Unspoilt, pristine wilderness forms a backdrop for Shumbalala Game Lodge, in the Thornybush Game Reserve. Giant age-old fever and fig trees stand sentry over the luxury lodge, with only the sounds of nature to interrupt a visitor’s quiet reverie. Authentically African with a rustic elegance, the en-suite rooms are spacious and plush. The lounge of the superior suites spills on to a private viewing deck, where guests can observe the abundant wildlife that comes to drink at the waterhole. Fans and air-conditioning provide a welcome respite from the African heat, and in the cooler months, the fireplace creates a cosy haven.

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Thornybush lies adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, so days at the lodge are dedicated to relaxation and the adventure of finding game. Experienced rangers guide visitors on game drives, observing Africa’s incredible wildlife in its natural habitat. Big game such as leopard, lion, cheetah, antelope, zebra, giraffe, elephant and rhino wander the bushveld, as well as a wealth of birdlife. Trackers share the exciting art of tracking, and on night game drives, comfort is paramount and guests are issued with warm blankets and hot water bottles.

Secluded and intimate, the main camp stands on the banks of the Monwana River. Under thatched roofs, two communal lounges offer a serene spot where guests can relax with the sights and sounds of nature engulfing them. Comfy sun loungers lie dotted around an inviting swimming pool and at nightfall, a big central campfire is lit in the boma, allowing guests to experience an evening around a traditional African bushfire.

Mealtimes are lavish and delicious and the weather dictates where they will happen. On hot summer nights, dinner will be served al fresco and when winter draws in, fires are lit in the dining room, transforming it into a cosy sanctuary. Mosquito nets draped over the beds help create a truly romantic hideaway.

Described by previous guests as a “jewel in the heart of the bush” and “an experience of a lifetime”, Shumbalala is known for its top-notch service with friendly staff on hand to ensure that your holiday is memorable.

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