Big Five Safaris in Kruger

Thornybush and Sabi Sand share a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park, allowing a steady stream of free-roaming Big 5 safari animals and wildlife. The consistent sightings of Africa’s big 5 African safari iconic animals are a key factor in the success of our lodges. Guests will see much more than just elephants and lions because Thornybush is well known for the vast diversity of wildlife, indigenous to this area. All this is brought to life by our expert guide-and-tracker teams who have a deep understanding of the African bush with an inherent knack for finding the action with the Big five safari animals and more.

Beautiful Lodges

Spectacular Sightings

Expert Guides

Passionate People

Community Engagement

Private sightings

Game Drives

Our safari lodge guests go on game drives twice a day, at sunrise and sunset – enjoying exclusive access to wildlife sightings (regular sightings of the Big 5 safari animals). There are never more than three vehicles on a sighting, which means no jostling for a viewing position. This allows you to get exceptionally close to that leopard in a tree or elephants in a riverbed and other Big 5 safari animals as our vehicles can go off-road, so you’ll never miss a moment.

Bush Walks

Few things are as thrilling as setting off on foot in the African bush on a walking safari, as you feel a closer connection to the landscape and wildlife. We love showing our guests the smaller things up close and in a different way, while also knowing that the chance of a Big 5 safari animal encounter is always there.

A wildlife wonderland

Incredible density of game

Through a combination of abundant rivers, vegetation and terrain, wildlife are drawn to the Thornybush and Sabi Sand reserves. The large numbers of plains game attract predators, which sets the scene for one of nature’s most fascinating battles. As our guides and trackers like to say, ‘There’s always something happening out there. 

World-class guides and trackers

Our guides and trackers are among the best in the business – their ability to read the signs of nature and predict where the Big 5 safari animals will always astound our guests. Their teamwork and friendship are vital in working together to seek and find the signs of free-roaming wildlife in the bush. They also understand that the more our guests know, the better it gets for them and loves to explain how everything in the ecosystem is connected.

Stay at the finest safari lodges in the Kruger

Thornybush's collection of top-rated safari lodges offers some of the best Kruger Big Five Safaris in the Greater Kruger Park region.

Jackalberry Lodge

Jackalberry Lodge

Lean back and unwind at our Jackalberry Lodge, where views of the nearby waterhole and the distant Drankensberg mountain range, make for a splendid setting. Seven thatched suites are supremely comfortable, although you may find yourself drawn to the main area where you can relax and watch the wildlife passing by.


Little Saseka

Experience the ultimate intimacy of the Little Saseka. As a sole-use option, this space grants you the privacy of staying at your own lodge within the magnificent grounds of Saseka Tented Camp, overlooking the seasonal Monwana riverbed.

Saseka Tented Suite

Saseka Tented Camp

Our extraordinary 5-star lodge serves up understated luxury on the banks of the seasonal Monwana River, across eight spacious tented suites. The striking design of the lodge, luxurious touches and spectacular location have combined to create a lodge that is like no other in the Greater Kruger Park region.

Simbambili Game Lodge

Simbambili Game Lodge

Set in the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Simbambili impresses with its incredible game viewing opportunities. Managed with warmth and passion, Simbambili offers a down-to-earth yet luxurious bush experience where the world-class wildlife encounters, expert rangers, extensive private decks and welcoming atmosphere results in bucket-list experiences.

Thornybush Game Lodge

Thornybush Game Lodge

Thornybush Game Lodge, the original Thornybush establishment, has changed and evolved since 1961 to the sophisticated, down-to-each luxury lodge it is today. Warm-hearted staff, expert guides and unobstructed views of the waterhole from the deck are standout features.


Read our Kruger Big Five Safaris Reviews

Thornybush guests consistently rate our Kruger Big Five Safaris with a five star rating.

Sandy O Avatar
Wonderful return to the bush!
5 star rating

From the first enquiry to the final good bye I was given the most wonderful treatment by everyone!The staff at the lodge and the guide and tracker were all excellent, attentive to every need and so friendly!Thank you everyone -... read more

Sandy O

5 days ago
Tamryn Avatar
Unforgettable in every way
5 star rating

Thornybush is a true gem. Our family of five was spoiled from the min we arrived to the second we left. This is a must-do family experience. Our guide, Lindi, and tracker, KG were an exceptional team, we totally lucked... read more


1 week ago
Marinda2014 Avatar
Excellent experience of game viewing as well as nature
4 star rating

The informal arrangements at the lodge immediately made us feel right at home. As did the staff. The knowledge and skills of the tracker together with the great rapport between him and the ranger led us... read more


1 week ago
NGY Avatar
The most amazing experience
5 star rating

Our first Safari and what an amazing first it was. Simbambili exceeded all our expectations in every aspect. Kel and Ishmael were amazing. Every game drive was a wonderful experience. They are extremely knowledgeable in every aspect from the... read more


2 weeks ago
HEJAX Avatar
Spectacular In Every Way
5 star rating

Simply the best. Our three nights at Thornybush were magical in every way – far exceeding our expectations. Daniel and John, our guide and tracker, were simply the best. Following tracks and sounds miles off to show us incredible things... read more


2 weeks ago
Drew  K Avatar
Simbambili always a treat to visit
5 star rating

Happy to share that another trip to the special Simbambili exceeded all expectations!!!From Mike our ranger and his trusty Mr T every game drive was a wonderful experience. Thanks for the off roading that allowed us wonderful access to the... read more

Drew K

2 weeks ago

Ready to plan your journey?

Chat to our friendly reservations team, who will help you choose and book the right lodge for your next Kruger safari.

Big Five Safaris Stories from our blog

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Here at Thornybush we never stop celebrating our love for Safari – that’s why we’re here to tell you that booking a luxury safari is the most romantic way to celebrate your love, and bask in your newlywed bliss, on honeymoon.

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Retreat to the Bush

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