Since our inception, Thornybush has played host to special celebrations of multi-generational families. It’s amazing to see how children experience the bush and view the wildlife, and just as exciting to experience it all through the eyes of a parent, grandparent or doting aunt or uncle. Thornybush Game Lodge and Waterside Lodge are ideal for families, catering for all generations, with specific family-orientated services available to ensure everyone has a special stay.
A safari is the ideal break from routine for all members of the family, in which phones can be put down and heads turned up to the beauty of the wildlife and landscape. Sharing this unique experience is the perfect way to bring families together and create lasting memories – whether it’s on the game drives, around the dinner table or around a fire.
We love taking the kids on tailored walks with our rangers, who point out the insects and plants to them. Baking and bush art is also offered where kids use natural elements like leaves and seeds in their creations, bringing them closer to nature through their senses and creating something memorable as a keepsake.
Family Safaris Experiences
Thornybush runs a non-profit organisation that aims to uplift the surrounding local communities that many of our staff members come from. Exciting initiatives such as community owned agricultural businesses, food security, youth focused conservation awareness, sustainable procurement and infrastructure upgrades are all major focus area’s of ours.
A pink dawn, birds stirring and a chance to see the wildlife begin their day – welcome to a morning drive at Thornybush. You’ll need to be up before the sun and in the vehicle after a quick snack to see the best sightings. This is when the land is cool and the animals are most active, when anything is possible and sightings come quickly. After a couple hours of roaming the reserve you’ll stop at a special spot for a coffee break before heading back for a delicious late breakfast.
Following a lazy afternoon, most likely spent by the pool or on your deck, we’ll meet for afternoon tea before climbing into the game vehicle for a three-hour drive that leads into the evening. The sundowner stop at one of our favourite viewpoints will take in one of the iconic sights – a sunset casting golden light across an African savanna. As night sets in, new animals stir adding another level of excitement to the end of the drive.
Following a morning game drive, our guests can be treated to breakfast in a beautiful bush setting. While the savannah stirs to life, we serve a wide variety of breakfast dishes that our guests enjoy surrounded by the untouched Afican wilderness.
Dinners at Thornybush are roaming affairs – locations can range from lantern-lit bomas to starry riverbeds, but the most memorable meals are often enjoyed in the privacy of your own deck. While the night sounds of the African bush ring through the air and mysterious eyes watch you from afar, you get to enjoy superbly prepared meals accompanied by South Africa’s finest wines.
A walking safari offers something quite different to a game drive: the thrill of being on foot in a Big 5 reserve and a chance to engage with the smaller things. You learn about tracking, insects and flowers. It’s a chance to have an immersive experience where you get down and touch and smell what’s out there while at the same time you never quite know what you’ll encounter around the next corner, and there’s little that compares to the experience when you do.
Private family holidays
At many of our lodges, we have larger suites to cater for groups and families. These can be interleading rooms or standalone villas where private family dinners and swimming pools add another element to the experience.
Private guides and chefs
Our family villas also offer the services of a private chef, guide and tracker. The chef is at your exclusive use throughout your stay, allowing you to also choose meal locations and menus according to your preferences. Having exclusive use of a guide and tracker, grant you the freedom to go on game drives when and where you please.
It took us 15 years to return to this great place with our family (Children and grandchildren). We could not have a better time. Thanks to the staff, chef for spoiling our grandchildren with his desserts, Rangers, trackers and all. Great memories from all of us. Thank you all for taking care and making sure we all had a great time. We love you all!!!!!!
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