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.

VIEW LODGE

Nkelenga Tented Camp

Nkelenga is a rustic sole-use, self-catering bush camp overlooking one of Thornybush’s most active dams. A hive of bird and mammal activity will keep you enthralled while relaxing on the spacious deck of your safari tent. Nkelenga is perfect for family and friends groups.

VIEW LODGE
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.

VIEW LODGE
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.

VIEW LODGE
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.

VIEW LODGE

Read our Kruger Big Five Safaris Reviews

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

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

alancA9323WG

2 days ago
644robertoa Avatar
STUPENDO!
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...
read more

644robertoa

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

SuvanaS1

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

SuvanaS1

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

SuvanaS1

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

DonnaFay00

1 month 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

9 Myths About South African Safaris

Experiences, FAQs, Lodges, and Wildlife | 2021-11-25 13:27:54 9 Myths About South African Safaris 9 myths about safari-travel in South Africa. Does Africa really bite? Are there really wild animals roaming the streets? Learn fact

Read More

5 Ways to Find Wellness on Safari

Experiences | 2021-11-12 15:54:41 5 Ways to Find Wellness on Safari If you’re looking for a well-deserved time out, and an opportunity to top-up that wellness bank, booking a luxury safari could be your way

Read More

Famous Leopards of Thornybush 

Wildlife | 2021-10-13 07:58:56 Famous Leopards of Thornybush  Read about the five famous leopards of Thornybush and get to know their stories, lineage and what makes them so special. Read More

Read More

Retreat to the Bush

Subscribe to Thornybush news and specials

By submitting your information, you consent for Thornybush to securely process and store your private information, please see our privacy policy.