Big 5

Cheetah

Rare
Magnificent 7

Wild Dog

Common
Magnificent 7

Hyena

Very Common
Popular With Guests

Giraffe

Very Common
Popular With Guests

Zebra

Very Common
Popular With Guests

Hippo

Very Common
Popular With Guests

Warthog

Very Common
Popular With Guests
Isaobel · Follow
13th Oct 2019

The 6 game drives were the most exciting experience … in open jeeps, you experience not just seeing animals in the wild, but actually feeling you are “with’ the animals. The professional game drive staff are knowledgeable, and always concerned about guest safety.

Stories/Blog

Chartered Flights to Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Time is precious so if you’re looking to maximize every moment spent on safari, guests have found that chartered flights to the Thornybush airstrip are the way

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Thornybush Joins the Greater Kruger National Park

Thornybush forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, which allows the free movement of animals across 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) of land.

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A Safari Wedding with Thornybush is Your Dream Come True – Here’s Why

There’s no doubt that a safari setting is one of the most romantic locations in which to get married. Under the canopies of acacia trees or nestled in a dry riverbed, surrounded by multihued blooms, golden grasses, endless horizons and moody cloud cover will capture your perfect day in the most memorable way.

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3 Reasons Why South African Safaris Are Unbeatable!

South Africa is the perfect place to enjoy a safari experience. If you’re not yet convinced, we’ve given our top three reasons why we believe you should come vi

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A Fond Farewell to Nic Griffin

After 12 years at the helm of Thornybush, Nic Griffin has reached a well earned retirement. We reflect on Nic’s incredible achievements and bid him a happy reti

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Finding the Big Five on Safari

Finding the Big 5 on safari is the dream of many guests and at Thornybush the chances are very high – but do you know which animals form part of this group? Rea

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