​User Reviews – Thornybush GR

Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 1-10 of 16 Reviews
Ulrik   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: April 2022 Reviewed: May 8, 2022

Email Ulrik  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Perfect days with wonderful staff, superb food and great viewings
Overall rating

What a wonderful stay at Thornybush Game Lodge. We had very good game sightings (and superb food, not least the lunches) but what made the stay truly special was how kind and attentive the staff was. Daniel, our field guide, and John, our tracker, were as friendly as they were knowledgeable, not least to our nine year old daughter. Sannie, one of the cooks, came out to talk to us every morning (and when we arrived) to ask our daughter for her meal preferences for that day. And our personal waiter, Clinton, had a smile all the time that would lit up the room.

Jennifer, the Deputy Manager, went the extra mile for us, including finding a private game viewing vehicle for us (with super knowledgeable Tracy and Orlando) to do a photo shoot safari one afternoon.

We will definitely be coming back - we have in fact promised our daughter.

Haven H.   –  
United States US
Visited: August 2019 Reviewed: Sep 22, 2019

Email Haven H.  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Thornybush has a rich array of wildlife and an apparently healthy ecosystem to support it.
Our camp was fully solar powered, small and intimate, which added to our enjoyment.

Takubo   –  
Japan JP
Visited: October 2017 Reviewed: Nov 9, 2017

Email Takubo  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

We could see many kinds of animals off course big five, a pride of lion, cheetah,etc.
Accomodation was also great

Kanikoski   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2016 Reviewed: Aug 2, 2016

Email Kanikoski  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

N'Kaya Lodge on the Thornybush Game Reserve gave us an informative, up-close game experience that we could not have matched on a self-drive safari. Our wildlife sightings were magnificent, encompassing every animal that we hoped to see. We couldn't have asked for more.

Debbie JT   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: July 2016 Reviewed: Jul 26, 2016

Email Debbie JT  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

Thornybush is a relatively small private reserve in the Greater Kruger. Although currently fenced, plans are in place to remove the fencing adjacent to the Timbavati reserve, which in turn is open to the Kruger National Park.
The wildlife viewing was excellent. We stayed for a week, and saw six individual leopards (two of whom were busy producing the next generation!) and lions with young cubs. Being 15ft from a male lion when he started to roar was an experience not to be forgotten! All the usual suspects are present: giraffe, elephants, buffalo, rhino (we saw both black and white on our trip), kudu, impala. They limit the number of vehicles at a sighting to two, giving a very private experience. Safari vehicles use both a ranger and an experienced tracker, whose skills must be seen to be believed.
We stayed at N'Kaya, a small lodge with only four rooms, each of which is an individual cottage with bedroom, living room and two bathrooms. The food was superb, and the hospitality second to none. The lodge overlooks its own waterhole, so time between game drives can be spent watching what visits the lodge.

Elizabeth   –  
Canada CA
Visited: April 2016 Reviewed: Apr 29, 2016

Email Elizabeth  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

This experience was beyond all expectations. We would recommend Waterside without hesitation.
Overall rating

Wildlife- we saw every animal imaginable in a few short days.
Accommodation- luxury class and wonderful service from all

Brydee   –  
Hong Kong HK
Visited: September 2015 Reviewed: Nov 3, 2015

Email Brydee  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Amazing! cannot recommend enough
Overall rating

These guys were amazing! Absolutely loved the tent we stayed in, had plenty or wild animals roam around our tent but felt safe. Amazing service, delicious food and they also surprised us by setting up a private table for my husband and I with full view of the wild animals coming in at night, was so cool! The safaris themselves was the best I've done, we saw a leopard within the first 5mins and nearly had a black rhino charge the car... great experience & the safari cars were comfy and had great animal viewing!

Thanks guys, would definitely love to visit again

Punyabrata Visited: December 2006 Reviewed: Apr 18, 2015

Overall rating

The lodge is simply outstanding with the room overlooking a water hole. The sightings of smaller game coming to the waterhole while having a shower is, I suppose "exclusive"....
Got the big five, including the sight of a leopard jumping from one tree to another as well as a baby elephant rubbing its forehead on the side of the open land rover, right where I was sitting!!!!
The meals were great and the price was extremely reasonable. The tracker was exceptional....
The lodge also organizes walks and that is where the tracker explains the differences between the pug marks of a lion and a leopard.

Valentina Visited: August 2014 Reviewed: Apr 17, 2015

Overall rating

Plenty of animals in a quite small space

wolltd Visited: August 2010 Reviewed: Jul 13, 2012

This isn't the Bronx Zoo!
Overall rating

When my wife and I visited Thornybush, we felt like we were part of a small family on an adventure. We were in a lodge with 3 other couples, and the staff made us all feel like visitors in their home. The guide was terrific and we had a blast riding in the jeep looking for and finding many different animals in our short stay. The guide and tracker were very patient, resulting in many great sightings in two days, including lionesses and their kill, and some very young cheetah cubs, as well as the rest of the Big 5. The meals and the food were home made and all excellent. We would return to Thornybush in a heartbeat! It was the trip of a lifetime.

Average User Rating

  • 4.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 13
  • 4 star 2
  • 3 star 1
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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