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Thanda Safari Lodge

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Situated in the private, game-rich Thanda Game Reserve in the Kwazulu Natal, Thanda Lodge offers superb game-viewing in the reserve accompanied by excellent guides, with a variety of activities to suit either families or couples.

At a Glance

  • Wonderful Big Five safari in an exclusive private game reserve

  • Children will love the Bucks & Bugs activity club

  • After a day spent exploring the reserve, enjoy a relaxing massage in the lodge's spa

  • Take a day trip to 9 Mile beach; splash in the surf before enjoying a specially prepared beach barbecue

  • Thanda's bush breakfasts are legendary; perfect at the end of an exciting game drive

Couples, Family, Honeymoon, Wildlife

Insider's View

Visit a local sangoma - spiritual healer - on one of the lodge's cultural excursions to a local Zulu village.

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Join the conservation team for a day's wildlife tracking and learn about their work.

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Children will love the Bucks & Bugs club - specially created to give them a wonderful introduction to the bush.

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Learn all about how to make the best of your photography from Thanda's resident professional photographer, Christian Sperka.

Anna Hearn

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Thanda Safari Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to KwaZulu Natal and the north coast


Thanda Lodge, named after the Zulu word for "love", is beautifully situated in a private, 14,000 hectare game reserve, dotted with bright yellow fever trees.

The lodge has nine en-suite bush villas which are spacious and luxurious; each has a lovely lounge area complete with open fireplace and air-conditioning for hot days. There is a deck outside with a heated plunge pool, and a sala with a circular daybed on top, perfect for watching the sunset. The rooms are designed to give panoramic views of the surrounding reserve, and are completely private and secluded.

The main areas of Thanda are very comfortable, with a library overlooking a waterhole often frequented by elephant and plains game, and a lounge with plush sofas and plenty of places to relax. The library is very well stocked with books on African art and culture, and there is a lovely seating area overlooking the waterhole.

Activities from the lodge include day and night game drives in open topped vehicles, bush walks with a qualified guide and star gazing. If you venture outside the reserve, then boat trips on the estuary at Isimangaliso Wetlands Park are available, as are fishing, horse riding, a trip to the beach, snorkeling, birding trips, microlight flights and kayak and canoe safaris. During the months of November through to March, the lodge organizes midnight turtle tours, a fascinating trip to see the turtles emerge at night to lay their eggs on the beach.


The nine bush suites, shaped like a traditional Zulu homestead, all have vast wooden decks, with a heated plunge pool. They are secluded and intimate, and each has a thatched outdoor sala with a circular daybed on top giving panoramic views of the surrounding bush. Each has a private boma for dinners under the stars.

Each suite is a tribute to abundance, Africa-style - with a spacious lounge and majestic master bedroom and double-sided fireplace. The bathroom has a vanity, his-and-hers basins, egg-shaped bath, enclosed toilet as well as indoor and outdoor showers.

Use your suite as a secret hideaway for relaxation, romance or reflection - or as the base from which you head out to enjoy one of our many magnificent experiences.


Thanda loves welcoming children, and offers the Bucks & Bugs Club for younger children, while parents can enjoy other activities. Run by experienced rangers, the Club enables children to safely learn about and enjoy the incredible wildlife in this area.

For slightly older children, there is the Junior Rangers Course, which involves spending time with one of the guides, learning all about game spotting, tracking, spoor, bird and plant life and identification and in the evenings, stargazing. At the end of the course they will receive a Junior Ranger Certificate from Thanda.

The Thanda Nannies - all mothers themselves and very experienced - are on hand to look after children while parents enjoy activities. Children under the age of six are not allowed on game drives. Thanda provides a children's menu on request.


The main areas at Thanda are welcoming and colorful, and comprise a library overlooking a waterhole, a secluded business area, a well stocked wine cellar and even a cigar bar. The main lounge is vast, with high windows and a selection of coffee table books for guests to browse.

There is also the Thanda Spa, which offers reflexology; aromatherapy; hydrating; exfoliating and detox body treatments; facials; African massages; hand and feet treatments; hydrotherapy baths; hot and cold Kneipp therapy pools; and more, and is located in a quiet corner of the lodge.


Activities at Thanda are varied and numerous - choose from day and night game drives, bush walks or try your hand at wildlife photography - Thanda has a resident photographer, Christian Sperka, who is happy to teach guests. Enjoy a beach picnic on the coast, or take a sunset cruise in the Simangaliso Wetland Park, spend a day with the conservation Team in Thanda learning about what they do, enjoy an elephant interaction, or spend a day in a Zulu village learning all about their culture and way of life.

Location & Directions

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Thanda Safari Lodge is located in the Thanda Private Game Reserve, in South Africa's Kwazulu Natal region, on the eastern side of the country.

When to go

The subtropical climate in Kwazulu Natal, means anytime of the year is worth a visit. The wildflower season is generally from mid August to mid September. The whale watching season runs from June to November.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Thanda Safari Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to KwaZulu Natal and the north coast

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