Situated in KwaZulu-Natal’s lush wilderness close to the Indian Ocean and the famous St. Lucia Wetlands is Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. Forming part of the Elephant Coast, this 140 square kilometre reserve is one of the “Leading Hotels of the World” and is an exclusive wilderness destination with just three lodges on site.
Rolling green hills carpeted with tropical vegetation provides the perfect habitat for the Big Five and over 400 species of bird. The reserve offers more than just the standard safari experience. Visitors can take a journey into the heritage of the area and experience Zulu culture first-hand.
Conservation projects are of great importance in this area, and passionate safari-goers are encouraged to get involved in the many initiatives on offer, such as rhino tracking, cheetah observation and more.
The reserve is only 260 kilometres north of coastal Durban. Visitors can fly into King Shaka International Airport, the local Richards Bay airport or the Phinda Private airstrip. A Thanda representative can meet guests at the private airstrips and transfer them back to the reserve.
Safari-goers can make use of the King Shaka International Airport in Durban that is only 260 kilometre from Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. Transfers to the reserve can be arranged.
All five members of this illustrious group - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant - can be seen at Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. Sightings of cheetahs and wild dogs are also a regular occurrence.
Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve is Big Five country and is home to an array of mammals and predators. Apart from bucket list predators such as lions and leopards, cheetahs are quite prominent in the reserve. Notable species include hippos, crocodiles, African wild dogs, and elephants. Species such as nyala, porcupine, waterbuck, hyena are in abundance. Visitors can enjoy sightings of black and white rhino on game drives.
It’s a birding extravaganza in KwaZulu-Natal, and Thandi is no different. Reserve specials include the malachite kingfisher, African swamp-hen, giant kingfisher, pink-throated twinspot, Neergaard’s sunbird, and the popular Narina trogon.
Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve is a year-round destination with moderate temperatures. It’s situated close enough to the coast to enjoy the cooling effect of the ocean. Typically, winter is peak safari season, and this is from June to August. Summer is when the bush turns a shade of emerald, the ideal time for birding.
Visitors can enjoy typical safari experiences that one would expect from an experience in a private reserve. Besides, Thanda offers a more conscious safari experience where guests can get involved in conservation initiatives such as rhino darting and cheetah tracking. Guests will spend three to four hours working with leading conservationists, learning about animal behaviour. A thrilling experience!
Game drives are in the early morning and late afternoons when the Big Five are the most active. Most drives are about three hours long and include coffee and sundowner stops. Drives cover plenty of ground, opening up the scope to see plenty of wildlife.
Guided bush walks offer a thrilling way of experiencing the wilderness, and visitors will learn plenty of information from qualified guides. Their knowledge is extensive, and they’ll furnish walkers with stories of the reserve’s cultural heritage in addition to teaching them how to track wildlife.
There are only three accommodation options: a tented camp, safari lodge, and exclusive villa. Each offers a specific type of safari experience. The luxury tented camp is built from canvas and wood and comes with expansive decks with astounding viewpoints. The lodge overlooks a waterhole and has its cigar bar, wine cellar, and luxury spa. The exclusive villa is ideal for discerning travellers and VIP guests seeking complete privacy.