A Thornybush community project

About The Thornybush Internship Program

In 2009 Thornybush and the South African College for Tourism (SACT) came together to help place local and neighbouring community matriculants of the Thornybush and Sabi Sabi surrounding area’s, into the tourism industry. It’s a truly special gift to be able to offer internships for top candidates, allowing these students to have the opportunity to work at one of our properties.

What we are all about

 The process of recruitment into the tourism industry

It’s not enough to simply teach sustainable tourism but to have someone that inspires students to choose this as their career path. And this is exactly what Philip Mgiba, a teacher at one of our focus schools, Manayanaga high school, does. Philip’s role is the first in a very important line of assessors, that helps to identify students who aspire to have a career in tourism.

It’s been an exciting year for two successful applicants who were each awarded full bursaries to SACT in Graaf Reinet (Eastern Cape) to start their training programme, which covers a variety of hospitality areas; including, food and beverage, room service, and front of house. This course allows students to emerge as well-rounded generalists who can choose to specialise in a particular hospitality context. 

Once our candidates have completed their studies (after progress mentorship and emotional support from us at Thornybush Community) we then offer top students placement for a year-long, paid internship at a Thornybush establishment. This helps them gain experience in a hands-on environment, giving them the chance to put into practice what they’ve learnt during their training. 


Our Purpose
Unforgettable Wildlife Sightings
Life-altering Safari Experiences
Continue with our journey in sustainability and community

Conservation South Africa

During the tourism challenges that we faced last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,  there was a concern that this important initiative, which has given hope to so many students, was going to be affected.  Thankfully, when we reached out to Conservation South Africa, a valued partner, together we were able to identify a new partner to help with funding.


YES4Youth is a business-led collaboration that seeks out ground-breaking ways to reignite the economy and give youth a dignified chance, through innovation and technological best practices. The reason they came on board is to help fund this programme and give our youth continued support

What we have achieved 

It’s an absolute honour that we’ve been able to position on average 50% of students that have completed their internship with us at one of our Thornybush lodges. Those students that we haven’t been able to place, are still guided by us to help find suitable employment or further education opportunities.

How to support the Internship Program

Stay at Thornybush


By choosing us, you’ll benefit our communities



Help us to continue investing in our local communities

Contact us


Candice Grover
Head of Community


Learn more about Thornybush Community