Thornybush is a 13,816 hectares private game reserve offering good value big five safari in the Greater Kruger area. While it’s home to more than its fair share of wildlife, it’s fenced off from the nearby Kruger National Park, meaning that it offers much less of a sense of wilderness than the larger Timbavati, Sabi Sands or Mala Mala Game Reserves.
For accommodation, there are eleven options within the reserve itself to choose from. They cover a wide range of budgets and tastes, with some offering more authentic tented camps and others offering luxury, well equipped lodges. Accommodation is generally of quite a high standard, with guests well placed for spotting wildlife right where they’re staying. All of the options are all inclusive except for one, which is self-catered. About half of the options are family friendly; some of the other smaller ones will welcome children if the family books the entire camp for themselves.
As with others in the area, the reserve is a hotspot for spotting the Big Five. The reserve is privately owned, so it’s not too busy or overrun with tourists. Game drives take place both in the early morning and the afternoon; they’re led by expert guides with years of experience who are always keen to impart their knowledge of the area and help visitors make the most of their safari experiences. While here, visitors can also learn about the various ongoing conservation efforts that over the years have led to certain species, such as the cheetah, being reintroduced to the area.