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Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa

    Top of the line, Luxury Premier Accommodation.

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Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa

Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - Location:

Situated 23km north of Hluhluwe in northern Zululand in South Africa, Thanda Private Game Reserve is a celebration of the Zulu people and their rich culture. Thanda, meaning 'love' in Zulu, is an expression of the magical union of powerful Zulu culture, wildlife, romantic decadence and exclusivity. It's the magic of romance and Zulu culture that makes Thanda unforgettable.

• The Wellness Centre at the prestigious Thanda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal was voted as the winner in the Safari Spa category in the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards 2006, June 2006 • Thanda Private Game Reserve in Zululand has been selected as the first and only game reserve in the world to achieve ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ status and joins the elite membership that is reserved for only 400 of the world’s finest properties, September 2005 • The 5-star Thanda Private Game Reserve's Wellness Centre was chosen as a top 5 finalist in the category of Resort Spa by Les Nouvelles Esthetique during their inaugural South African 2005 Sanitas Per Aquas Spa Awards, July 2005

Thanda Room - Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - Accommodation:

The nine luxury bush villas at the main lodge offer a level of opulence that is hard to surpass. Measuring 220 square meters in size, each villas has its own private heated splash pool, viewing deck and boma, ideal for intimate open-air private dinners. The outdoor salas are impossible to resist for an afternoon siesta on feather-filled cushions amid extraordinary views of the surrounding unfenced bush.

Each villa has a fireplace interleading between the bedroom and the lounge. Luxurious bathrooms have enormous egg-shaped baths and indoor as well as outdoor showers.

Should the urge arise to venture out of your private retreat, Thanda's public areas include a lounge, library, fully equipped business center, a finely stocked wine cellar, cigar bar and several dining venues where deliciously mouth-watering meals are served. There are also viewing and dining decks overlooking tranquil water features. The curio shop stocks artifacts made by local artists.

The Bathroom at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - Tented Camp

The non-electrified tented camp is built in a colonial safari style, suited for guests in search of an authentic, yet luxurious bush experience. Situated on the slope of a hill, the tents have spectacular views of the reserve and offer guests an authentic bush experience. With no compromise on luxury or service, the Tented Camp offers guests an opportunity to get closer to nature in style. The four beautifully furnished tents have four-poster beds, en-suite canvas bathrooms with a shower, and magnificent views of the game reserve.

Public facilities include an intimate dining tent and boma, a very stylish outdoor lounge and a plunge pool for cool relief on hot summer days. Guests can opt to have their meals in the dining tent or around the boma fire. The lounge in the sala is ideal for relaxing and the splash pool is welcoming during the warm days of summer. Guests and be assured of best rates at the Tented Camp may make use of the facilities at the Main Lodge and at the Wellness Centre.


The Spa at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - Facilities / Attractions:

Thanda Private Game Reserve has created a world-class spa facility with exclusive treatments which consist of reflexology, aromatherapy, hot stone massage using African essential oils in a base of shea butter, pressure point scalp massage, manicures, pedicures, hot & cold outdoor kniepp therapy pools, a reflexology pool, outdoor sala treatment area, steam room & hydrotherapy bath all with a unique Zulu feel and designed exclusively for Thanda. Guests can pamper, indulge and rejuvenate mind, body and soul whilst being inspired by the vast expanse of African bush.

The Thanda Signature Treatments draw inspiration from the Zulu culture and are designed to be indulgent to both the body and soul, allowing the African spirit to enchant each and every guest. The wellness center was voted as the winner in the Safari Spa category in the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards 2006, and it was a finalist in the category Resort Spa in 2005. Communication: Each villa has a telephone and there is a good Internet connection at the main lodge. There is no Internet facility at the tented camp, nor are there telephones as the tented camp is not electrified. There is reception for mobile phones in many parts of the reserve, but mountains obstruct the signal in certain areas.

The Deck at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa -



Culinary masterpieces skillfully prepared by the dedicated and professional chefs can be experienced in a variety of venues at Thanda. The public facilities of the main lodge include a fire-lit dining room, outdoor dining decks and an outdoor 'boma' (open reed enclosure).

Private dining is available at the bush villas, where meals can be served in the private bomas or the private decks of each villa, under sparkling skies on clear nights.

Bush breakfasts, lunches or dinners are also available for special occasions. Dining facilities at the tented camp include an intimate dining tent and a boma. A superbly stocked wine cellar and cigar bar are available at the main lodge.


Zulu Dancer at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa -
Game Viewing & Activities:

Free your adventurous spirit with the thrill of Big Five game viewing, the exhilaration of diving with dolphins, or the wonder of whale watching from sun-drenched beaches. Or perhaps you would prefer to restore your soul with a leisurely cruise through tropical estuaries followed by a refreshingly cool swim in your private splash pool. An abundance of activities awaits guests who would like to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

The Elephant Coast, as this part of KwaZulu-Natal is now called, has 21 different ecosystems and is home to a rich variety of fauna and flora. Sand forests, lakes, lagoons, wetlands and pristine stretches of beaches are home to many animals such as hippos, crocodiles, giant turtles and over 460 bird species.


