Community Overview

Many of our team have been with Thornybush for over 20 years! A major reason for this is the sense of family we have within the team and how that feeling of inclusivity extends to the surrounding villages, suppliers and our guests. We’re very proud of having nurtured this culture over the years and which has now found its own platform in the Thornybush Community Projects, a registered non-profit organisation.

Our efforts are focused on the surrounding communities and making sure that we use local suppliers and artisans as often as we can. Our philosophy is ‘Unity is Strength’ so many of our projects are designed to empower people and small businesses by providing them with the tools to build a fulfilling, sustainable life. The majority of our staff come from the surrounding local communities, so we see it as our duty to make a positive contribution.

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Community Engagement

Projects We Support

Family Food Parcel Fundraiser for COVID-19

COVID-19 has all but decimated the tourism industry, putting our team and local communities who rely on the tourism industry for income, under serious financial strain.

In our efforts to make sure that food security is maintained, we’ve partnered with Nourish Eco Village, to supply 326 families with vouchers redeemable at local supermarkets, for essential items.

You can help us in this endeavour, by donating what you’re able to, towards these efforts.

Find out more about this project here.


Hananani School Garden

The Hananani School Garden was gifted in 2014 to Hananani Primary School in Dixie, the closest village to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The garden’s main purpose is to grow and supply vegetables to the school’s kitchen, which is responsible for providing each of the 253 school children with a balanced, nutritious meal at school every day. The learners and teachers are invited into the garden on a regular basis to assist with planting, harvesting and land preparations, which all creates a sense of pride and ownership.

Manyangana High School

Thornybush Community Projects supports this high school by giving monthly contributions to cover their electricity costs as well as to pay for their security guards, to ensure the school is a safe environment for its 800+ learners.

We also help in other ways, such as organising extra lessons by volunteers, assisting with donations from travellers through the Pack for a Purpose platform and infrastructure upgrades.

Thousand Herbs and Vegetable Garden

Since 2014, this co-operative of five women has grown quality herbs, vegetables and edible flowers on a portion of land leased from the Manyangana High School in Uthla. They sell the produce to the surrounding game lodges, retailers and their community members.

We help them with their business strategy, financial and administrative support, sales and marketing efforts, logistics and infrastructure development. We’re proud that the garden is close to being financially sustainable and will imminently become a self-funding and independent business.

They turnover a respectable profit and have become a flagship project for other NGOs and community start-ups in their surrounding communities.


Hlokomela is a well-run project close to Hoedspruit, which aims to take care of farm workers with HIV/Aids- and TB-related illnesses. They also provide daycare to the children of farm workers, while their parents are being treated.

Hlokomela run a herb-and-vegetable garden, which supplies fresh produce to their clinic and children’s crèche in addition to retail selling – all of which they do very successfully.

Thornybush Community Projects has been a great supporter of the work Hlokomela does and is proud to support through monthly financial contributions.

Wild Shots Outreach

Wild Shots Outreach aims to engage young people from disadvantaged communities in wildlife and wild places through photography. It teaches new skills, provides an introduction to the natural world and raises the aspirations of these learners – the conservationists of tomorrow.

Thornybush Community Projects grants Wild Shots Outreach access into the reserves where our safari lodges operate to host game drives for the students. And, through the Pack For A Purpose platform, we encourage our guests who can afford a little space in their luggage, to bring much needed donations.

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our projects.

Stories from our blog

Thornybush Game Lodge Travel Story

Experiences | 2021-09-15 15:52:16 Thornybush Game Lodge Travel Story Your guide to Thornybush Game Lodge. Read what a local traveller had to say about his stay and learn what a luxury safari experience is all

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