Location: South Africa-->Kruger National Park-->Thornybush Nature Reserve
Accommodation Type: Lodge
Good For: Solo, Couple/Romantic, Family |
Located directly adjacent to the world renowned Kruger National Park is Thornybush Nature Reserve - roughly 11,000 hectares, a private bush venue which specialises in romantic getaways, bush weddings and business retreats or indabas. With world class, state of the art facilities, and five star accommodation, Thornybush Nature Reserve is home to a series of gorgeous safari camp units, tented camps, and the eponymous Thornybush Game Lodge - a fantastic meeting place of unbelievable adventure and top notch accommodation and facilities.
Making its home in the savanna thicket of Acacia, Mopane and Umbrella Thorn trees so common to the Thornybush area, all gathering dust and lazy cats perched in trees, Shumbalala Game Lodge is a five star graded, exclusive facility. Accommodating small groups of guests at any one time, Shumbalala lodge has a proud legacy of pampering its visitors, and treating them to once-in-a-lifetime encounters with the wild. A magical outing into the savanna, not soon to be forgotten.
Accommodation at Shumbalala Lodge includes four superior thatched suites, all of which are complete with minibar, fireplaces, air-conditioning, overhead fans, mini safe, and indoor and outdoor showers, as well as private viewing decks. The exclusive presidential suite includes a private lounge and dining room, two bedrooms, private deck, air-conditioning and overhead fans, and indoor and outdoor shower facilities.
Thornybush Nature Reserve, located directly next to the Kruger National Park is home to many of the same species - servicing a huge wildlife spotting demand from its guests, including Big Five spotting, and more than sixty other species such as hyena and cheetah, antelope, zebra, giraffe, as well as more than 280 bird species for the avid watcher's delight.
• BY ROAD:
• Eastbound out of Johannesburg take the N4 to Witbank, bypass Middelburg and then turn left off the N4 to Belfast
• Proceed to Dullstroom and Lydenburg
• R36 to Ohrigstad and Strijdom Tunnel
• R531/R527 to and through Hoedspruit to junction
• Turn right, Klaserie direction
• After 6 km, turn left into Argyle Road and follow Thornybush signboards to Thornybush Nature Reserve
Please note: you will need to pay a gate entrance fee of R160 per vehicle and R40 per person. The entrance fee can only be confirmed at the time of making your reservation (Prices subject to change)
• BY AIR:
• South African Express Airways provide daily flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Hoedspruit (Eastgate airport).
• Please contact your local agent to confirm availability and flight times.
• Transfers between the reserve and Eastgate airport are booked by Thornybush for which there is an extra charge.
I've done what I would term a 'luxury' safari once before in South Africa, but Shumbala provided not only incredible, intimate accommodation, but also fabulous game viewing opportunities, come rain or shine! The lodge itself is right in the middle of the Thornybush reserve, and to be welcomed by the exceedingly friendly stuff and a cup of iced tea was just what we needed after the bumpy ride in (try to get a 4x4 if you're driving yourself there!). Our room was beautiful, and the three visits a day from housekeeping meant that despite our best efforts, it stayed that way!
The game drives were incredible. We were lucky in seeing a leopard just enjoying itself at the side of the road and not minding us being so close, but our ranger really went the extra mile to ensure we saw absolutely everything we could, and safely. When a rhino was hiding away on our last drive, we were led on foot (at a safe distance, I might add!) to take a look - really an incredible experience. I was also pretty smug that while some lodges were sending out packed 9-seater vehicles, there were only 4 of us at Shumbalala at the time, and I believe that with a maximum of 8 for safari, they will always provide a personal experience with great views when on the drives.
The food was great throughout the trip, with the chef and her team taking into account any and all food whims and making sure we never went hungry.
Overall, this place was awesome. We saw everything we could have hoped for, slept in beautiful surroundings, and drank and ate until we burst, with very friendly staff around to help us at all times.
In March 2014 my partner and I did a three day stay and safari with Shumbalala Game Lodge. More than a lodge this is an experience. Gracious! Not only is the lodge luxuriously appointed, the staff is beyond attentive, the food beyond expectation the game drives are spectacular! My best recommendation goes to this Lodge! Exceeded in almost every way. Shumbalala is located near Kruger National on the Thornybush Reserve. We were thrilled to see leopards, lions, elephants, herds of water buffalo, hippos, zebras, giraffes, wilderbeast, impala, springbok and more and more during our game drives. Topped off guided bush walks, star gazing the southern hemisphere...all while having afternoon high teas, 5 star meals and more. Its a small Lodge, you'll get better attention, and you will interact with others from around the globe...enjoy! All my best to Jeandra and the crew! Spectacular!
We were treated royalty. Food was wonderful and game drives were outstanding. We saw "the big five" plus. Our ranger, Wayne, and tracker, Herman, took us all around to see the game. This was the most exciting trip of our lives.
This was our first safari and our first stop. Couldn't have asked for more. We felt secure on all the day trips and saw all the large animals, including elephants, African buffalo, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, leopards and countless species of birds. A bonus was the absolutely delicious food. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly, as were all the staff. Recommend this without equivocation.
We came with teen grandson. The attention he got from staff was"icing on the cake". The animal sightings were superb and the natural history information made the safari so memorable for him as well as for us. The presidential suite was jaw-dropping...really luxurious and rejuvenating after game drives. Meals and staff friendliness and competence were outstanding also. Altogether a great experience. We highly recommend Shumbala...a place where lions and happy tourists sleep.
Like everyone else I only have great things to say. Wayne and Herman were our Ranger and Tracker and were both knowledgeable and great fun. Rooms were great as was food. Only 8 people at a time made it feel very personal.
Such an amazing trip that there are no adequate words to express The ranger and tracker were beyond well versed, I felt incredibly comfortable and happy, and was lulled to sleep by the lions roaring. The food was amazing, the lodge was beautiful and the game drives were out of this world! I highly recommend this place!
My wife and I spent 3 fantastic days at Shumbalala with our two daughters in their 20's. We had a wonderful time. The rooms, service and food were all excellent and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. More like staying in a private home than a hotel. The game viewing was also first class, especially the chance to see the big 5. Wouldn't hesitate to go back!
My wife and I have stayed at five star properties all over the world, but there is none that can compete with Shumbalala. From the moment of greeting by Steffi, the innkeeper, to the moment of departure from Wayne, our guide, everything was PERFECT. The accommodations, the food, the setting, the game drives. the service, the wines...everything was ideal. If you ever consider a visit to the Kruger region of SA, you MUST book into Shumbalala.
My wife and I had the pleasure of staying at Shumbalala for 3 nights. Outstanding staff.....Steffi the manager was very accomodating to our every request. Wayne and Herman our guide and tracker were incredible. Our game drives revealed the wonders of seeing the Big Five even including leopard on a kill, lion on bushwalking led by Wayne.....adrenaline rush! My expectations were high and they exceeded them all.
I highly recommend Shumbalala ....food, accommodations, and staff. The personal interaction gave us an insight to life there and the wonders of the bush!