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“Breath taking experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thornybush Game Reserve

Thornybush Game Reserve
R40, Kruger National Park, South Africa
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Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Breath taking experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

Thornybush Waterside was amazing from the moment we stepped foot on the property.
We received a warm welcome from Kelly who showed us to our rooms, explained everything about the resort in detail and introduced us to our butler Sandiso.
We loved the game drives with our ever so knowledgeable ranger Chad who was accompanied with his trekker John.
We saw all the big 5 during our 3 night stay and each game drive was full of adventure and surprises as Chad ensured we had new game to see every time we went out to the bush.
Chad was absolutely fantastic and understood how to make the whole experience exciting and memorable for us.
Our butler Sandiso was amazing and his service could easily pass for a michelin star resturant. Sandiso was attentive and remembered minute details like how much coffee my sister drank and I only ate small portions of food, my husband liked beer with his lunch etc. etc.
Absolutely amazing safari and bush experience and would definitely recommend.

Visited April 2015
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A memorable safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

I liked everything about the safari. I did not like the long journey to and from Hoedspruit, Africa. The staff at Private game Reserve ate wonderfully friendly and helpful. Meals were served in different locations, all beautiful sites, by an assigned butler who serves for all meals including afternoon tea. The cold towels which are handed to each guest by a smiling person each time one arrives back at the lodge after safari are a wonderfully refreshing and thoughtful touch. The quiet , efficient service was exemplary.

Visited March 2015
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Getting up at 5:00am for the morning game drive was hard, but so worth it! The tracker and ranger we were with (Hendrick and Christoff) were terrific at finding all the animals and providing information on the habits, etc of the animals we saw.

Visited March 2015
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Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beat this - if you can”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

We stayed at Thornybush game reserve early March 2015. Whilst it is an attraction, it is also full board that includes morning and afternoon bush drives (safari) and meals. Absolutely no kids - no exceptions! The entire service during our stay was 10/10. Your own Butler (Elvis) makes sure you get over-fed 3 times a day. Your Tracker (Hendrick) makes sure you get to see your chosen animals up close (Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, Water Buffalo, Impala, Hippo, Nyala ...) and your Ranger (Ross the best) is so knowledgeable on all things in the bush including all birds (Red and Yellow Beak, Gray and Ground Hornbills to start with) that the overall experience will stay with you for life!
The pain is - you have to get up at 05.00 every morning. If you don't you will miss the morning chorus of birds and animals who are very active at this time. The afternoon/evening drive catches them at the end of the day when they are also active. Between these times you eat, read and enjoy the sun by the pool.
We will return!

Visited March 2015
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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fantastic stay... amazing sightings!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

We have just spent 2 nights at Thornybush Main Lodge and then 2 nights at Jackalberry Camp.

We could not have wished for better - from the friendly service from lodge staff, the guides and trackers were so knowledgeable and passionate about the environment. The sightings were fantastic.

Yes - you can see the big 5 in no time at all but besides that the birding, flora, other animals are fabulous too.

Main Lodge is 5 star and the rooms are large and luxurious the view across the riverbed breathtaking and the number of animals that visit the small watering hole constant. The lodge has 20 rooms so not too big not to be able to give personal attention.
The food is delicious and well presented. As a vegetarian there was plenty for me to eat and my partner loved the lamb that was on offer at the Boma dinner.

The guide Ryno and the tracker Orlando found some amazing sightings for us and nothing was too much trouble. Their knowledge of the diversity from fauna to flora was unsurpassed.

Jackalberry is a 4 star small camp with only 8 chalets. The husband and wife management team extremely obliging. Their staff are very helpful and the guides Brad and Ocean and tracker Themba very clued up on all aspects of the bush. Lucy who runs the dining room was so sweet and very attentive. I will certainly be back!!

Visited February 2015
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