• n’Kaya Game Lodge

N’Kaya Game Lodge | Thornybush Reserve

With a capacity of onlyfour exclusive suites, nKaya Lodge offers the discerning guest the very best in privacy and is the ideal destination for a quiet, peaceful safari. Set on the crest of a hill that overlooks the Drakensberg mountain range and shaded by tall trees, N'Kaya Lodge boasts spacious double suites each with private lounges and twin en-suite amenities.

This Lodge has recently undergone a soft furnishings upgrade and uniquely in the Collection has the flexibility of providing guests with either eight single en-suite facilities, or 4 spacious completely self contained suites, each with a his and hers bathroom and comfortable lounge area for private entertaining and relaxation. Built around an inviting pool area for all four suites, this Lodge boasts too, an excellent bar, dining and lounge facilities and an outside Boma area for night time Dining.

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

Description 1 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
Suites single
R7 855
Suites per person per night sharing
R5 235
Children
on Request

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NKaya Game Lodge

With a capacity of only four exclusive suites, nKaya Lodge offers the discerning guest the very best in privacy and is the ideal destination for a quiet, peaceful safari. Set on the crest of a hill that overlooks the Drakensberg mountain range and shaded by tall trees, nKaya Lodge boasts spacious double suites each with private lounges and twin en-suite amenities.

This Lodge has recently undergone a soft furnishings upgrade and uniquely in the Collection has the flexibility of providing guests with either eight single en-suite facilities, or 4 spacious completely self contained suites, each with a his and hers bathroom and comfortable lounge area for private entertaining and relaxation. Built around an inviting pool area for all four suites, this Lodge boasts too, an excellent bar, dining and lounge facilities and an outside Boma area for night time Dining.

Accommodation

Exclusive privacy...

With a capacity of only four exclusive suites , N’Kaya Lodge offers the discerning guest the very best in privacy and is the ideal destination for a quiet, peaceful safari.

Set on the crest of a hill that overlooks the Drakensberg mountain range and shaded by tall trees, n’Kaya Lodge boasts spacious double suites each with private lounges and twin en-suite amenities.

The lounge, bar and verandah are decorated in warm earthy tones and indigenous woods and allows guests to spend their time in between game drives to relax in total tranquility while catching up with some reading or sampling some of the lodge’s award winning wines.

At the end of each day, the focal point of the lodge becomes the enormous fireplace in the lounge where guests can listen to the crackle of the fire and the night sounds of Africa as the animals come to drink at the floodlit waterhole.

N’Kaya essentials:

  • Four suites (eight guests)
  • Eight singles can be accommodated if required
  • Pool
  • Boma
  • Wine cellar
  • Air-conditioned
  • En-suite bath and shower

Children can be accommodated on request

 

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

  • Accommodation
  • All meals, teas, coffees & snacks
  • Dawn and dusk safaris in open land cruiser vehicles and bushveld walks
  • Sundowner local drinks included at Lodge, Thornybush Waterside Lodge
  • Children 2 – 5 yrs of age are not permitted on game drive –  no babysitting

RATES EXCLUDE:

  • Bar / mini-bar
  • Curio, telephone and laundry expenses
  • Spa Facility, anything of a personal nature / anything not specified
  • Simbambili Gate fee at Sabi Sands Reserve (per vehicle/per person)
  • Conservation Fee & TOMSA Levy and Increases in any of the above costs

Tomsa Levy And Conservation Fees  

  • Conservation fee of   R350.00   per person per booking. The Conservation Fee for guests staying at Simbambili Game Lodge is inclusive of the R114 p/p per booking Sabi Sand Conservation fee. TOMSA Levy:   per person per night (5* Lodges) and R6.00 per person per night (nKelenga) – 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 R250.00 per vehicle and R110.00 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
  • Children’s rates are based on:
  • o 0 – 1.99 years will stay free of charge
  • o 2 children, under the age of 12 years sharing with 2 adults, children’s rates will apply
  • o In the event of 1 child (6 – 11 yrs) sharing with 2 adults the 3rd person will pay the adult sharing rate.
  • o Children 12 and over pay the full adult sharing rate / single rate. In the event of 1 child over 12 sharing with 2 adults, the single supplement will be applied to the 3rd person sharing.
  • Children under the age of 6 yrs are not permitted on game drive. 
  • Babysitting services are available, at an additional cost at lodges equipped to accommodate children
  • Children under the age of 16 yrs are not permitted on bush walks.  
  • Children are accommodated as follows:
  • N’Kaya Lodge accepts children under the age of 12 on request. No babysitting service available at this lodge

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.

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.

Drumming

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.

NOTE: THE ABOVE TOURS, ARE NOT AVAILABLE FROM SIMBAMBILI GAME LODGE

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.

Capacity

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

Venue

  • 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.

Details

  • 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.

Task
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.

Task
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.

Task
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.

Task
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.

 

 

 
 

Your African Safari

N’Kaya Game Lodge

offers unique exclusive Safari experiences in both open Land Cruisers, and on foot. The private reserve is home to an abundance of species: 147 mammals including the "Big Five", 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 336 trees. The reserve is predominantly open savannah and with a near perfect year round climate, it is the ideal African safari holiday destination. 

A typical day

The day starts as dawn breaks over the African bushveld. After your early morning wakeup call. Shortly after, you depart in your open landrover with your experienced Rangers and Trackers who will share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you. These drives are undertaken at times best suited for game viewing which vary depending on the season but typically start early morning. Where applicable you may be invited out of the vehicle to see tracks, examine certain plants and follow spoor.

After an exhilarating hunt for tracks to see what the animals have been up to during the night, and tracking down whatever you find, you will stop somewhere out in the bush for a break of coffee tea. Time to stretch your legs whilst having your sunglasses cleaned & indulge in cool towels in summer, and hot towels in winter. In winter, we keep our guests warm on the vehicle with hot water bottles & warm blankets.

After a sumptuous Breakfast is served either back at the camp or in the riverbed or bush, guests are offered walks to suit their interests and fitness levels and are accompanied by an armed ranger and tracker.

Walks allow guests a better chance to see some of the smaller creatures of the bush as well as an opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region to have a chance to follow tracks in more detail.

Our Shangaan trackers will enthrall you with their explanations of the medicinal and other uses of the numerous plants and trees along with tales of traditional folklore.

The rest of the day is spent at the discretion of the guest for other activities that we offer, with a late lunch served around 3.00pm. Lunch is followed by the afternoon game drive and extends into the evening to view seldom seen nocturnal species by torchlight.

Once again, you will break somewhere out in the bush, in a remote, scenic spot to watch the sunset, where Sundowners and snacks are offered to guests whilst you once again stretch your legs. Upon returning for a gourmet 3 course dinner, either in the boma, bush or lodge - guests can socialize with a cognac, single malt or cigar around the campfire or lounge before returning to bed for another day's adventure.

Where possible, safaris will be tailored to suit individual preferences and interest.

Service Times

Meals

  • Breakfast 09h00-10h00 - depending on season
  • Lunch 15h00-15h30 depending on season
  • Dinner 20h00 depending on season

Activities

  • Times that the game drives depart
  • Summer 05H30 and 15H30
  • Winter 06h00 and 15H30

Times that the walks depart
Summer, After breakfast
Winter, After breakfast

 

Overview

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.

Legalities

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.

Cancellation

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.

 

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Travel Information.

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