• Thornybush Game Reserve
  • Thornybush Game Reserve
  • Thornybush Game Reserve
  • Thornybush Game Reserve
  • Thornybush Game Reserve
  • Thornybush Game Reserve

Thornybush Game Lodge

Adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, within the famous Thornybush Nature Reserve is the Collection’s largest operation, Thornybush Game Lodge. Registered by the Tourism authorities as a five star offering, this Lodge is renowned for small groups, bush weddings, milestone birthday celebrations.

The configuration of the self-contained luxury suites provides for privacy and solitude for couples and smaller groups visiting this special Lodge. Whether you are a couple looking for an exclusive, romantic, private safari; a family looking to occupy your little ones or a Group with a diverse range of requirements, Thornybush Game Lodge is the place. The newly constructed beauty spa facility tops the agenda for discerning guests visiting this well known Lodge.

Rates inclusive of 15% VAT • South African Rand • Subject to Availability

Description 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021
Suites Single R16 090
Suites Per Person Per Night Sharing R10 730 
Family Suites Single R17 660 
Family Suites Per Person Per Night Sharing R11 775 
Children 6 - 11 yrs R 5 885 
Children 2 - 5 yrs R2 945 

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Amani Spa

Additional charge applicable.

Thornybush Game Lodge boasts a fully equipped Amani African Spa that offers a range of unique holistic spa rituals and relaxing massages in the heart of the natural bushveld, with the sounds of water, abundant bird life and soothing background music, allowing all the elements of the treatments to come together as one.


Additional charge applicable.

Making music together is a proven ancient method of unifying groups, and bringing people together. Each guests receives a musical instrument and participates in the powerful unifying experience.

Traditional Dancers

Additional charge applicable.

Tribal dancing with pace and a great variety of moves. Traditionally attired they are fast and furious.

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Additional charge applicable.

A delightful tour to the rehabilitation centre for a hand on experience in the rehabilitation of wildlife to the bush. This tour includes Blyde River Canyon, where the escarpment rears 1900m above the Lowveld and a visit to the Swadini Dam and Museum.

Canyon Cruise

Additional charge applicable.

After an early morning game drive and hearty breakfast, depart to the Blyde River Canyon. Guests enjoy a stunning picturesque cruise on the dam, including a delightful lunch on board. A full interpretive service is offered on the geology, wildlife, and biology while cruising, including a visit to the base of the Tufa Waterfall that is unique to this region.

Panorama Tours

Additional charge applicable.

Tour guide will collect guests from various lodges at around 09h00, but alternative pick up times can be arranged to suit clients needs. Route covered is usually Abel Erasmus Pass, Grasp (lunch excluded), God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondawels and other Panorama route attractions. Time is allowed to shop for curios at various excellent shops and local craft vendors along the way. This is one of the most scenic routes in the region. Return at approx. 17h00. Lunch excluded. Terms & Conditions available on request.

 Cheetah Breeding Project

Additional charge applicable.

As one of the country's leading private research and breeding facilities, this unique project concerns itself with the breeding and protection of several endangered indigenous wildlife species in Southern Africa. Initially established as a breeding centre for cheetah, this centre soon expanded to include many other endangered species. . Terms & Conditions available on request.

Hot Air Balloon Excursion

Additional charge applicable.

One-hour long flight over the scenic, Lowveld section of the Blyde River, 15 km West of Hoedspruit. The terrain is a mixture of farmland, private nature reserves and wildlife estates. The mountains to the South and West provide shelter from the prevailing winds, thereby affording good flying weather on most days. As the sun rises, the landscape, the vegetation and, if you're lucky, some wildlife will provide photo opportunities. Game spotting cannot be guaranteed but on most flights we see plains game like giraffe and wildebeest. On very calm days, we sometimes offer flights over a Nature Reserve, South-East of Hoedspruit. After the flight, guests making use of transfers will be returned to their respective lodges. Includes return transfers by road to launch site. Whilst bookings for fewer than 4 passengers are accepted, all flights subject to a minimum 4 passengers on the day. Cancellations within a 24 hour period will incur a 50% cancellation fee and on the day/no shows will incur 100%The Thornybush Collection, upon request, may pre-book on behalf of guests, HOWEVER payment is to be done at the lodge by guests direct. Payment cannot be included on accommodation invoice.

 Shagaan Cultural Village

Additional charge applicable.

