Expert Reviews – Thornybush GR
Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.
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Wildlife without the Wilderness
Thornybush, situated within the Timbivati region of the Lowveld, boasts some high quality Big Five and cheetah viewing; but, this 19,000ha private reserve has one major drawback: I dislike that it is separated from the rest of the Timbivati and Greater Kruger Park by a fence line. Animals cannot wonder freely in and out of the reserve, as is the case with neighbouring Timbivati. Thornybush lodge owners argue in favour of the fence because it helps ensure that their safari-visitors stand an excellent chance of seeing all the flagship large African wildlife species during a brief two- or three-day stay. It’s also true that elephants periodically push the fence over to wander through anyway and wild dogs have been known to crawl under and visit the park for a few days; but, in a day and age of expanding conservation areas and fence removal, I would love to see Thornybush open up completely and increase its sense of real African wilderness. In the meantime, what goes without saying is that this park has some of Africa’s finest safari lodges, top-quality guides, and excellent year-round wildlife-viewing of all the Big Five.