Enjoy opulence in the bush with The Thornybush Collection’s accommodation offerings

The Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection consists of various four- and five-star lodges, located in the 14 000 hectare Thornybush Private Nature Reserve and the northeastern Sabi Sands.

In December 2015 work began on refurbishing the collection’s main lodge, Thornybush Game Lodge, starting with the remodeled main deck, which was completely renovated, including amazing new décor that gives the space a more modern look and feel, without overpowering the exquisite natural beauty surrounding the area.

One of the suites has already been entirely redone and the other 19 will be finished over the next twelve months, with completion expected around early-2017. The renovations will cost approximately R7 million in total and show the collection’s commitment to always improving its offering, ensuring guests get the most luxurious and comfortable accommodation while enjoying a holiday in the game-rich private reserve.

More exciting news for the collection is the addition of the extremely lavish The River Lodge into the stable. Previously a private lodge, The River Lodge is now part of The Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection and amongst the finest of all the lodges. Exceptionally exclusive and luxurious, The River Lodge consists of just five suites, including the exquisite two-bedroom Royal Suite, and therefore is limited to a maximum of ten guests. The suites are all situated far apart, surrounded by uninterrupted views of the African bush, with wildlife grazing beside you, and ensuring the utmost privacy. The entire lodge can be booked for exclusive use, meaning guests can do as they wish with no itinerary or schedule, just the indulgence of enjoying downtime in the bush and setting their own pace. All suites overlook the seasonal Monwana River and have their own private plunge pools; game spotting straight from the deck is very likely – from buffalo to elephants.

The Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge Collection has accommodation to suit all needs – from honeymoon couples to families and large groups.

Luxuria Lifestyle Review

There are a number of five star lodges in the same area in South Africa and as such there needs to be defining differences to the experience. Luxuria Lifestyle spent three days at their flagship lodge, Thornybush Game Lodge, to investigate. The trip was exceptional and we are happy to share our top 5 defining points as follows:

1. Personalized service – upon arrival we met ‘Mamma Grace” who was our personal liaison for the trip. Grace was available throughout our stay and was there for ANY of our required needs. We met our assigned Ranger, Ryno, who patiently answered even the most ridiculous of questions, arranged bushwalks and shared our meals with us. Having access to the knowledge and services of these same people throughout the trip was beyond valuable. So much so that we felt like part of the family and departing for home was a sad affair.

2. Every need catered for – The team made several ‘out of the ordinary’ requests at the most inconvenient of times of both staff and management at the lodge. Remarkably we could not stump this team within at most fifteen minutes of our request the lodge managed to meet and exceed expectations. This includes a 3am request to be walked back to the main compound with a ranger.

3. Passionate Staff – There is not a single member of staff that does not love their job at Thornybush. We had the pleasure of experiencing and hearing the stories of each staff member and their experiences. The staff are so set on ensuring that your stay is enjoyable that teams from the different lodges will work together to ensure the best sightings and most pleasurable experiences. From mid drive cocktails to seeing a lion kill at less than five meters away. Their passion for the bush and their lodge is infectious and without compare.

4. The Game – although this may not be everyone’s experience, the five game drives that we had where exceptional. There is not a single experience that anyone on the team can remember that can compare. We experienced wildlife at such close quarters that the smell lingered for hours. The rangers and trackers at Thornybush are skilled beyond belief and their determination sets them apart… We had sightings at close range every outing and of game that one rarely see.

5. Unique Fusion – The new rooms at Thornybush are exceptional and combine the old with the new. Rooms are modern yet still very organic and in-keeping with lodge style.. The design team have captured the best of modern design and comfort in the finishes but managed to hold true to the feeling of touching Africa. The modernization has been done is such a delicate manner that the essence of bush life is still core to the aesthetic.

The entire experience at Thornybush is exceptional and certainly one that we would recommend. A huge thank you to the team at Thornybush Collection for this unique experience.

WTM Africa 2020

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