The Eastern Lowveld of South Africa is home to the proud Shangaan nation. Join us for an enlightening visit to Shangaana or Nyani Cultural Villages to share in the customs and culture of these wonderful and proud people. These tours depart the lodge at midday and return in the afternoon in time for the afternoon /evening game drive. Lunch excluded. Terms & Conditions available on request.


Safari Conference

Additional charge applicable.

The perfect way to achieve a successful conference or board meeting breakaway is to combine business and pleasure.

Thornybush Conference Facilities.


  • Cinema - 60 pax
  • Classroom - 40pax
  • U-Shape - 20 pax


  • Length of room - 9,4m
  • Width of room - 10,4m
  • Height of room - 3m
  • Total 106m2
  • 2 plug points - 4 sockets

Includes the use of

  • Whiteboard
  • Flipcharts
  • TV
  • Video
  • Overhead projector

Additional equipment can be hired at a nominal charge including Data projector, etc.

Bush Orientation Activity

Additional charge applicable.

This challenging group activity promotes teamwork, planning and meeting objectives and deadlines. The objective of the exercise is for each team to arrive at a specified location within the Reserve with the least depleted budget.


  • This activity is estimated to take ± 2 hours
  • Teams are dropped off at a specific point within the Reserve under the guidance of a Ranger
  • Teams are given a basic map of the Reserve detailing all relevant features
  • Teams are given a budget of R50,000
  • The Ranger is a consultant and charges "consultation fees" for information required by the team. The Ranger is also responsible at all times for the safely of the team
  • Teams are given a location within the Reserve to which they need to make their way to, as a final destination

A guideline to points

The ranger wil lact as a consultant to the team, keeping record of any money spent in achieving the objectivve. The rates are as follows

  1. Use of a road as a path or as a directional marker - R10 per person
  2. Use of a fence as a path or as a directional marker - R10 per person
  3. Questions that require a Yes / No answer - R1,000 per question
  4. Questions that require an answer in the form of a clue - R5,000 per clue
  5. Questions that require a descriptive answer - R20,000 per description
  6. For every minute behind schedule - the team will be penalized by R2,000 per minute
  7. For every minute ahead of schedule - the team will be awarded R2,000 per minute

Thornybush Amazing Race

Additional charge applicable.

The aim of the treasure hunt is to collect all clues and navigate the reserve to receive the tasks and gain the most points. Bonus points are available for completing challenges for addition to your total score.

You will require a bird book, a mammal book, a tree book, information and map provided.

Teams may under no circumstances race around in the bush or in any way act in an unethical manner as they will be penalized and loose 50 points. Take your time and earn your points by completing the challenges and tasks properly, the judges will be awarding the most points to the tasks completed with the best quality and not the first team to arrive at the finish line.

Your ranger and tracker are non-participating members of your team. The rangers are only allowed to help you at a cost of 15 points per item of advice or knowledge.

Main roads and cut lines are only to be crossed and not driven on. Any team caught driving on these will lose 20 points per offence.

Sightings of mammals will be worth 5 points each but must be confirmed by a photograph and only one sighting of each species will count, The Big 5 are worth 10 points each.

Like any competition there is an element of luck to it and responding to another teams sighting is not allowed, the purpose is to spot animals themselves. Rangers will insure this is adhered to and neither trackers nor rangers will point game out unless the team is willing to sacrifice points. A point to note; Waterside guiding teams can track animals down, provided they are in the blocks around where you are driving however this may be time consuming and you may miss further opportunities down the road.

Points are awarded for sightings of the following birds which must be confirmed by the team’s ranger: Saddle billed stork, Ground Hornbill, any Raptor species and the hooded or lappet faced vulture. These will be worth 10 points each.

Snakes and chameleons will be worth 10 points with photographic proof or confirmation of sighting by the guiding team responsible for you.

Bonus points are available for : (10 points each)
Photos of opposing teams looking concerned or worried.
Photos of old carcasses/ dead animals with someone pretending to nibble on them.
Most original photo of a tree hugger. (use your imagination)
Photo of Tracker/ Ranger helping in the hunt.
A porcupine quill

Roads Done for Waterside property

Team 1 Clue 1
From the reservoir take your map and look south, you will find a road named after an ancient hunting tool still used today. Once on this road drive slowly and look around carefully for your challenge! It will be found up a tree that is traditionally used to influence the sex of a child.

Make a Basic bow and arrow out of traditional material, a ranger or tracker may have to help you at a cost.

Team 2 Clue 1
Take your map and Head East from the reservoir till you find where mans best friend meets a predominant rock type, carry on south from there and look for the junction where the raisins meet. Once you find the junction look around carefully as your task awaits.

