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“A true escape”

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Thornybush Waterside Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Trieste, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A true escape”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

From the first moment to the last everything was perfect and exceeded our expectations.
The accommodations were stunning, service superb and safaris just out of the world. Jamie our ranger and Abraham our tracker showed us more than we could have imagined on our 5 safaris. They were very knowledgeable and gave us an amazing glimpse into a world that was completely new to us.
The meals were of high quality and well prepared. It was beautiful to sit outside for dinner and we also loved the bbq on our last evening.
We were on our honeymoon and the staff went the extra mile to make it even more special. The front manager was fabulous and I'm sorry to say I forgot her name (it was a year ago already!) But something like Tammy perhaps?
Would recommend this experience to anyone and hope to return one day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rudynocri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We have just returned from our stay here and had an awesome time. Everything about the place was fantastic, from the accommodation, to the bar and meals area, to the food and the location itself was outstanding, with lots of deer wandering around and overlooking a lake with resident hippos! The game drives were excellent and the guides very knowledgeable and did their best to give us the best possible experience. Would definitely recommend - just wish we had stayed for longer!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 10 right at the very end - it was the best as it was the furthest away from the ba...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Melane T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parabiago, Italy
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We stayed at the Waterside Lodge for three nights . You can't really leave that place!
Everything down there is just perfect!
The rooms are spacious, superbly appointed and impeccably clean;
the staff - all of them - are super.
We travelled with a kid ( Emma, 9 years old) , who was spolied by everyone shamelessly.
The food is excellent and perfecty served (by the way, a big hug to our waiter, Surprise, soooooo sweet!).
The game drives are fantastic; we saw all the big5 and much more, including a moving sighting of the lion cubs playing in the sand and a sundownwer in the bush with the sound of a roaring lion; the "guitly ones" for that are ranger Sean and tracker Willes, whom we want to thank again for the unforgettable experience.
We couldn't suggest anything to those guys, just to go on this way, they're extremely professional and so warm and friendly at the same time!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank valentinag302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I have just returned from a wonderful long weekend at Waterside Lodge.

Wow. We were warmly greeted by the staff with hot towels on our arrival and a lovely refreshing drink. Our car was parked for our and our bags taken to our rooms.

The setting on the waterside is just beautiful and so serene. There are nyala and other animals walking around the lodge and and a lovely pool area with a view of the water.

Rooms are very spacious and comfortable with lovely little touches.

Food was plentiful and delicious, we were constantly being fed! Rusks and biscuits before morning drive, a lovely stop for tea and snacks on the morning drive, lunch, pre-afternoon drive snacks (baked goodies), a stop for afternoon snacks on the drive, and then dinner! We were served by Rich for our stay who was wonderful, so efficient and friendly.

And now for the drives. Wow wow wow! Best I have experienced thus far. Our team of Moses and Jacques (dedicated to our group of six for the three days, so we were able to make ourselves heard) were just incredible, so welcoming and knowledgeable and really willing to go the extra mile to make sure we had amazing sighting! They were also able to tailor to our interests which was wonderful. We saw all of the big five, all more than once as well as so many other animals such as cheetah, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, many antelope and a wide variety of bird life. No question was left unanswered. A highlight was definitely tracking a leopard through very rough terrain! AMAZING! We were also treated to a walk through the bush, where we had the opportunity to spot some of the smaller animals and learn about the plant life.

I left with a very heavy heart but feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated and hope to return soon!

Thank you once again to the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anja42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We stayed 3 nights at the lodge and this turned out to be the highlight of our first trip to South Africa! The rooms are spacious and beautiful - we had interconnecting rooms for the kids. There is plenty of wildllife on the grounds - Nyalas, Antelope, Vervet monkeys and the 'resident' Hippo. The food is great and more than plentiful. Dinner each night was a unique experience. The game drives are fantastic. We had several very close sightings of the Big 5 and even found ourselves in the middle of an elephant herd being chased by a bull elephant! The shaky video we took of the encounter will always remind us of our very memorable stay! Being on a reserve does give you better odds of game viewing and the fact that we could go offroad allowed us to watch lionesses setting up for a hunt. Amazing!
The staff goes above and beyond trying to make your experience comfortable. Be it the hot towels after each drive, welcome drinks promptly on arrival, hot water bottles for the morning drive or rooms serviced several times a day.
Special thanks to our ranger Jack and tracker Hennie and our butler Jimmy!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank esbee9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

At the beginning of June, I took my younger brother on a surprise trip for his 21st birthday and our first stop was Thornybush Waterside Lodge for two nights, and oh how we both wished we could have stayed their for the entire ten day trip. It was unbelievable!

From even before arrival, you recieve a phone call from the manager on duty to find out how your trip down to the lodge is so far and an ETA. Greeted with welcome drinks and warm towels - perfect for the winter afternoon and sat down to go through any dietary requirements and special requests - it really gives your stay that personal touch. We were then introduced to our butler, Philip, who would look after us for the following two nights. We were then given a walk around tour of the property and shown to our room - luxury in the rustic bush at its best.

A treat of the day (day of arrival was an amazing Carrot Cake) and tea/coffee/juice is served before departing on your afternoon/evening game drive. We were introduced to our guide, Jordan and our Tracker, Rich. What an incredible team they are working together! We had some unbelievable sightings during our trip seeing all of the big 5 except for Rhino, including incredible encounters with Lion, elephant and a night sighting of a leopard.

The food was outstanding, I really was blown away by the standard of food and the presentation. There wasn't one meal that I could fault, and having my list of dietary requirements I was surprised that I was catered for so well. On our second night there we had dinner in the boma and we were surprised with a birthday cake for my brother followed by a few songs sung by the staff of the lodge.

I don't think someone could go wrong with choosing to stay at Thornybush Waterside Lodge, it truly is such a treat and the perfect 5* getaway in the bush. If you're able to somehow request Philip, Jordan and Rich - I can guarantee you that you will recieve the most incredible service during your stay!

To the management team, rangers and staff - THANK YOU for such an amazing stay.

Shongile&Mafoefies.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank KiDct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
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
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank dfeinber
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

Property: Thornybush Waterside Lodge
Address: Guernsey Road | Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
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 #3 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Thornybush Waterside Lodge 5*
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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