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Thornybush Waterside Lodge
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Reviews (283)
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162 - 167 of 283 reviews
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Deep in the heart of a private reserve (Thornybush) and next to Kruger Park, this is one of the best safari camps we have visited. Everything from the service, lodging and food (5 meals a day) is exceptional. The staff cannot do enough, catering to your every need. Two safaris per day are included with no more than 9 people in a vehicle. This is not a zoo! With 14,000 hectares of land, they have every species of wild animals and birds found in South Africa, the Big 5 including both white and black rhinoceros. Since this is wild reserve, do not be disappointed if you do not see every type of animal; however, the guides are amazing at their ability to find them all (ours were Jacques and Moses). One of the best vacation spots on Earth. Expect to arise early – the morning safari leaves before sunrise.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Brazingo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Thornybush Waterside Lodge was the mosty amazing experience. I also stayed in Room 20 which was out of this world. The grounds were stunning as were the animals which visited, some whilst we were enjoying drinks on the deck. Sean, our ranger and Willies, our Tracker were unbelievable, the food at the lodge was beautiful and the staff could not have been better.
I will never forget this place nor the safaris we did here and I certainly plan to return. I would rate this whole experience as 20 out of 10!!! I travelled with a group of 10 other Australian women in May this year.

Room Tip: Any room would be fantastic. I stayed in the very end room No 20 and it was sensational.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Jan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Thorneybush Waterside offered superior rooms, handsomely maintained grounds, culinary treats and unforgettable safari outings. My husband and I stayed three days with memories of gracious hosts and unforgettable safari trips into the bush.

The staff apologized for giving us room 20, located at the end of the pathway. This turned out to be a bonus as we had a stroll before and after meals through the grounds. We saw nyalas, small antelope, nibbling grass in front of our place, a very young one, too. Our room was spotless with a huge comfortable bed like the photos plus a luxurious bathroom and a back patio with chairs to view the bush.

The safaris with Jamie, our range/guide and Abraham, our tracker, were unforgettable. Cameras cannot capture the feeling of seeing a trio of leopards feeding, three female lions setting up to ensnare a warthog, a cheetah guarding a fresh kill or the giraffe and zebras grazing together. I'll always remember being next to the herd of elephants moving through the bush taking down small trees as if they were toothpicks. I appreciated the stops with snacks while we were out and the fact that our Toyota safari vehicle was new. We were on 6 safaris with Jamie and Abraham who provided rich experiences as they shared their knowledge of the bush and its history.

My husband and I like to try new and unique menu items and we found every meal with an array of delicacies from which to choose. The lodge had a talented chef and staff. I particularly liked the layered crepe with a vegetable filling that was served at lunch one day. The buffets also included traditional fare. We enjoyed two magnificent BOMA dinners with lanterns lit and fire pit, though all meals were set in various locations around the beautiful lodge.

While checking my e-mail one morning I discovered a problem back home and needed to phone and fax the USA. The staff was most accommodating and provided me with the resources to resolve the problem. And they didn't charge for these services. Hats off to them!

No one has mentioned the gift shop and while these places usually have high prices, I found a couple of items for purchase that I had not seen anywhere before or after our visit to SA. And the price was modest. Overall, the stay was the highlight of our visit to South Africa.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LimekilnLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

had 2 nights at waterside lodge, the food was just amazing with great service, the game viewing was good although didn't see much of big cats, only 3 lioness and one on a kill which was just prefect, its only goes on luck and ranger/tracker experience.

the rooms are bit close to each other so no privacy sometimes,but over nice rooms.

Thornybush Waterside Lodge game reserve is just 40 minutes drive from Hoedspruit airport.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Am staying at Waterside, day 3 of 4. We have stayed at a number of lodges in Sabi Sands and Madikwe over the years and are familiar with the different sites.
Waterside Lodge is excellent value on all fronts:

Lodge: Well set out over looking a water hole / lake. Usual viewing deck with other type lounges ect.

Rooms: Well presented, very clean. Spacious!! Private veranda overlooking riverbed.Lovely bed with cotton duvets.Fridge in room with drinks -FREE bottled water.

Food: The food is 1st class.We appreciate good quality food. Salads are best we have ever had and are not the norm - e.g -avocado and asparagus , pear and blue cheese and so on. I had a lamb shank main meal last night that could compete with a top pretoria restaurant -La Madelaine ( google it)Breakfasts include usual buffet with hot dishes served at your table - again fantastic.


Game Drive - great and typical of 5 * lodges. G Ranger Petro very good and huge knowledge-regret that he is leaving as he is an asset to any lodge. Lots of game to view and game drives are nice and long with a stop off period for complimentary drinks - which makes a change from so many other lodges that charge you for the game drive drinks and go as far as making you order your preference at breakfast for the evening game drive!

General : This is a pleasant find for us. The lodge is worth a visit and recommended.

Room Tip: We stayed in rooms 5 & 6. Good choice.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jon482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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