Thanda Private Game Reserve
Gauteng, South Africa
About Thanda Private Game Reserve
Exclusivity, romance and Zulu culture in the heart of the untamed African bush. Thanda, meaning ‘love’ in Zulu, is an expression of the magical union of the power of Zulu culture, wildlife, romance and exclusivity. Thanda Private Game Reserve is South Africa’s top award-winning safari destination and is situated in northern Zululand, in close proximity to the Indian Ocean.
The inimitable integration of South Africa’s best climate and rehabilitated and rich bush land has made Thanda home to amazing wildlife and over four hundred bird species. Ignite your imagination and open your mind to an extraordinary experience for your soul, mind and body. It’s the unique and sought after balance between energising and exclusive relaxation that we want to share with you and your dear ones.
Pulses quicken from above and below as a new heartbeat is heard…Thanda…Thanda…Thanda. Since the lodge’s inception, Thanda’s aim has been to restore natural balance to the area by bringing species which were endemic to the area back. Originally purchased as degraded cattle farms, rife with alien plant species, Thanda’s wildlife management has concentrated on an extensive rehabilitation project which included reintroducing the Big Five. Thanda was also the first private game reserve in Kwa Zulu-Natal to have successfully reintroduced a breeding pack of wild dog into its borders.
Established as a “living museum”, Vula Zulu discloses the sacred rites of passage and age-old traditions that define the descendants of King Shaka through one of Africa’s oldest forms of theatre: dance. Guests are invited to taste traditional beer, made privy to the intricacies of basket-weaving and observe the art of spear combat as the cry of the impi reverberates through the village. The traditions of the performers are preserved as they do not reside at the homestead but return to their homes in the tribal land after each public performance. Hand-crafted items are displayed in the on-site curio shop and guests can wander through the market at their leisure before enjoying a meal at the restaurant.
Vula Zulu is a celebration of Zulu culture at its most colourful; a revival of the ancient art of story telling through the pulsations of the human body.
As the world’s leading luxury game lodge, Thanda Private Game Reserve offers guests a choice between the opulence of the main lodge and the rugged refinement of the safari-style tented camp. Both options offer five-star accommodation and service in very private surroundings. Accommodation packages at both the main lodge and tented camp include all meals, game activities and local drinks served on game drives.
The main lodge encompasses nine bush villas which offer guests the epitome of self-contained privacy and sheer luxury. Circular in structure and reminiscent of a traditional homestead against a hill, each of the villas boasts a breathtaking view of the surrounding game reserve. 220 m² in size, each villa has its own spacious lounge area and master bedroom with an inter-leading fireplace. A thatched outdoor game-viewing deck (sala) and infinity pool offer refreshing solace from the summer heat. Each of the villas has a full en-suite bathroom complete with an enormous oval shaped bath and indoor and outdoor showers. The villas are all equipped with private bomas for an intimate and romantic dining experience.
Should the urge arise to venture beyond your private retreat, the luxury lodge’s public areas include a library, business centre, finely-stocked wine cellar and cigar bar, as well as a choice between romantic dining venues in the heart of the African bush.
Thanda is proud to offer its guests a variety of dining venues to enhance the African experience. The drama of the boma, in front of the setting sun and behind the flames of a roaring fire is an image synonymous with the safari experience, but only one of the dining options afforded guests.
Thanda’s chefs pride their abilities to offer versatile, mouthwatering dishes that appeal to guests of all cultures and nationalities. South African cuisine is only one flavour in the potjie of tastes that guests will be served. Seasonal game meat is always on the menu for the more adventurous eaters, but partaking is entirely optional. The maintenance of a herb garden at the Royal Private Villa ensures a constant supply of fresh ingredients. Despite the mélange of tastes on offer, the chef’s are still very traditional when it comes to etiquette and value the art of fine dining. Intimate discussions with guests ensure that their dietary requirements are respected and maintain Thanda’s exceptional standards. Guests are highly recommended to advise of any dietary requirements and/or allergies at reservations stage.
Excellent wines are the perfect accompaniment to fine food and Thanda boasts a superbly stocked wine cellar and cigar bar for the discerning guest.
The luxury African safari: For the love of wildlife
Early morning and late afternoon game drives in search of the elusive Big Five are conducted in open Land Rovers under the supervision of knowledgeable rangers and trackers. Other wildlife on Thanda’s 14,000-ha property include the wild dog, endangered black rhino, cheetah, hyaena, warthog and plains game as well as an abundance of bird life.