Thanda Safari Lodge

Game Lodge, KwaZulu Natal Game Reserves


Found just inland from KwaZulu Natal’s Elephant Coast, vast Thanda Private Game Reserve is an eco-friendly paradise with diverse accommodation options. This safari lodge is the main place, but there’s also a romantic tented camp and exclusive-use villa. Big Five game drives, photography lessons and turtle tours are all possible, while opulence is a given and a superb spa awaits for anyone who’s even mildly frazzled. ‘Thanda’ is the Zulu term for love - a word you can expect to regularly use.



Thanda Safari Lodge has nine enormous villas, very secluded and styled like traditional Zulu homesteads. Each has its own plunge pool, circular daybeds, spacious lounge plus open fireplace, oval bathtub, outdoor shower and a private, thatched veranda (sala) where al-fresco dinners can be served as the sun sets.



Attractively decorated with colourful fabrics, beads, leathers and crafts, the main areas of Thanda Safari Lodge offer an array of places to relax: a well-stocked library overlooking a busy waterhole beloved of elephants, plump sofas in the large lounge and several outdoor decks. There’s also a wine cellar and cigar bar. Not far away is Thanda Spa, which offers an array of treatments from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.



Early-morning and early-evening game drives in open-topped vehicles should introduce you to all the Big Five, including rare black rhinos. Bush walks amid the bright-yellow fever trees are also offered, as are stargazing, photography masterclasses and, between November and March, midnight tours to watch turtles lay eggs on nearby beaches. Fishing, horse-riding, beach jaunts, snorkelling, microlight flights and canoe safaris are possible, too, or you could spend a day with Thanda’s conservation team.


Child Policy

Thanda Safari Lodge welcomes offers a special children’s safari programme. Those under 6 can’t join scheduled game drives, though kids from 3-6 can opt to take a private vehicle.

The Best of South Africa Travel map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.

Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.

When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.

Thanda Safari Lodge Reviews

Fond memories of Thanda !

In spite of the weather playing havoc with our travel plans , Ash Jarvis of Best of South Africa Travels took everything in hand and ensured that our party of 9 which had managed to meet up in Johannesberg could relax and wait in comfort before continuing our journey to Kwazulu-Natal. There began the trip of  a lifetime surpassing the expectations of all, young and old.  Ash had organised our stay in the Villa at Thanda Game Reserve - as we were a large party we had the house and grounds to ourselves and were looked after by the local staff like
royalty. The game drives were so exciting and we were lucky to see all the Big 5.  Both the tracker and the ranger were extremely knowledgeable and were happy to share their knowledge with us. The food was exquisite and the “surprises” amazing (we will not detail them in order to keep the secret for future guests).

After 4 nights in Thanda we  were driven to Thonga Beach Lodge situated right on the beach on the Elephant Coast. It felt like we had reached the end of the world and oh, it was so beautiful ! Once again all the staff were so friendly and knowledgeable, always happy to teach us about their culture and the wildlife. Whales, dolphins, turtles, hippos … we saw them all and more ! The food was exquisite (including vegan dishes) and the Spa treatment was as good as it comes.

Thank you Ash for making this trip such a wonderful experience.

who stayed here in October 2018.

Thanda Safari Lodge , KwaZulu Natal Game Reserves has been rated 1 time, with an overall rating of 5.00 out of 5.

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