Waterbuck Game Lodge Thornybush Game Reserve

Photo of African Wild Dog Puppy Photo of Main Lounge

Waterbuck Game Lodge

Home Away From Home

  • Grading: 4 Star 

Address: Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Limpopo Province

Children: All ages welcome
Bed capacity: 8


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 Lodge is situated in the southern part of the Thornybush Game Reserve and overlooks an estuary. The adjacent watering hole attracts many animals, including Thornybush’s largest herd of elephant. Laze on the deck by the pool as you watch the magnificent animals take a dip in their own private pool.

The lodge has only four suites, making it ideal for full booking and sole use by one group. This makes for an intimate and personal experience. Our staff will make guests feel pampered and catered for. The food is fantastic and the vast African Savannahs and lush scenery provide a calm, ethereal experience which will set anyone’s soul at ease.

The open-air dining area and the bar make for an exquisite dining experience at night. The boma and the tanning deck is a prime spot for relaxing and socialising. The private, family-sized swimming pool cools guests down while overlooking the lush undergrowth and breath taking scenery.

  • Spectacular view of dammed estuary and watering hole
  • Main Lounge
  • Main Swimming Pool
  • Boma
  • Laundry and baby-sitting services at extra cost


Accommodation is offered in four luxurious suites. The suites are exquisitely and tastefully decorated with only the best in fine linen covering the beds. The rooms are comfortable and fully air-conditioned. Each room has coffee and tea-making facilities. The suites have an en-suite bathroom with a separate bath and shower, as well as a marvellous outdoor shower. Guests can lounge on their private balcony which overlooks the dam, or the riverine bush after a refreshing shower.

  • Air-conditioning and fans
  • Balcony with outdoor shower
  • En-suite bathrooms
  • Hairdryer and shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc in bathrooms
  • Minibar
  • Safe in room

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 dam. 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.
  • 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 Acitivities 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.



  • All ages, on request
  • Children of 6 years and over 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
  • Conservation Fee & TOMSA Levy
  • Bar
  • Laundry and baby-sitting facilities
  • 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 Manyaleti 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.

Photo of Main Pool Area
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