- Private infinity plunge pool
- Luxurious & spacious suites
- Family friendly
Superlatives simply don't cut it for Thanda. The main lodge, with its spacious rooms, is perfect for families looking for a safari experience and it has the huge benefit of being in a low risk malaria area. Each of the vast 9 suites comes with its own bedroom, lounge, bathroom (with indoor and outdoor showers), sun bed, deck and private (heated) infinity plunge pool and they are quite simply, out of this world. Each of the suites is entirely private and set away from the main house, meaning that in the evenings, guides will come and escort you to and from the main eating area, as animals are free to wander through the camp. And that brings us to the service here, which is what makes Thanda so very special. The staff are all incredibly friendly and eager to provide the best service possible. The food is divine, with generous portions and children's appetites well catered for.
For adults wanting a more traditional tented safari experience, there is a tented camp with secluded tents dotted on the side of a hill. Tents are comfortable, with en-suite bathroom facilities and a private deck where you can enjoy the gorgeous views. There is no electricity, . but it does have limited solar and battery power with a back-up generator to power the tents for a few hours each day.
The game reserve itself is 14,000 hectares. At times you are aware of the fences (when we stayed, we tracked two cheetah along the perimeter for a while) but all reserves are fenced at some point. The big 5 are there and you have a good chance of seeing at least 4 of the big 5 - leopards are, as ever, elusive. But the guides go out of their way to give you an outstanding safari experience, taking the time to explain the plants, birds and insects. Children are given a safari hand book with a tick list and the guides will make sure that they are well looked after and engaged. Not to mention offering more hot chocolate than they will be capable of drinking in a life time!
To mix up your stay at Thanda, you can visit an elephant and cheetah interaction centre, or go for a cultural visit to a local village. Further afield, day trips to the coast can be arranged.
Sublime service and accommodation do come at a cost and this is a more expensive option, but if you are looking for spacious, luxurious family friendly accommodation, then this is the place for you.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019