Monwana Game Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve

Photo of a Dung Beetle in Thornybush Photo of a group gathering at Monwana Game Lodge

Monwana Game Lodge

Arrive as strangers, leave as friends

  • Grading: 4 Star 

Address: Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Limpopo Province

Children: All ages welcome
Bed capacity: 8 guests


In Southern Africa, which is thought of as the origin of mankind, instils a longing in all of us. We long for the quiet beauty, yet fierce survival instincts of Africa and the wild. We long to see the magnificent animals in their glorious habitat, the way Africa is thought of in dreams. We long to feel the cool breeze on our skin as we witness the breath taking sunset over the pristine vista of Southern Africa.

The serene Thornybush Game Reserve is located within 14 000 hectares of untamed African bush and finds itself adjacent to the world renowned Kruger National Park. The landscape itself is populated by a variety of African fauna and flora, including the magnificent big five. Thornybush is authentically wild, whilst ensuring absolute serenity in luxurious surrounds. Because of this, Thornybush has been renowned as one of the most excellent bush experiences in the world.

The Lodge

Monwana Game Lodge is named after the dry Monwana riverbed that can be seen from one of the two communal social areas. Monwana Game Lodge is located within Thornybush Game Reserve, which is teeming with wildlife. The thatched Gazebo affords guests with a relaxing atmosphere in which to socialise and observe the bushveld. The main lounge is fitted with warm, cosy furnishings. The fireplace keeps guests warm at night, while snacks and drinks are available.

The lodge is absolutely family-friendly, but is also intimate and stylish. Whilst there is ample space for children, there is also opportunity for couples to share an intimate getaway in the King Size and Honeymoon Suites. Monwana is a perfect lodge for anyone who is after peace, tranquility, comfort and adventure, all balanced and set against the magnificent African scenery.

  • Four Suites
  • Fully air-conditioned
  • Main lounge with informal library
  • Main swimming pool and boma
  • Curio shop
  • Babysitting and Laundry services at additional cost
  • Internet access


Accommodation is offered in:

  • 2 Family Suites
  • 1 King Size Suite
  • 1 Honeymoon Suite

The Suites

The Family Suites are comfortable and roomy. They have two air-conditioned rooms and sleeps four guests. The bathrooms are en-suite and fully equipped. The outdoor patio leads to majestic views of the bush, which can be peacefully observed from both outside on your patio, from inside through the large windows, or from the decadent bath.

The Kingsize Suite is a one-bedroom, air-conditioned suite with an en-suite bathroom and, just like all the bathrooms in all of our suites, has both a shower and bath with a spectacular view. The outdoor patio has a view of the busy watering-hole and guests can relax with a drink on the patio whilst watching the animals drink at their watering-hole.

The Honeymoon Suite is fitted with the utmost in rich decadence and luxury. The en-suite bathroom has a shower and a sunken-bath with a tranquil view of the bush.

  • Bathrooms contain hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion
  • Fully air-conditioned
  • Suites contain safes, umbrellas, candles, torches, etc.
  • Voltage: 220
  • Private patio, or veranda with a spectacular view

Game Safaris

As dawn is starting to warm the African earth, you will receive a wake-up call. You will get into the open-top Land Rover and your accompanying rangers and trackers will take you on an adventure. The times of departure are planned to suit the optimal time for wildlife viewing and this is normally in the early morning. In summertime, drives depart at 5:30 and 15:30 and in wintertime drives depart at 6:00 and 15:30. Everything that your rangers and trackers know about the landscape, the animals and the vegetation, will be shared with you. Thornybush Game Reserve is home to 147 mammals including the "Big Five", 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 336 trees, which you can experience on the drive. After some time, the Land Rover will stop and break for coffee and tea. You can stretch your legs and breathe in the crisp, fresh air. You will be treated with a cold towel in summer and a hot towel in winter. You will also be kept warm and cosy with hot water-bottles and blankets on the vehicle in winter. The game drive will then continue. After the drive, a scrumptious breakfast will be served back at the lodge, the riverbed, or the bush.

After a day filled with walks, or relaxation and a lovely late lunch, you will be taken on an afternoon game drive into the bush to view rarely-seen nocturnal animals by torchlight. As the sun begins to set over the sweeping savannahs, you will get out at a remote, scenic spot and watch the enigmatic sunset over cocktails and snacks, allowing you to savour a truly magnificent sight. You will then return to the lodge to enjoy a 3 course gourmet dinner.

  • Walks depart daily after brunch. Visitors are accompanied by an armed ranger and tracker. The walks are tailored to the visitor's interests.


  • Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and are inclusive of VAT
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice


  • Children of all ages are welcome at the lodge
  • Children of 6 years and above are welcome on game drives

Rate Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Accommodation
  • All meals, teas, coffees and snacks
  • Dawn and dusk safaris in open Land Rovers and bushveld walks
  • Bar
  • Curio shop, laundry, telephone and baby-sitting expenses

Weddings and Honeymoons

Can you imagine your dream wedding? Does it include the fresh African terrain, traditional African dancers serenading you whilst you romantically exchange your vows at sunset? We offer this and have many other visions for your perfect wedding. Attention to the finest detail, the breath taking surroundings, luxurious accommodation and the divine cuisine will ensure that your wedding day will be absolutely thrilling and unforgettable. Your experience will be unique and beautiful at the Thornybush Game Lodge, part of the Thornybush Collection, along the Manyeleti river and the natural African environment.