Make a Basic bow and arrow out of traditional material, a ranger or tracker may have to help you at a cost.

Team 1 Clue 2
From the sight of your clue you want to find a road named after a rather small carnivore often seen around lions eating. Go east on this road and take a left onto oxpecker until the open area where you will be looking for a challenge.

Walk with your ranger and use your bow to hunt the Big 5!!

Team 2 Clue 2
From the raisin tree junctions start heading east and then it's time to get lost on your way to a bird which is nocturnal and often sits on roads catching insects. Use this bird to guide you to your next challenge, remember east is the ticket.

Walk with your ranger and use your bow to hunt the Big 5!!

Team 1 Clue 3
Once the Big 5 have all been shot teams must walk east until the Monwana River behind Klein Kariba Dam where the final challenge is in the river bed. Remember to listen to guides instruction should you encounter an animal along the way an extra 30 points will be awarded to the team that can collect the freshest Animal Dung sample.

Team 2 Clue 3
Once the Big 5 have all been shot teams must walk east until the Monwana River behind Klein Kariba Dam where the final challenge is in the river bed. Remember to listen to guides instruction should you encounter an animal along the way an extra 30 points will be awarded to the team that can collect the freshest Animal Dung sample.

River bed challenge: Extract 20 liters of water from riverbed using only naturals and fill the 20L container provided. No modern day things like bottle etc may be used to dig or scoop up the water.

River bed challenge: Extract 20 liters of water from riverbed using only naturals and fill the 20L container provided. No modern day things like bottle etc may be used to dig or scoop up the water.




Enjoy exciting dawn and dusk safaris in open Land Rovers and on walking safaris, take a moment to browse in the intimate library or simply enjoy a treatment in the Beauty Spa or relax at the pool with your favourite cocktail as you bask in Africa’s glorious sunshine. An African safari can be a life‐changing experience.


  • Panorama Tours
  • White Water Rafting on the Blyde River and Olifants Gorge
  • Nyani Cultural Village
  • Hans Merensky Golf Course
  • Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
  • Cheetah Breeding Project
  • Hot Air Balloon Flights


Road transfers and self drive route from Johannesburg on the N4, until the Belfast turns-off is reached. Proceed through Belfast and on to Dullstroom, continue through Lyndenburg and Ohrigstad, on to Hoedspruit and follow the signs to Thornybush. Guests arriving by air at Hoedspruit (Eastgate Airport) can either transfer by road or by air to Thornybush.

Thornybush Game Lodge boasts 18 stylish air‐conditioned luxury suites and 2 family suites, all with extensive living areas overlooking the seasonal Monwana River. From within the luxurious suites, each with full en‐suite facilities and private decks, sweeping vistas can be enjoyed over the savannah and an ever-active water hole. Superb attention to detail and highly personalised service make for a memorable stay.

N.B. The above rates are per person per night sharing, inclusive of VAT and are subject to a 50% single supplement.

  • Luxury Accommodation
  • All meals, teas, coffees, minibar in room & selected snacks
  • All local drinks (soft drinks, house wine, selection of local beers, local spirits)
  • Dawn and dusk safaris in open land cruiser vehicles (FGASA accredited field guides and trackers) and bushveld walks
  • Wi-Fi


  • Curio, telephone and laundry expenses
  • Spa Facility, anything of a personal nature / anything not specified
  • Conservation Fee & TOMSA Levy. Any Increases in any of the above costs

Tomsa Levy And Conservation Fees 

  • Conservation fee of R495.00 per person per booking. The Conservation Fee for guests staying at Simbambili Game Lodge is inclusive of the R138.00 p/p per booking Sabi Sand Conservation fee. TOMSA Levy: R14.00 per person per night (5* Lodges) – The Conservation Fee & TOMSA Levy is payable on reservations invoice / guests are unable to pay / settle these costs at the various lodges.
  • Self-drive guests to Simbambili Game Lodge pay an entrance fee of R310.00 per vehicle and R140.00 per person, which is payable at the Gowrie Gate direct. Where road transfers are booked through The Thornybush Collection, these fees are included in the rate.
NB: All the above is subject to availability, increases and our general Terms & Conditions
  • Children’s rates are based on guests under the age of 12 yrs sharing with 2 parent
  • Children 0 – 1.99 yrs stay free of charge
  • Babysitting services are available, at an additional cost at lodges equipped to accommodate children
  • Children under the age of 6 yrs are not permitted on game drive. All children permitted on game drive are done so on Management’s discretion
  • Children under the age of 16 yrs are not permitted on bush walks. A special children’s program is available for younger guests staying at Thornybush Game Lodge  – this is not a full day activity, time will be made during the day for the children. 
  • Children are accommodated as follows:
  • Thornybush Game Lodge : 2 Family Suites (sleeper coach)

