Thanda Safari: A game-changing world of wilderness and wildlife

Romance abounds at Thanda Safari, a secluded game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal with luxury hideaway tented camps. Encircled by luscious wilderness, the exquisitely scenic reserve blurs the lines between a fantasy getaway and an African adventure. Whether it’s your first or fifth safari, this destination needs to be next on your to-do list – here’s why. 

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It’s an indulgent escape 

Several accommodation options are inside Thanda Safari: Bush suites at Thanda Safari Lodge, a completely private and exclusive bush retreat at Villa iZulu and luxury safari tents at Thanda Tented Camp. Our top pick is the tented camp, offering bush living as nature intended – open and inviting with unparalleled closeness to the bush. The sumptuous tented suites have a campaign-style look that’s a romantic throwback to the pioneer era of safari. You can sip champagne on your private sun deck, which affords astounding panoramas of multi-coloured sunsets, or take a dip in the shared rim-flow pool that appears to flow over into the wilderness canopy. 

VIZ005 - Thanda Villa iZulu - Pool Area

Adventures are on tap … day and night 

You’ll hear the cries of animals through the canvas of your tent, but if that’s not enough, there are morning and afternoon game drives that happen to be some of the best we’ve experienced. Just picture it – you’re deep in the bush and as the sun peeks over the horizon, your safari guide suddenly cuts the jeep’s engine and motions you to stay quiet as the sound of grunting lions comes carried on the breeze. You get a passing glance from a zebra at the watering hole but he’s on the lookout for more immediate threats like the family of cheetahs hiding in the underbrush just a few hundred metres away. Tip: If you’re heading out for an early trek, a bush breakfast is served at sunrise. 

VIZ001 - Thanda Villa iZulu

Animal encounters go beyond game drives 

There’s no denying that South Africa is an extraordinary country, rich in spellbinding scenery, captivating culture and fascinating wildlife. It’s easy to connect with the great outdoors in a country that’s as dynamic as it is diverse – especially here. Experience the bush on foot during an exclusive guided walk or explore beyond the reserve on a guided boat tour to see hippos and crocodiles in the nearby iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. There are also a variety of Zulu cultural and community experiences in the neighbouring villages as Thanda Safari is deeply committed to Zulu culture and environmental conservation. 

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Every stay is tailored to your exact requirements 

Thanda means ‘love’ in the language of the Zulu people and that’s exactly what shines through in the service from check-in to checkout. Whether you’d prefer slow-cooked potjiekos or tender game cuts flavoured with homegrown herbs at dinner, the chef will produce perfection for your palate and cater for all your dietary requirements. If you’d like to relinquish all responsibility for a while, book a massage with one of the spa therapists who are all dedicated to customising each treatment depending on your age, diet and emotional dynamics. They only use beautiful, non-allergenic products … and did we mention that the setting overlooks the Royal Zulu Mountains where wild animals roam?

Getting there 

Thanda Safari is about a six-hour drive from Joburg on the N2. Alternatively, you can fly into Richards Bay Airport or King Shaka International Airport where the team will meet you and drive you to the reserve. 

032 586 0149 

Facebook: @thandasafari 

Instagram: @thandasafari

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