Thanda is a unique beach and bush destination, with Sodwana Bay located merely an hour away. A day at the beach can be arranged where guests have the possibility to sport fish, dive with sharks, snorkel above coral reefs, ride horses on the beach or just enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Thanda Private Game Reserve aims to restore nature's balance by reintroducing species endemic to the area, as well as the Big Five. The rehabilitated land has encouraged the birds and wildlife to flourish, and has assisted in the re-establishment of the natural ecosystem. Game drives in the open game viewing vehicles and bush walks guided by knowledgeable and experienced game rangers and trackers afford guests a better understanding and appreciation of our wild heritage.

Lion at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - The private game reserve is part of an ongoing game rehabilitation program that will ensure the long-term sustainment of wildlife. It is the first privately owned game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal to introduce a breeding pack of wild dog, complementing the Big Five experience. Why settle for the Big Five when you can have the Big Seven? Once you've had your fill of game viewing, you can opt to join one of the many outside activities that Thanda offers. Spot whales and dolphins on a deep-sea boat trip between June and November along the eastern shores of KwaZulu-Natal, or dive with sharks in Sodwana's warm waters.

The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands is South Africa's first declared world heritage site, and a boat cruise on the estuary will enable you to encounter some of the 1500 species of fauna found here. Other activities arranged by Thanda include fresh-water and deep-sea fishing, horse riding on the beach or at a nearby non-Big Five game reserve, swimming and walking along the pristine beaches at the Indian ocean and having your own beach barbeque, snorkeling, birding safaris, microlight flights, midnight turtle tours to Mbibi, kayak and canoe safaris and visits to a traditional village and school. There are also five golf courses in the surrounding areas for golf enthusiasts. For those guests who would like to learn more about our solar system, our game rangers are knowledgeable in this field, and star gazing can be enjoyed during evening game drives.

A fantastic way to end an exciting morning game drive is with a deliciously prepared bush breakfast, served in a secluded spot in the heart of the bush - but rangers will keep an eye out for the wilder inhabitants of Thanda! Guests can get close to nature and enjoy a decadent African bush dinner lit by paraffin lamps and candlelight - perfect for a romantic surprise, or a special occasion. The game rangers, field guides and trackers have a vast knowledge not only of the fauna, but the flora too. During bush walks, guests can have the opportunity to learn about all the fascinating uses of the plants in the area, and to identify spoor. On request, guests can track animals with specially trained rangers.

Giraffes at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa -


Game drives are conducted in the latest Land Rovers, with a maximum of 6 guests per vehicle. We will try and give families their own vehicle depending on availability. Guests interested in specific topics related to wildlife and conservation will enjoy the wildlife lectures given by the senior rangers and field guides. Thanda's younger guests can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, a wonderful introduction to the bush.

The focus point of Thanda Private Game Reserve is to fully embrace the Zulu culture by including elements of it throughout all aspects of the lodge. From the décor to the cuisine, guests will truly learn to appreciate the rich and still very much alive traditions of the Zulu people. Vula Zulu, a traditional homestead is the setting for guests to have the privilege of watching 50 to 100 Impi warriors trained by an associate of a Zulu prince, performing age-old dancing rites, as was done prior to and after battle. A guided tour to a nearby Zulu tribal village will offer guests an insight into the daily life of the community. Visit local historical sites and battlegrounds, or witness young children's enthusiasm and ambition during a visit to a local school.

Zulu Dancing at Thanda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal) South Africa - Thanda's rangers will embrace the close connections and traditions between nature and the Zulu people, and in the library at the main lodge, you can read about the many fascinating aspects of the Zulu nation, from culture and history to myths and legends. Even the Zulu songs will stay with you long after your visit to Thanda! In this way, Thanda is contributing to the sustainment the sustainment of the Zulu culture, through job creation as well as maintaining an ongoing interest in the Zulu heritage, and offering guests a unique opportunity to experience all aspects of this incredibly interesting culture, not found at any other lodge.

Vula Zulu Cultural Experience is a traditional homestead showcasing Zulu culture and history, situated adjacent to Thanda. With the advice and assistance of experts specializing in Zulu culture, the homestead has been purpose-built as a museum for visitors to get an insight into the way of life of the Zulu people in days gone by. Guests can taste traditional Zulu beer, observe spear combat methods, and watch as women weave baskets using local Ilala palms and create intricate bead accessories. The highlight of Vula Zulu is the immensely powerful traditional Impi dancing, where warriors perform age-old dancing rites as was done pre- and post-battle with King Shaka Zulu. Facilities at Vula Zulu include a restaurant, a craft center and a curio shop stocked with artifacts made by local craftsmen.


  Accommodation Rates: From $790 per person per night sharing. Please contact us for a quote and suggested itinerary 

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African Safaris and Travel
16475 Indian Ruins Rd. | Prescott | AZ 86305
United States of America

Office: (928) 899-5917
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