A serene luxury game lodge overlooking a lake with resident hippos, Thornybush Waterside Lodge is a gem of affordable luxury and a wonderful introduction to the best of African safaris. It is set in the 14,000 ha Thornybush Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s Kruger Park, which has a well-established reputation for conservation and prolific game viewing, including all the Big 5. Ideal for families, small groups and independent travellers, the lodge also accommodates weddings and business getaways and has a 60-seater conference centre by the lake. Excellent personal service, wonderful food and spacious, a swimming pool and comfortable accommodation make for a memorable safari experience.
The 20 spacious thatched suites in the unfenced camp are reached by winding paths through tree-shaded gardens, where nyala and warthogs wander and perhaps a visiting giraffe or elephant. Each air-conditioned suite has a private deck and big glass windows, so you can lie in the very comfortable four poster bed and look out at passing wildlife. The roomy en-suite bathrooms have separate shower and bathtub, and decor is calm and elegant with plenty of wood finishes and comfortable cane chairs. Families with children can choose the two inter-leading suites for convenience and comfort.
Guests are allocated a skilled team of ranger and tracker for their stay, who tailor each dawn and dusk game drive to suit their interests and preferences and conduct daily bush walks. All the Big 5 can be found, as well as a wide variety of other wildlife and birds, and the rare pangolin. As the reserve is private, vehicles can go off-road for the best tracking and animal sightings. There is a dedicated children’s program including walks with a ranger, and family game drives (for children of 6 and up) can be tailored to suit.
Excellent and abundant freshly prepared meals are served outside in the dining area, in the boma, African style, or in surprise venues, and sundowners with snacks are part of every evening game drive.
Thornybush Waterside Lodge is just a 40 minute drive from Hoedspruit airport and offers an all-inclusive luxury safari that is excellent value for money.