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“Totally Awesome” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thornybush Waterside Lodge

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Thornybush Waterside Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Off Guernsey Road | Thornybush Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Burlingame, CA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Totally Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

My wife and I visited Thornybush Waterside with a group of 17 other friends from San Francisco upon the recommendation of a S. African family friend whose wedding brought us to S. Africa. He recommended we check it out and I'm so glad we did...this being my first safari, I could not have imagined a better experience. The service reminded me of the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, just totally first class. Rooms made up twice daily, and the food served at every meal was thoughtfully prepared and very tasty. The twice daily game drives were just phenomenal. I figured we'd see a few animals here and there, but practically everywhere we looked we saw something. Over four days we saw all of the Big 5 many times, plus cheetah, giraffe, hippo, impala, warthog, etc... The only thing I wanted to see but missed was the elusive honey badger. We even had a close call with a black mamba. Our guide David and his tracker Oupa were first class and made our experience authentic...their skills in the bush were so evident to us and my wife and I felt safe exploring the preserve with them. I also did a bush walk one day which was an enjoyable experience. We got there via a bus from Joburg and then flew out at the airport at Huidspruit. I should also add that the day we were leaving they received four brand new Land Cruisers...clearly they're investing in creating an awesome experience for their guests.
My parents unfortunately were not able to make the trip but they know if they ever go on a safari which one we'll be recommending they do!

Room Tip: There are around 20 rooms and all are villa style structures. They all have nice views of the water...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

We were only the second group to experience this newly refurbished game lodge. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome and valued friends. The rooms were located in small bungalows and were spacious with an outside verandah if there was time to sit outside. The bed was large and comfortable. Bathroom had seperate bath and shower. There was a safe and tea and coffee making facilities. The food was excellent and plentiful from coffee and fruit at 5am before the safari, breakfast after safari, lunch, afternoon tea to dinner.Several of our party had special dietary needs and the chef discussed each meal and made changes or offered specially made alternatives, including gluten free bread. The only disappointment was the plunge pool which had filtered water that had not been treated with chemicals, to protect the environment, and looked slightly murky and not too inviting. The safari staff were knowledgeable and worked hard to find animals for us. We had several magical encounters with lions and elephants.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thornybush Waterside Lodge

Address: Off Guernsey Road | Thornybush Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Thornybush Waterside Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thornybush Waterside Lodge(Graded 5 star by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa)20 Luxury Suites (40 Guests)Set on the banks of a tranquil lake encompassed with breath-taking views of the African bushveld, Thornybush Waterside Lodge affords instant relaxation.The lodges 20 comfortably appointed air-conditioned Thatched Suites blend into the natural habitat and are located along pathways surrounded by an abundance of trees and manicured gardens. En-suite air- conditioned accommodation tastefully decorated by crisp white bedding.Highly skilled rangers and trackers ensure Big 5 game viewing opportunities during dawn and dusk safaris, whilst bushwalks are for the more adventurous. Guests are invited to relax and take in the African surrounds after breakfast on the main deck area overlooking the lake, the swimming pool or alternatively retreat to the comfort of your suite.Thornybush Waterside Lodge will from mid-January 2012 have access to an even greater Reserve making game viewing some of the best in the Country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thornybush Waterside Lodge South Africa/Thornybush Private Game Reserve

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