The Kruger National Park is known as much for its prolific wildlife population as its tourist-crowded roads. Shumbalala Lodge in the neighbouring Thornybush Game Reserve has all the pros that come with Kruger – but none of the cons. Thornybush offers a more private safari experience with the added benefit of guests being able to off-road and embark on night drives in pursuit of wildlife.
The 14,000ha Thornybush Private Game Reserve has an exceptional wildlife population. Stalk lion prides, observe playful elephants spraying themselves at the watering hole, and try spot the artful cheetah as it lopes, camouflaged, amid tall grass. Night drives in Thornybush may reveal the reserve’s nocturnal residents – among them the honey badger, aardvark, and caracal.
Enjoy a Shumbalala breakfast on the verandah, have late-afternoon tea on the viewing deck above the water hole, or sip an apéritif around the boma’s fire in the evening. Retreat to the lodge’s en-suite Superior Suites, boasting a lounge and private viewing deck, or treat yourself to a stay in the exquisite Presidential Suite – home to an exclusive lounge and dining room, and private boma and plunge pool.