Shumbalala Game Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve

Photo of Shumbalala Lounge Photo of Poolside

Shumbalala Game Lodge

'Where the Lion Sleeps'

  • Grading: 5 Star 

Address: Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Limpopo Province

Children: Children of all ages are welcome in the Presidential Suite
Bed capacity: 8


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

Shumbalala Game Lodge is a truly exquisite destination for the soul. The serene environment and adventurous, yet calm game drives, coupled with the luxurious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, makes Shumbalala Game Lodge one of the most outstanding game lodges in the world

Sit on the deck by the pool and watch over the animals drinking by the watering hole in the evening, read a book in our cozy library, or relax on your very own large viewing deck. There are many ways to spend your glorious African afternoons.

Our fully stocked, decadent wine cellar is perfect for entertaining with class. Shumbalala Game Lodge encompasses style within the surrounds of the untamed African savannahs.

Pool Deck

The sparkling swimming pool and deck is the ideal place to cool off after a long game drive early in the morning. It refreshes the body, as well as the mind.

Sip a cocktail overlooking the pool before departing for a dusk game drive. There is nothing more relaxing than such an experience.

Health Spa

For world-class spa treatments and pampering, such as massages, facials and other treatments, just a few minutes drive away is the Thornybush Game Lodge, where the Amani African Spa is available for guests to unwind and cleanse themselves of stress.


The Boma is perfect for night-time dining. While the lodge boasts a gorgeous lounge and dining area, the Boma makes for truly magical evenings under the twinkling African stars.


Accommodation is offered in:

  • Four Luxury Suites
  • Presidential Suite

The Suites

The four Luxury Suites are furnished with the finest in luxury items. The suite is air-conditioned throughout. The fabric and upholstery is of superior quality and comfort. The en-suite bathrooms have spectacular views and there is a separate bath and shower. The outdoor shower is where guests really become one with nature. Feel the water cleansing your body, all the while hearing the tiny bird inhabitants of the surrounding area. With a fireplace in the suite's private lounge, the winter evenings can be spent in cozy luxury.

The exclusive Presidential Suite has two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. There are separate baths and showers and this suite also has an outdoor shower. The view from this suite is absolutely spectacular and guests can enjoy it from the private deck and plunge pool, ensuring privacy in the vast expanses of the African savannahs. The deck overlooks a very active watering hole. Guests can rest in comfort while observing the peaceful elephants playing in the water.

  • Separate bath and shower with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc.
  • Hairdryer
  • Voltage: 220 - 240
  • International adaptors as requested
  • Air-conditioned rooms, as well as overhead fans
  • Minibar and fireplace
  • Balcony
  • Telephone and safe
  • Umbrella, torches and candles/matches in suites

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. Everything that your rangers and trackers know about the landscape, the animals and the vegetation, will be shared with you. Shumbalala Game Lodge 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 by arrangement. Guests are accompanied by an armed ranger and tracker. The walks are tailored to the visitor's interests.
  • Shumbalala is teeming with life, including 507 species of birds which guests can watch from the game drives, walks, or from the pool deck.
  • At request and at no extra cost, guests can be taken to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, the Blyde River Canyon and the Swadini Dam and Museum. This is a remarkable experience, as guests will get hands on experience as to how animals are rehabilitated into the bush - back to their natural habitat.



  • Children of all ages are welcome if staying in the Presidential Suite
  • Children of the age of 6 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
  • Sundowner local drinks
  • Bar
  • Curio, telephone, baby-sitting and laundry 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 Manyaleti River and the natural African environment.

After your enchanted wedding, you and your partner can get swept away to the stylish and decadent Shumbalala 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.

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