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Thornybush Jackalberry Lodge

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- Small, friendly bushcamp
- Superb year-round Big 5 game viewing
- Excellent guiding in private reserve
- Night drives and off-road wildlife viewing

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Thornybush Jackalberry Lodge is a small, authentic bush camp located on the outskirts of Kruger National Park, northeast South Africa. Set in the private Thornybush Game Reserve and framed by the distant Drakensberg mountain range, the lodge offers friendly, attentive hosting along with a swimming pool, library, and gift shop. Boasting strong guiding and excellent year-round game viewing, Jackalberry Lodge will appeal to travellers seeking a select and intimate safari experience.

Guest areas at the lodge include a welcoming swimming pool with loungers, plus a TV lounge, library, and small gift shop. Communal meals are served either in the open dining area, or around a fire in the boma. Wi-Fi is available on site, although due to the camp’s remote location, the signal may at times be intermittent.

Activities include morning and afternoon game drives, and guided walks. The lodge’s location in a private reserve means that thrilling off-road and night time safari experiences are there for the taking. The surrounding terrain of thick, verdant bush is home to abundant wildlife including the Big 5 plus zebra, warthog, giraffe and baboon, and animals are regularly spotted around camp. The birdlife is prolific with over 500 species identified in the area, and birding safaris are available.

The camp accommodates up to 16 guests in seven well-appointed, thatched chalets. Each unit has a king size bed plus air conditioning, mosquito nets, a minibar, and hot drink facilities. The ensuite bathrooms contain twin basins, WC, and a separate shower and bathtub, plus an additional, invigorating alfresco shower. Each chalet boasts a private patio, great for relaxing and enjoying the views and wildlife.

Children are extremely welcome at the lodge, and youngsters receive a welcome backpack on arrival. Discounts are offered to guests under 16 years of age and babysitting can be arranged, subject to additional cost. A family suite is available, which has one king size bed and a second, twin bedded room. Note that children under 6 years of age are not permitted on game drives, and there is a minimum age restriction of 16 years for guided walks.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 497 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    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!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan 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

    MissingCatherine 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!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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