Deposit and Payment Policy

  • To secure a booking, we require a 25% non-refundable deposit on confirmation of the booking. The balance is due 40 days prior to arrival. If the booking is made within 40 days of the scheduled date of arrival, in this case full payment is required on confirmation.
  • All other extras must be settled with The Lodge prior to departure.
  • Please note that a reservation is not confirmed or secured until this deposit requirement has been paid in full. We reserve the right, without notice to the client, to release any accommodation held where the required deposit has not been paid in full within the stated period.

Cancellation Policy

Upon confirmation of reservation, we reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee equivalent to:

  • 60 to 31 days prior to arrival at the lodge = 25% Cancellation fees
  • 30 to 00 days prior to arrival at the lodge = 100% Cancellation fees
  • All deposits of 25 % received on confirmation are Non-Refundable.
  • Refunds, are at the discretion of management and if agreed, is subject to a 10% administration fee.


Imagine exchanging your vows in an African dry river bed at sunset, the bridge being serenaded in by African dancers amidst tribal song. This is just one of the ways weddings can be catered for at many of the Thornybush Nature Reserve lodges or at Simbambili Game Lodge.

Few experiences can be as personalized as a wedding and we therefore realize that each experience will require attention to the finest detail. From Thornybush Nature Reserve, nestled in the heart of big five country, to Simbambili Game Lodge, set among magnificent Knobthorn trees along the meandering Manyeleti River, we can promise you unrivalled big game viewing, complemented by exquisite accommodation and sublime cuisine and above all, a day you will never forget. Your safari style wedding will be a celebration of love, tradition and lasting memories.

Weddings are catered for by Thornybush Game Lodge, Thornybush Waterside Lodge, Simbambili Game Lodge, Chapungu Tented Camp and Shumbalala Game Lodge. It is however advisable to book the lodge of your choice and request exclusive use (depending on the size of your party) ensuring the lodge’s full attention.

Arrangements can be as glamorous or as understated, according to the bridge and groom’s wishes. Consideration needs to be given to weather conditions and the fact that we are in a nature reserve so certain restrictions do apply (i.e. no fireworks). Ministers from most denominations are easily accessible, as are photographers, cakes, hairdressers and florists. Special menus and dining venues can be set aside for the wedding party, when the lodge is booked exclusively.

All you need to do is sit back, relax and leave the wedding preparations up to someone else whilst you enjoy Spa treatments, sunset cocktails and game drives. Our wedding venues are renowned for their beauty and excellent service.

The Standard Wedding Package includes

  • Dedicated Lodge Wedding Co-ordinator: A dedicated lodge Wedding co-ordinator will be assigned to the bridal party to ensure the smooth flow of all aspects and to assist in the set-up and layout of both the ceremony area as well as the dinner; whether it is a private dinner or a large reception event.
  • Wedding Official (local multi-denominational): The minister’s time and travel costs.
  • Wedding Venue: There are various options available, details to be discussed with the Bridal Party. The most popular being the Bush Venue (weather permitting).
  • Ceremony: The dedicated lodge Wedding Co-ordinator will discuss options available. An example of choices; Classic Wedding Ceremony or an African Traditional Wedding which includes the swapping of skins, drinking beer from Ostrich Egg Shells and swapping of beaded bracelets – depending on the wedding couple’s choice. Additional costs may be incurred.
  • Flowers: This includes: 1 x bridal bouquet & 1 x corsage and Groom’s lapel. Additional costs may apply subject to requirements.
  • Wedding Cake: Choice of traditional fruit cake, scrumptious chocolate or carrot cake; all decorated in an African / nature theme.
  • Classic Wedding Reception: This includes standard lodge facilities / equipment. Should the bridal party wish for any additional equipment etc. this may be at an additional cost.
  • Honeymoon turn-down: During the course of the bridal party’s stay, they will be treated to a romantic honeymoon turn-down with complimentary bottle of South African Sparkling Wine, and private in-suite dinner should they choose. In the event of a superior suite being available, the lodge will upgrade the bridal party at no additional cost.

