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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The place was fabulous, beautiful. Lots of wild life around grounds. Room were private big rooms, people and food were wonderful. They couldn't make you feel anymore comfortable. I would highly recommend them. 5 big five there and so much more.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Pauline C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candice W, Guest Relations Manager at Thornybush Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi there Pauline C, thank-you so much for leaving this review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2018 via mobile

The staff is so sweet and accommodating. You just fall in love with them and want to bring them home with you. The food is the best I have had ANYWHERE! The chef has been here 18 years, and the pastry chef can’t be beat! The cabins are lovely and so well maintained. The guides and trackers are the best. They are so knowledgeable. The vehicles are comfortable. There is a spa and gift shop on location. Someone escorts you to your cabin at night after dinner.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank annarc6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candice W, Guest Relations Manager at Thornybush Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Hi there annarc6, thank-you so much for taking the time to leave a review for Thornybush Lodge!

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Reviewed 23 April 2018

Thornybush Waterside Game Lodge.... were do I start.
My wife and visited in April 2018 this year, never having been on a safari before we were bowled over by the welcome we received. The staff, the food, the accommodation, the atmosphere, it was beyond reproach. Nothing was ever too much trouble. For our game drives we had Juluca (Ranger) and Frank (tracker) they made it an unforgettable experience for us, especially when going across country, well certainly off the tracks to find rhinos.
We would go back to Thornybush tomorrow If we could we are missing it already!
Jeff & Barbara Hutchison

Stayed: April 2018
1  Thank Anon280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candice W, Guest Relations Manager at Thornybush Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Hi there Jeff & Barbara, thank-you so much for taking the time to leave this review of your stay at Thornybush Waterside Lodge. I'm thrilled that you had such a wonderful time. Hope to see you back again soon.

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Reviewed 14 April 2018 via mobile

My wife and I have been fortunate to visit many game lodges in South Aftica over nearly 20 years, almost all of them special in their own right. Thornybush simply standards heads and shoulders apart form the rest.

The Thornybush Lodge itself is situated against a river bank, with wooden decks, appointed with comfortable and stylish lounge furniture, enabling a gorgeous view up and down the sand river. Most of the meals are served in this setting where one can enjoy tranquility.

The meals are excellent with a wide variety and they are sublimely prepared and presented. My wife is a pescatarian and her food was fabulous. I eat anything but like meat and in four days had a dozen excellent unique meals. My compliments to the chef and kitchen staff!

The lodge is intimate but not tiny. I think their are about 16 chalets that line the lodge, 8 left and 8 right. Not too far from the lodge but far enough to make the walk pleasant and spaced well enough to give each one complete privacy and quiet. Each has its own private deck, spacious and luxurious bathroom, an additional outside shower and wonderfully comfortable bed that is enclosed in netting to guarantee an excellent rest. Listen for the sounds of lions roaring, hyenas calling and baboons barking as you drift off. We hear them almost every night and just love the sounds. The rooms are made up while you are on game drives so are always beautiful and ready for bed regardless of how many afternoon naps you get in.

The staff are all friendly, professional and attentive. They soon become friends and you will enjoy easy, interesting banter without stopping you from enjoying your private and intimate time. You are assigned a butler(ess) who will look after you your entire stay.

We have come here several times over the years and the game viewing is second to none. The reserve is large but not so big that all the animals disappear or that it takes too long to get to a sighting. This reserve has never allowed hunting and so the animals are incredibly comfortable with the vehicles and you can get really close to them. Whenever we have international guests we always recommend Thornybush as this is by far the best way to see all the animals, especially in a short space of time. Nothing is guaranteed but the big 5 are a near certainty over a three night stay. We recommend not putting any pressure on yourselves or the guides and just take the drive as it comes. You seem to get to see much more but you will definitely enjoy it more. The big animals are great but don’t miss all the smaller ones, plethora of birds, reptiles and insects. The night drive also opens up a whole new side to the bush. Show you are interested and the guides will just open up and amaze you.

The game drives and the trackers that ride on the seat at the front of the vehicle are special. The rangers are all of an exemplary standard and are all qualified at the highest grade. Their knowledge and passion for the bush and nature is impressive and infectious. They seem to know everything about all the animals, insects, birds, trees and plants, from their scientific names, to how they interact, African mythology and uses for them. But they convey this all in a relaxed, humble and enthusiastic manner that is easy to understand and embrace. This time we had Lindi as our ranger and Ishmael as our tracker and both were wonderful guides and hosts.

You will drive in the morning and night and each one has a coffee/sundowner break where you get to stand in the bush and just soak it up. This is the highlight for me, especially on a cloudless, moonless night when you get to see the Milky Way in all its glory and feel so small in this magnificent universe. Take a look at the stars through binoculars, where you will see the hundreds of thousands of stars turning into millions and millions of stars.

Weather wise my favorite time to visit is in the summer months a where the days are long and the drives are warm. Winter is cool on the drives which I prefer to avoid but the days warm up nicely but not enough to swim. Autumn and spring are a blend of both. Even if it rains the vehicle are equipped with rain ponchos and the drive is not unpleasant. Bad weather doesn’t seem to last the next sunny day seems only an hour or two away. The last trip we had was half rainy and half hot and sunny. Loved them both.

I would recommend a minimum of a three night stay but ideally four but I’d be happy to stay for longer.

I love Thornybush as does my wife. Five stars doesn’t seem enough. We feel so blessed and privileged to be able to come here and will return again as soon as as often as possible to this beautiful heaven on earth.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank martinlN5933XE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candice W, Guest Relations Manager at Thornybush Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Hi there martinlN5933XE, thank-you so much for taking the time to leave this detailed review or Thornybush Lodge. We absolutely love hearing from our guests, especially those that keep returning, year after year. Looking forward to having you back again with us soon.

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Reviewed 12 April 2018

Beyond any expectation from our arrival to departure. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay the best it can be. We stayed in #8 with a great view of the watering hole. Our room was very comfortable and the our door shower was wonderful. Where else can you shower and watch monkeys "fly" through the tress over head! Our guide Bradley and tracker Orlando were great. I think they had almost more fun then we did on our game drives. Saw the big 5 and then some. Service is wonderful. Food and beverage manager Pride made sure our needs were meet at each meal. And the staff is fabulous. Put Thornybush on your wish list.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank FBW_MN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candice W, Guest Relations Manager at Thornybush Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Hi FBW_MN, thank-you so much for leaving this review for Thornybush Lodge, we really appreciate it!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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