Thornybush Game Reserve, Kruger

Thornybush Game Lodge


The Greater Kruger

Nestled in the heart of Big Five country adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, Thornybush Game Lodge overlooks the seasonal Monwana River. This pristine African bushveld has an established reputation for its huge diversity of wildlife.

The lodge is beautifully furnished in a lavish style. All the suites have private wooden decks, with comfortable seating, overlooking the reserve and waterhole. Here you can take some time-out, catch forty winks while enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and peaceful surroundings.

Elegant and exclusive, the Lodge offers the complete package for groups of all sizes. There are exhilarating dawn and dusk safaris, an exclusive on-site spa, gourmet cuisine, the world’s finest wines and sublimely luxurious accommodation await you at Thornybush Game Lodge.


At a glance

  • 18 luxury suites and 2 family suites

  • Swimming pool

  • Library

  • Bar

NEW Thornybush Game Lodge Main Area 28


  • NEW Thornybush Game Lodge Game drives

    Game Drives

    With two game drives a day, you’re bound to spot your bucket-list animal sightings. Sundowners in the evening lets you set eyes upon sunset casting golden light across an African savanna. As night sets in, you’ll start to see new animals stir on your safari at night experience, adding another level of excitement to the end of the drive.

  • Walking safari thornybush

    Bush walks

    A walking safari offers something quite different from a game drive. You learn about tracking, insects, flowers, and most of all the power of the African landscape. It’s a chance to have an immersive experience where you get down and touch and smell what is out there while at the same time you never quite know what you’ll encounter around the next corner.

  • White water rafting

    White water rafting

    A rafting trip in the Blyde River Canyon is fast and furious because the river contains steep gradients. These slopes range from long rapids to steep drops and much more that get your adrenalin pumping along all 8km of white water.


The reserve is constantly undergoing various research projects centered on the various wildlife species residing in the area. Nature conservation is a priority to the reserve as efforts are being made to keep the wilderness as unharmed as possible. The reserve was the recipient of the first-ever translocation of lion and an entire elephant herd from the Kruger National Park. The reserve also supports the fight against rhino poaching and is the first reserve in the Lowveld to do rhino horn treatments.

Community & Culture

The philosophy at Thornybush is ‘Unity is Strength’ so many of their projects are designed to empower people and small businesses by providing them with tools to build a sustainable life. The lodge participates in many community projects including supporting local schools and programs.

Wild Shots Outreach aims to engage young people from disadvantaged communities in wildlife and wild places through photography. It teaches new skills, provides an introduction to the natural world and raises the aspirations of these learners – the conservationists of tomorrow.

Hlokomela is a well-run project close to Hoedspruit, which aims to take care of farm workers with HIV/Aids- and TB-related illnesses. They also provide daycare to the children of farm workers, while their parents are being treated.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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