Thanda Safari, a private game reserve rooted in Zulu culture, was born from the desire to preserve Africa’s wildlife and provide an income for local people.
Located three hours north of Durban, Thanda Safari is set amid 14 000 hectares of stunning landscape. Wild animals – including the Big Five roam the surrounding lands and, famed for its close-up animal encounters, Thanda Safari’s passionate conservation of the environment makes a stay here truly exceptional. Meaning ‘love’ in isiZulu, Thanda Safari is a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World and a multiple winner of the World’s Leading Luxury Lodge, and is perfect for families, weddings and honeymoons. The epitome of a 5-star luxury safari experience, Thanda Safari offers three distinctive accommodation choices: tents, suites and a villa. Thanda Tented Camp comprises 15 spacious canvas tents, including the Jabula (Happiness) Tent and offers a relaxed and authentic safari experience, which is perfect for bridal couples, honeymooners or families seeking beautiful accommodation for special occasions. The camp is non-electrified but has limited solar and battery power with a generator to power the tents for a few hours daily. Thanda Tented Camp uses minimal lighting, with beautiful scenery enhanced by firelight from the boma and paraffin lanterns lighting the walkways.
The epitome of a 5-star luxury safari experience, Thanda Safari offers three distinctive accommodation choices: tents, suites and a villa
The nine bush suites at Thanda Safari Lodge are shaped like traditional Zulu homesteads, each offering near-panoramic views of the game reserve. Each has its own spacious lounge area, master bedroom and bathroom, as well as a thatched, elevated sala (open pavilion), a plunge pool and a private boma (fire pit) for an intimate dining experience. Consider your bush suite a hideaway for relaxation, romance or reflection. The public areas are colourful and include a library overlooking a waterhole frequented by elephant and other game, a private business area, cigar bar and an impressively stocked wine cellar. With its own helipad, Villa iZulu is a majestic five-suite villa that provides a safari hideaway for those seeking true privacy. Its large heated swimming pool and fenced garden make it a favourite for families. Complete with its own chef, butler, private guide and tracker, Villa iZulu ensures every need is catered for and is consistently voted ‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa’ and ‘South Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa’ at the World Travel Awards.
Consider your bush suite a hideaway for relaxation, romance or reflection
Thanda’s Bucks & Bugs Club encourages kids to join the Junior Ranger’s Course while spending time with the guides, learning about game tracking/spotting, spoor identification, bird and plant life. Upon completion, they receive a Junior Ranger certification from Thanda Safari. Choose from two spa sanctuaries offering luxurious simplicity where therapists will lead you on a journey of beauty, healing and restoration with signature treatments boasting a combination of western techniques and ancient Zulu holistic practices. Menus, created by Thanda’s chefs, reflect diverse South African cuisine such as rich potjiekos and delicious game meat enhanced by freshly grown, locally sourced vegetables, fine local and international wines and Champagnes. Guests can spend their days in search of the Big Five on game drives, marvel at South Africa’s beautiful flora and fauna on bush walks, join bird watching and photographic safaris and take part in a complimentary photography session with the resident wildlife photographer.
beautiful scenery enhanced by firelight from the boma and paraffin lanterns lighting the walkways
Visitors are invited to participate in biodiversity and wildlife protection initiatives, including assisting with game counts and the daily monitoring of ‘priority species’ (cheetah, lion, elephant), as well as rhino tracking and taking part in community projects and cultural celebrations. For a truly immersive African experience, Zulu cultural tours of the rural community provide a deep insight into the modern way of life of the people who have long inhabited this region. Alternatively, simply enjoy a hippo and croc cruise up the St. Lucia Estuary. Thanda Safari has recently launched the Ulwazi Research Programme for those wishing to take part as a Volunteer Research Assistant or Research Intern. Whether you are a student wanting to pursue research and/or gain work experience in the wildlife and conservation field or on a gap year wanting to contribute to conservation, this is ideal.
Villa iZulu ensures every need is catered for
For an experience that is every bit as unique as Thanda Safari is, guests can enjoy the sister property, Thanda Island, a tropical island off the coast of East Africa with exquisite white beaches, turquoise seas and a five-bedroom luxury villa. Nestled within Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island can only be booked on an exclusive basis. Here, beach house romance meets nostalgia and East African elegance.
Two unique African experiences, offering beach and bush, await the discerning traveller.