It is requested our reservations department be contacted for an individual quotation based on the bridal couple’s requirements.

Additional chargeable items

  • Hair: Bride’s hair to be done at the lodge. In addition to bride – Bridesmaids/mother of bride.
  • Make up:
  • Spa Treatments: Available at Thornybush Game Lodge and Simbambili Game Lodge
  • Decorative candles & stands:
  • Hiring of additional décor : Pending the requirements of the bridal party, should additional décor be required, additional costs will apply.
  • Additional Guests: Should the bridal party wish to include non-residing guests, additional costs may apply
  • Corkage: Should the bridal party choose to cater their own drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) a corkage charge may be levied per item.
  • Photographer: A photographer can be arranged to cater for individual requirements.
  • Tribal dancing:
  • Marimba Band, DJ / music (sound restrictions may apply), Choir, additional staff :
  • Hot Air Balloon Excursion:
  • Confetti Option: Showers of Blessing – Bubble Confetti 
    Notes: no paper confetti, streamers, feathers, rice or butterflies are permitted at any of The Thornybush Collection Lodges.

Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection shall not be held liable for any interruptions of services (i.e. water, electricity, sanitary services).

Whilst every precaution will be taken to ensure the safeguarding of your belongings, Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection will not be held liable for loss or damage to any property whatsoever (décor props, wedding gifts, valuables, etc.). We recommend that all personal and valuable property be removed directly after the wedding.

Any independent wedding co-ordinator assigned by the client to c-ordinate their function will be responsible for and ensure that all deliveries and collections are counted themselves and are present to attend to such deliveries and collections.

Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection will not be held responsible for providing a marquee due to unforeseen weather conditions. The client will be encouraged to discuss a rain plan.


We will require copies of both the bride and groom’s ID books and/or Passports, depending on their nationality as well as any copies of death certificates or divorce certificates should either of them have been married before.


The standard cancellation policy will apply with respect to accommodations dues. In the event that Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection is required to acquire or procure goods and services intended for the event, payment in full for said items will be required from the client prior to ordering.

Cancellation requests are to be forwarded in writing to the Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection.


We have 12 superb lodges in the world-renowned wilderness areas of Sabi Sand and Thornybush Nature Reserve. Big 5 encounters and the sheer diversity of wildlife have helped establish Thornybush as a leading destination in the Greater Kruger Park area. It’s the people here, however, that are the real secret to our bush magic. Our guides lead with an expertise and intuition that’s second to none, while our close-knit teams within the lodge, from the receptionists to the chefs, create the homely environment our guests recognise as that ‘Thornybush feeling’.

Thornybush is a 14,000-hectare private nature reserve that shares a fenceless border with the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. Big 5 encounters are the standout experiences for our guests, with visitors particularly impressed with the lion and leopard sightings. It’s the vast diversity of wildlife, however, that has seen Thornybush emerge as a leading safari destination. With our passionate and expert guide-and-tracker teams leading the way, our guests leave with a genuine understanding of our entire ecosystem and the enthralling cast of animals.

SA Residents Voucher Terms

per person per night sharing


  •  Accommodation
  •  All meals and hot beverages
  •  Early morning and late afternoon game drives
  •  Local Sundowner Drinks included (once alcohol ban has been lifted)

Terms and Conditions
- Available to South African Residents
- Subject to
o A minimum 2 night stay
o Availability at time of booking &/or Voucher purchase
- Booking period
o Until further notice
- Vouchers bookings
o Valid for redemption until 30 June 2021
o Subject to availability at time of booking, excluding peak season 16 December 2020 – 05 January 2021
- Travel dates
o Upon reopening until 30 June 2021
- Payment
o 50% non-refundable deposit required at time of reservation
o Balance payable 30 days prior to arrival
o 100% payment required if booked within 30 days of travel
- Cancellation
o 50% cancellation applies if cancelled outside 31 days
o 100% cancellation if cancelled within 30 days of arrival
o No cancellation fees if cancelled due to Covid-19 travel restriction
- Rates
o Is based on per person sharing
o Children aged 6 to 15 years pay 50% of the adult rate
o Excludes Conservation Fee of R495 per person and TOMSA Levy of R14 per person per night
o Is not combinable with any other offers
o Includes all items specified but excludes all other additional items of a person nature
- Children
o Children under the age of 6 stay free however they are not permitted on game drives unless the family / group reservation consists of 4+ full paying guests


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Business Hours:
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Sat (09:00 - 13:00)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
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