Thornybush Waterside Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve

Photo of Main Deck Overlooking the Lake Photo of red-billed oxpeckers

Thornybush Waterside Lodge

Comfort in the Untamed Wild

  • Grading: 5 Star 

Address: Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Limpopo Province

Children: Children of all ages are welcome
Bed capacity: 40


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

The Thornybush Waterside Lodge is truly a serene experience. The lodge is overlooks the calm lake which guests can stare at for hours, bringing a calm to the soul. Surrounded by lush trees and perfectly manicured gardens, the Thornybush Waterside Lodge is truly a beautiful experience. The fresh air and the magnificent sights add to the magical atmosphere of this paradise.

With a maximum capacity of 40 guests and 20 suites, this lodge is perfect for special gatherings. The elegant 60 seater conference room make many different occasions possible for the guests.

The enigmatic lake can be seen easily from the main lodge area and the untainted bush fills the views from all the lodges. The exquisite food and the adventurous game drives add to the perfect getaway. The experience truly is a feast for all the senses.

Pool Deck

The sparkling pool is on a raised deck which enables guests to see across the vast expanse of bush while lazing in, or around the pool. Not only will the cool water refresh you after a long game drive, but the amazing scenery will afford a truly relaxing experience.

Health Spa

The Thornybush Spa is a stylish, modern sanctuary of comfort and relaxation. The spa offers exclusive treatments to promote health, well-being and youthfulness. Enjoy a couples massage whilst enjoying the African decor and the calming effect of nature.


The Boma is a dreamy attraction where guests can dine by lantern at night, creating a romantic and ethereal experience. It is perfect for socialising with a single malt, or a cognac after a fantastic day of adventurous experiences. Enjoy a divine dinner and watch out over the beautiful African vistas under the twinkling night sky. There are very few experiences which rival this one.


The cosy library is an avid reader’s sanctuary. Curl up in a comfortable chair with a good book while the awe-inspiring thundershowers come down outside. The library has internet access.


Accommodation is offered in:

  • 20 Luxury Suites
  • The Suites

    The African thatched, fully air-conditioned, superbly furnished suites are elegant and comfortable. The linen is tasteful and soft and the en-suite bathroom is luxurious. Two of the suites have inter-leading doors, making it ideal for a family with children.

    The private deck which overlooks the bush is where guests can relax in privacy and take in the vast, dense bush. The tall trees surrounding the suites offer cool shade in the summer and insulation in the winter. The suites are positioned to be a comfortable distance from the main lounge, boma and pool deck, but also ensure privacy and give a sense of blending into nature.

    • Fully air-conditioned
    • En-suite bathrooms with separate bath and shower
    • Bathroom amenities, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hand cream, etc.
    • Spectacular private deck
    • Mini-bar
    • Tea and coffee making facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Telephone
    • Umbrella, torches and candles/matches and safe in suites

    Game Safaris

    As dawn is starting to warm the African earth, you will receive a wake-up call. Tea, coffee and rusks will then be served on the main deck overlooking the pure lake. 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. Wake up, have your morning coffee or tea and set off on a magnificent game drive as the African sunrise bleeds into the sky.

    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. Binoculars and cameras are welcome. Guests get up close to the animals, but binoculars are fantastic to see the smallest, furthest little birds in the surrounding flora. The game reserve is also a photographer’s dream. Catch the most amazing shots of your life as you witness the animals in their natural habitat.

    After the game drive, guests have the day to themselves. Spend the day with your loved ones, in the pool, in the lounge, on a terrace gazing at the dam with food and drink. Hike the surrounding trails and enjoy a scrumptious lunch at 13:30. In the late afternoon after tea and coffee is served, 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 where cocktails and snacks would do perfectly, allowing you to savour a truly magnificent sight. You will then return to the camp to enjoy your evening before the sun rises again for another day of great adventure.

    • Walks depart daily after breakfast. Guests are accompanied by an armed ranger and tracker. The walks are tailored to the visitor's interests.
    • Thornybush 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.
    • Morning Hot Air Balloon excursions are available for guests who would like to see the sweeping savannahs and the wildlife from the sky, at an additional cost.
    • The Panorama Tour day excursion follows the most scenic route in the area. Places visited includes Bourke's Luck Potholes, Abel Erasmus Pass, Graskop, God's Window, Three Rondawels and other magnificent Panorama Route destinations. Time will be afforded to guests to stop at local vendors and curio shops. Excursions will depart at 9:00 and return at approximately 17:00.
    • The Cheetah Breeding Project is a successful operation, which has expanded to include other endangered species. Guests can gain hand on experience as to how these amazing animals are bred back into safety.
    • Flight of the Dragon is a remarkable experience where guests are taken up in a small aircraft and taken on an hour flight to view the ethereal escarpments of the Drakensberg Mountains. Sights include God's Window and the Blyde River Canyon. The trip includes a stop at Thornybush's private mountain pool for a relaxing swim and an enchanting picnic lunch. This is truly an amazing experience.
    • The Children's Activities are innovative and entertaining, specially suited to children's needs and interests. Each child is assigned a ranger and an adventure pack. The ranger will take children on walks and game drives specially suited to children's interests and attention span. Various activities will be taken part in, such as poolside picnics, children's spa days, supervised baking and exciting treasure hunts. Special meal and venue requirements are taken into account if the parent so wishes.



    • Children of all ages are welcome at the lodge
    • Children of 6 and above are welcome on the 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
    • Conservation Fee & TOMSA Levy
    • Bar
    • Spa
    • Curio Shop
    • Day excursions

    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 to the stylish and decadent Luxury Suites 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, or take a fantastic hot air balloon ride with your partner. Make your honeymoon unforgettable.

Photo of View of the Bush
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