Thanda Safari Lodge (KZN)

A lion drinks with thanda safari lodge in the background

 9 Suites  – 18 Guests

Thanda Safari Lodge is a world of wilderness and wildlife, matched with a deep commitment to Zulu culture and environmental conservation. Thanda means ‘Love’ in the local Zulu language, and Thanda Safari lives this ethos in the management of the 14 000-hectare reserve and the sustainable community partnerships.

Experience the ultimate safari and game lodge experience with Thanda Safari, which has repeatedly been named the World’s Leading Luxury Lodge.

Thanda Safari is a private game reserve situated in the renowned wildlife region of northern KwaZulu-Natal, some 260kms north of Durban, South Africa.


thanda safari lodge

Nothing compares to the feeling of being in the African bush. On an early morning or late afternoon safari game drive, all your senses awaken with off-road & up-close encounters with the Big Five in their home terrain. The lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo: these icons of the African wilderness inspire a lifelong connection with Thanda Safari and Africa.

Game Drives

Early morning or late afternoon safari drives offer the best time to look for the Big Five. With 14,000 hectares to explore and led by Thanda’s expert rangers and trackers, you’ll see an incredible range of animals, including cheetahs, hyaenas, giraffes, warthogs and abundant bird and plant life.

Game drives accommodate a maximum of six guests and include refreshment stops to stretch your legs and admire your breathtaking location. Your guide will share stories and anecdotes based on an intimate knowledge of the park and its surrounds.

The rangers at Thanda Safari Lodge are trained to traverse off-road in pursuit of interesting game species. They do so with a direct appreciation for preserving the bushveld.

Morning Game Drives: The morning game drive leaves between 5:30 am and 6 am. Your guide will select a spot to enjoy the stunning views, whilst enjoying a morning refreshment.

Afternoon Game Drives: The afternoon game drive leaves between 4pm and 5pm. After sundowners and snacks, your guides will use the spotlight to find nocturnal animals, before returning to the lodge for dinner.

Bush Walks

Experience a guided walk through the bush, a heightened sensory experience where every sound and scent is magnified as you get closer to nature.  Your ranger will show you different plants, insects and birdlife as well as the flora and fauna of the Zululand area.  Learn to identify the spoor and scat of different animals on this truly amazing experience.

We can arrange at an additional charge:

  • RHINO TRACKING – Help to conserve our rhinos! Extraordinary effort is required to protect these magnificent creatures threatened with extinction as a result of poaching by international criminal syndicates. Now you can actively contribute to conserving the rhinos on Thanda Safari by joining our specialist rhino monitors who daily locate and record data on our black and white rhinos.
  • CHEETAH TRACKING – This activity is hosted by a member of the Wildlife Conservation Team and starts just before sunrise.  Guests will spend 3 to 4-hours helping the team track and identify the cheetah whilst learning all about their ecology, the threats to the species, behavioural and feeding patterns and much more.


Thanda Safari Lodge is the flagship Thanda property.

Each of the 9 bush suites is a tribute to African abundance, with a spacious lounge, majestic master bedroom, double-sided fireplace and an indulgent bathroom, with a beautiful bath, and an indoor and outdoor shower.

Thanda Safari Lodge’s nine beautiful bush suites are self-contained for absolute privacy. Relax on the expansive deck, take a dip in the private plunge pool &  dine in your private boma. Enjoy warm afternoons on the circular daybed in your thatched outdoor sala. Shaped like a traditional Zulu homestead, the 220m² suites offer luxury living and panoramic views over the reserve.

elephants outside camp at thanda

Thanda Safari Lodge’s shared areas are 100% African, including an inviting lounge, expansive deck and library overlooking a waterhole. For those who require it, a private business area is available. A cigar bar, impressive wine cellar and the Thanda Safari Spa complete a perfect experience in the bush.

Guest areas include an interactive café-style kitchen, indoor sitting and dining areas, an intimate library with internet access and a swimming pool with an extended wooden deck overlooking the surrounding wilderness.

Getting to Thanda Safari Lodge (KZN)

DRIVE:  Thanda Safari is situated in northern KwaZulu-Natal, some 260km north of Durban. From Durban, take the N2 towards Hluhluwe. Approximately 20km (12 miles) past the turn-off for Hluhluwe, turn left onto the D242, continue for approximately 5km (3 miles) on the gravel road to the Thanda Safari gate on the right.

  • RICHARDS BAY AIRPORT 95.16km from property
  • KING SHAKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 218.7km from property
  • O.R. TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 463.30km from property

FLY:  If you are flying into local Richards Bay Airport or King Shaka International Airport in Durban, a transfer can be arranged, where our team will meet you and drive you to the reserve. International guests often fly to South Africa via O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Guests can fly directly from O.R Tambo to the Phinda Airstrip via Fly Airlink where they are met by a Thanda representative for the short drive to Thanda Safari.


private deck at thanda safari lodge

A typical summer day at Thanda Safari Lodge:
(Kindly note, times may vary slightly and winter timings are different)

  • 05h30 Wake up call at the room
  • 06h00 Light breakfast in the main area
  • 06h30 Depart for your morning activity: game drive, nature walk
  • 10h30 Return from the morning activity
  • 11h00 Brunch
  • Afternoon at leisure – possible activities: Swimming pool, curio shop, spa
  • 15h30 Afternoon Tea
  • 16h00 Depart on afternoon game drive
  • 19h30 Return from the game drive
  • 20h00 Dinner under the stars (weather permitting)

Image Gallery

Rates at Thanda Safari Lodge

LOW SEASON 01 MAY – 31 AUGUST: R 8 215

MID SEASON 06 JAN – 30 APRIL 01 SEP – 15 DEC: R 9 335

PEAK SEASON 16 DEC – 10 JAN 2021: R 10 455
(2-night minimum stay)

** South African Resident? Please contact us for SADC rates.

Fully inclusive of:

  • Luxury accommodation,
  • Two game drives per day with professional guide and tracker,
  • All meals and selected local beverages (soft drinks, house wines, local spirits and beers),
  • Bushwalks with specialist walking guides,
  • In-room minibar,
  • Wifi and laundry.
  • One private boma dinner with stays of 4 nights or more.

Rates exclude:

  • Spa treatments
  • Cellar wines, champagnes, all imported spirits and beers.
  • Private dinners at R 950 for in-suite dining (per couple).
  • Private bush dinners at R 2 000.
  • Transfers to/from Thanda Safari
  • Champagne, cognacs, fine wines, premium brand spirits and cigars
  • Curios, gratuities & telephone calls.
  • Guided bush walks with specialist walking guides at Thanda Tented Camp.
  • R 195 Conservation Levy per person per stay
  • Gratuities

Extra Info

Children of all ages welcome

Private vehicle available at an additional charge

Guests must be vigilant at all times. The camp is not fenced and wild animals are free to roam. Security guards accompany guests at all times while walking around the camp at night.

Passports Everyone traveling to South Africa must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of travel.

No inoculations are legally required for entry. However, you may want to check with your local immunization and inoculation clinic for their recommendations on health precautions for travel to South Africa.

Thanda is a malaria-free

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