After your enchanted wedding, you and your partner can get swept away in the peaceful, yet adventurous tranquillity of Monwana Game Lodge for a romantic getaway honeymoon. Lounge in your romantic bedroom with your partner, share the wonderful experience of the game drives and hold hands while strolling along the trails. Make your honeymoon unforgettable.


Monwana Game Lodge, within Thornybush Game Reserve, contains an abundance of wild animals in their natural habitat. Upon viewing the Wildlife List below, guests will get an idea of the large variety of animals there are to be seen. Of course, the "Big Five" make an appearance, as well as being a sanctuary for the highly endangered Black Rhino. There are 57 different mammal species and 300 bird species, making Monwana Lodge an animal and bird enthusiast's dream destination.

Mammals and Reptiles

  • Blue Wildebeest
  • Buffalo
  • Bushbuck
  • Grey Duiker
  • Eland
  • Impala
  • Kudu
  • Nyala
  • Steenbok
  • Waterbuck
  • Black Backed Jackal
  • Side-striped Jackal
  • Chacma Baboon
  • Vervet Monkey
  • Elephant
  • Burchell's Zebra
  • African Wild Cat
  • Caracal
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Serval
  • Giraffe
  • Hippopotamus
  • Spotted Hyena
  • Porcupine
  • Scrub Hare
  • Lesser Bushbaby
  • Pangolin
  • Cape Clawless Otter
  • Honey Badger
  • Greater Cane Rat
  • Banded Mongoose
  • Civet
  • Dwarf Mongoose
  • Large Spotted Genet
  • Slender Mongoose
  • Small Spotted Genet
  • Water Mongoose
  • White-tailed Mongoose
  • Nile Crocodile
  • Bribon's Gecko
  • Cape Dwarf Day Gecko
  • Tropical House Gecko
  • Flap-neck Chameleon
  • Bell's Hinged Tortoise
  • Leopard Tortoise
  • Marsh or Helmeted Terrapin
  • Serrated Hinged Terrapin
  • Snakes
    • African Rock Python
    • Bird or Twig Snake
    • Black Mamba
    • Boom Slang
    • Brown House Snake
    • Common Egg Eater
    • Common Night Adder
    • Herald Snake
    • Marbled Tree Snake
    • Mozambique Spitting Cobra
    • Olive Grass Snake
    • Puff Adder
    • Shield Nose Snake
    • Snouted Cobra
    • Snouted Night Adder
    • Spotted Bush Snake
    • Stripe-bellied Sand Snake
  • Aardwolf
  • Black Rhino
  • White Rhino
  • Tree Squirrel
  • Bushpig
  • Warthog


Thornybush Game Reserve has an abundant variety of vegetation. The bird life is therefore extensive. Many of the bird species below have up to ten different kinds that have been spotted in Monwala and Thornybush Game Reserve.

  • Apalis
  • Babbler
  • Barbet
  • Batis
  • Bee-Eater
  • Bishop
  • Boubou
  • Bittern
  • Brubru
  • Bulbul
  • Greenbul
  • Brownbul
  • Bunting
  • Bustard
  • Buttonquail
  • Honey-Buzzard
  • Seedeater
  • Canary
  • Cisticola
  • Crake
  • Eagle
  • Egret
  • Eremomela
  • Hobby
  • Falcon
  • Finch
  • Finchlark
  • Firefinch
  • Flycatcher
  • Francolin
  • Goose
  • Goshawk
  • Kite
  • Korhaan
  • Lark
  • Loerie
  • Longclaw
  • Mannikin
  • Moorhen
  • Mousebird
  • Neddicky
  • Nightjar
  • Oriole
  • Owl
  • Oxpecker
  • Parrot
  • Pigeon
  • Pitpit
  • Starling
  • Stilt
  • Stonechat
  • Stork
  • Sunbird
  • Swallow
  • Swift
  • Tcharga
  • Teal
  • Thrush
  • Coucal
  • Courser
  • Crombec
  • Cuckoo
  • Cuckoo-Shrike
  • Grebe
  • Thick-knee
  • Turtle-Dove
  • Wood-Dove
  • Dove
  • Drongo
  • Duck
  • Hawk-Eagle
  • Bateleur
  • Snake-Eagle
  • Fish-Eagle
  • Greenshank
  • Guinea Fowl
  • Gymnogene
  • Hamerkop
  • Harrier
  • Hawk
  • Heron
  • Honeyguide
  • Hoopoe
  • Hornbill
  • Ibis
  • Jacana
  • Kestrel
  • Plover
  • Pochard
  • Prinia
  • Puffback
  • Quail
  • Robin
  • Roller
  • Sandgrouse
  • Sandpiper
  • Secretary Bird
  • Shrike
  • Snipe
  • Sparrow
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Spoonbill
  • Tinkerbarbet
  • Twit
  • Vulture
  • Wagtail
  • Warbler
  • Waxbill
  • Weaver
  • White-eye
  • Widow
  • Widowfinch
  • Whydah
  • Woodpecker
Photo of a Black-backed Jackal in Thornybush Game Reserve
find it with us — or — let us find it for you