An African safari experience is literally life-changing. Guests describe being awe-struck by the power and beauty of the Big Five and the feeling of being immersed in the wild. Throughout the continent there is a choice of magnificent game reserves, both national and private.
In South Africa’s Royal Zulu Kingdom of Northern KwaZulu-Natal is Thanda Safari, a private Big Five game reserve, which, in addition to celebrating the Big Five and all wildlife, embraces the culture and traditions of the legendary Zulu people.
Thanda means ‘Love’ in the language of the Zulu people, and Thanda Safari lives this ethos in the management of its 14 000-hectare reserve, staff empowerment and partnerships and upliftment programmes with its neighbouring Zulu communities.
Personifying love, romance and mystique are Thanda Safari’s three magnificently appointed, award-winning accommodation options. On Thanda Safari is an exclusive five-bedroom home in the bush (Villa iZulu), a luxury bush lodge with nine self-contained suites (Thanda Safari Lodge) and an authentic tented safari camp (Thanda Tented Camp).
Each day you have a morning and evening game drive where you will be thrilled many times over by the wildlife encounters. For those who want to experience the bush on foot, Thanda Safari offers exclusive guided walks. Also offered are photographic safaris for all levels, led by the resident wildlife photographer, and a choice of fascinating Zulu cultural and community experiences.
JOIN OUR BIG FIVE AFRICAN SAFARI
Sometimes in life, something comes along which is so special and unique it reminds us the world is still a place of awe, beauty and wonder. This is the feeling of an African wildlife safari in the presence of the Big Five: the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Many people say that witnessing these animals is the most thrilling experience of their lives.
Africa has a choice of national parks and private game reserves where you can see the Big Five, including Thanda Safari in northern KwaZulu-Natal, one of Africa’s most celebrated Big Five private game reserves.
With excellent year-round game viewing on the 14 000-hectare reserve, Thanda Safari’s highly experienced guides and trackers lead guests on unforgettable game drives, with close up wildlife experiences. Only two vehicles are permitted per sighting, offering guests the best possible experience.
Thanda Safari is one of only two African safari properties in the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World membership group, consisting of some 420 of the world’s best five-star hotels. Thanda Safari is a multiple-award-winning safari destination of choice, offering service excellence and three unique accommodation options, each one an absolute dream to experience. There is Thanda Safari Lodge with its nine exquisite bush suites and spa. There is Villa iZulu – a sumptuous butler-serviced safari lodge and bush retreat for individuals, groups and families who need absolute privacy. And there is Thanda Tented Camp with its fifteen classic safari-style tents for an evocative, traditional safari experience.
In every way, from the accommodation to the wildlife and magnificent environment, this reserve in the Royal Zulu Kingdom is the land of heaven. Many guests of Thanda are fascinated to learn that Zulu means ‘People of Heaven’ and Zululand means ‘Land of the People of Heaven’.
TAKE A GUIDED WALK ON OUR AFRICAN BUSH SAFARIS
An incredibly exciting experience for those looking at African safari adventures is to go on a guided bush walk in a Big Five game reserve. Every sound and scent is magnified as you explore the wild. On a bush walk at Thanda Safari in the Royal Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal, our rangers and trackers with many years of experience on the reserve, will show you the diversity of animals, birds (265 species spotted to date), plants and insects. You’ll learn to identify the ‘spoor’ or tracks of different animals and how to move silently through the wilderness. The guides and trackers also share indigenous knowledge of the plants used in traditional Zulu medicine and deep Zulu folklore.
Thanda Safari’s guided bush walks are two to three hours, with a maximum of six people per group. They are tailored to the group’s needs and fitness levels. Essential for a bush walk are good, comfortable walking shoes, running shoes or cross trainers and a hat and sunscreen.
Guests often comment that on the walking safari they feel part of the circle of life in the most thrilling way, and come to understand why every single species plays such an important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy.