Villa iZulu, Thanda Private Game Reserve

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. Thanda Safari Lodge is the main place, but there’s also this exclusive-use villa, able to host up to ten guests who want real pampering. It’s buried in grassland savannah deep in the reserve’s heart, and possible activities include Big Five game drives, photography lessons and turtle tours.



A five-star paradise, iZulu is perfect for large groups. Occupying separate buildings, its five air-conditioned suites (three doubles, two twins) each seduce with private viewing decks, luxurious bathrooms and traditional hutted roofs evocative of ancient Zulu dwellings. Best of all, their master bedrooms afford an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the Villa's private waterhole – which lies behind a small but effective fence.



The villa’s fully staffed, including a superb chef. Among the shared living areas are a gorgeous Afro-chic dining room and spacious, bay-windowed lounge full of crafts by local artisans. From there, mooch off to the library, office, games room or – now we’re talking – wine cellar. Outside are a traditional thatched boma and bonfire area, plus an al-fresco gym, heated pool (plus kiddie pool) and vast veranda overlooking that same waterhole. Oh, and a helipad and accommodation for private staff.



All renters are attributed an open-topped safari vehicle and ranger. Early-morning and early-evening game drives should introduce you to all the Big Five, including rare black rhinos. Bush walks are also offered, as are stargazing, photography masterclasses and, between November and March, midnight tours to watch turtles lay eggs on nearby beaches. Massages, fishing, horse-riding, beach jaunts, snorkelling, microlight flights and canoe safaris are possible, too.


Child Policy

Thanda offers a special children’s safari programme. All kids are welcome at the villa, and those under 2 stay free of charge (cots available).

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