The name Thornybush has always conjured something exciting and adventure-packed, and welcoming too. The very name calls in a sensory recollection of wilderness space thickened with hardy vegetation to enable it as the stomping ground of wild animals. Enticed by the name given to what became one of the first well-known commercial safari destinations in South Africa, our very first trip to Thornybush took us to the handsome Thornybush Game Lodge. The experience was fabulous and remains vivid many years later. The Thornybush wilderness has continued to burgeon, and today is home to quite a variety of wonderful lodges. The two we shine a light on here are Siviti and Saseka Tented Camp.

First, a glimpse into Thornybush Private Nature Reserve. Thornybush is one of South Africa’s very oldest private nature reserves and forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, a vast wilderness without fences to allow for free movement of animals. Plains game and all of the Big 5 inhabit the reserve in good numbers. Bird life is abundant too. The reserve is well known for its diverse wildlife populations and its excellent lodge offerings. With perennial rivers providing sufficient water, there is a good variety of vegetation which in turn ensures a diversity of plains game, and then also predators. Herds of elephant at river beds and lion prides are frequent sightings, to name just a couple. All the greats of the bushveld can be seen in Thornybush, on guided safari drives and walks from the various lodges. 

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Leopard sightings are highly prized moments on safari and are very common in Thornybush.
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Large herds of wildlife, such as this one, are to be seen in Thornybush

SASEKA TENTED CAMP in Thornybush

If impeccable style at close quarters with nature is your thing, Saseka Tented Camp is  made for you. This sublime safari outpost is tucked away along a curve of the dry Monwana riverbed in Thornybush. A unique layout balances cutting-edge contemporary design with classical style and a dash of nostalgia. Feeling connected to the wilderness has been prioritized. The main area has a large, tiered deck with a broad view of the riverbed, and a roof that mimics the dappled light of a tree canopy. This is where guests congregate to share meals and exchange stories about their daily adventures in ‘Big 5’ Thornybush. Nine exquisite tented suites are private sanctums of style and romance. They have been designed to allow the sounds of nature in and to give guests a truly immersive experience. Each tented suite has its own private pool, outdoor shower and sundeck, and is air-conditioned. Leadwood Villa is a luxuriously intimate camp-within-a-camp, servicing one, two or three tented suites on an exclusive-use basis, and with a private safari vehicle at the disposal of its guests. Mail us.

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Tented suites at Saseka Tented Camp are cocoons of style and luxury.
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Tub magic at Saseka Tented Camp in Thornybush.
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Safari moment in Thornybush, a land watered by perennial rivers.

SIVITI in Thornybush

Siviti is a seductive wilderness sanctuary in Thornybush, beautifully set on the banks of the Timbavati River where animals come regularly to drink. Elephants are frequent visitors. The lodge is a haven of luxury and easy comfort, and a pristine wilderness can be enjoyed from every corner of the camp. The rim-flow pool on the deck of the main lodge and your own shaded, private plunge pool are likely to become favourite leisure spots between the twice-daily guided safari drives which offer hugely rewarding wildlife sightings. ​Lantern- and starlit dining, and the option of booking a spa treatment or two with the mobile spa, bring further delight to the experience. Siviti has just six private suites, including the superb two-suite Timbavati Villa. Limited to twelve guests, the experience remains very personalized. The Homestead is an additional offering, available for an exclusive safari on a sole-use basis, and an ideal choice for families and small groups of up to 8 guests. Mail us.

thornybush luxury tented safari
Stylish and spacious, the suites at Siviti make wonderful safari hideaways in Thornybush.
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Unforgettable safari experiences await you at Siviti in Thornybush.
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The Siviti pool deck from above – one of the places in camp from which to soak up the wilderness.

Mail us to book your luxury safari in Thornybush, or elsewhere in South Africa, or call us on +27 21 797 7122.