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Thornybush Game Reserve
Thornybush Game Reserve

Thornybush Game Reserve

Thornybush Game Reserve, Mpumalanga

The Basics

Visiting Thornybush Game Reserve provides a personalized safari that you can’t find in the region’s public parks. You can stay in everything from intimate safari camps to luxury lodges and embark on guided game drives and game walks. Staying at a private reserve means your guides can take you off-road and into the bush, increasing your chances of spotting the “big five.” Plus, staying on-site makes it easy to join sunrise, sunset, and even night game drives.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The reserve is ideal for those looking for luxury and a chance to spot the big five.
  • Bring warm clothes for the chilly early-morning and night game drives in open vehicles.
  • Thornybush Game Lodge is wheelchair accessible.
  • The reserve offers safari options to suit a range of budgets and time frames.
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How to Get There

You can reach the reserve on a short flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Eastgate Airport and from there take a shuttle to your accommodations or a small plane to one of the reserve's airfields. You can also drive from Johannesburg. The park is located off the R40 and (depending on your entrance gate) it is about a five to 7-hour drive from Johannesburg.

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When to Get There

For the best game viewing, visit in the dry season from May through October. The dry season’s reduced vegetation and higher chances of animals gathering at the watering holes make it easier to spot the big five. Alternatively, if you want to see baby animals (which also increases your chances of witnessing predators hunting) visit in the warm, rainy season between December and April.

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Wildcard

Staying Overnight in Thornybush Game Reserve With more than 10 lodging options within the 35830-acre (14,500-hectare) reserve, Thornybush can facilitate your dream multi-day safari. Adventurous travelers who want the classic bush camping experience can stay in the eco-friendly Tangala Safari Camp. In contrast, you can choose a decadent suite at one of the reserve’s luxury lodges. Either way, enjoy provided meals and the opportunity to spot game while relaxing at your accommodations.

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