Africa is not usually synonymous with opulence. However, Thanda Private Game Reserve is one stunning exception. Nestled in the Hluhluwe wilderness it is the perfect escape into luxury. It is one of the most diverse and beautiful places to visit to get that ‘African feel’ whilst still being surrounded by beautiful accommodation and general pampering.
Thanda means ‘love’ in isiZulu (one of the 11 official languages of South Africa) and love is definitely what you will find here. Love for the beauty of Africa, love for the animals, love for the privacy, and love for your accommodation.
Scrolling through the Thanda website you can find many different options on how you would like to spend your time there. You can choose between a tented camp and a pampered lodge. You can choose between an informative stay and a relaxed one. You can even choose to stay at their Mozambique location or their private island in Tanzania for a more relaxed beach feel to Africa. Thanda therefore caters to everyone and their individual desires.
The most affordable packages have to be their Pay Stay Packages. Thanda offers the option for travellers to pay for a certain number of nights and stay for more than that. For example one could pay for three nights and stay for four nights at their Jabula Tented Camp. However, don’t confuse affordable with cheap. These tented camps are beautiful in every way and even offer a personal bar, private splash pool, and spa services with your stay – and this is just for the Jabula Camp!
Moving up in price range we have the Safari Lodge. The Safari Lodge boasts a library, a business area, wine cellar, spa services, air conditioning, books and games, wireless, and many other luxurious amenities. Another accommodation option is the Villa iZulu. The list of features for the Villa iZulu is even longer and includes all the ones listed for the Safari Lodge as well as a patio gym, a Jacuzzi, a private helicopter pad, private game vehicle and guide, a personal waiter and host, as well as a personal chef – and the list goes on!
Thanda also offers game drives to see Africa’s famous Big Five. Staying at Thanda automatically grants you a game drive twice a day to see the flora and fauna. You will definitely want to jump on that vehicle every time it leaves! The guides are brilliant at their job and are informative, funny, and have many years’ experience.
If you want to amble through the bushveld and experience everything at slower pace then the guided walks will appeal to you. These walks are led by trained professionals who will show you how to track animals by reading their spoors. The guides will also teach you about the local insects and plants all while giving you anecdotes from the local tribes. This is a walk worth experiencing if you want to know more about the wonders of the African wildlife on a smaller scale.
A unique aspect that Thanda offers is a wildlife photography course run by their very own wildlife photographer, Christian Sperka. The session is an hour and a half long but don’t let that fool you into thinking that you won’t learn anything worthwhile. This course predominantly shows you how to set up your camera to take those memorable pictures of all the animals you will encounter on your trip.
If none of this screamed opulence to you then the two other locations Thanda offers will. These locations allow you to experience Africa in all its glory. In contrast to the game drives and Big Five adventures Thanda’s Mozambique location (included in the Zulus and Pearls package) and Thanda Island invite you into the arms of sun, sand, and everything incredible about the beach.
The Zulus and Pearls package includes three nights at the Thanda Safari Lodge followed by four nights at the White Pearl Resort in Mozambique. All travel between locations is organized which makes the stay even more relaxing. At the safari lodge in Thanda all the wonderful things mentioned previously will be available. At the White Pearl Resort, located in Ponta Mamoli, you will find what Thanda calls “the beach equivalent of Thanda Safari Lodge” with all of its five star services.
However, the jewel in the Thanda catalogue has to be their private island named Thanda Island. There is nothing more opulent than a private island to frolic on with your favourite people. This island is the fruit of ten years of planning and every detail is perfect. The island boasts a private beach with the opportunity to explore the eight hectare island knowing that you are the only one there.
The island also has tennis courts which can even be used at night, a private gym equipped with everything you could ever need and snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, paddling, and private champagne cruises are also on offer. There are also three islands in the area which can be explored and one can even go to Dar es Salaam – the harbour capital of Tanzania. You will never be bored, I can promise that!
Animal lovers will enjoy the island as there are multiple opportunities to interact with the wildlife. These include a guided tour to see the egrets and their nesting grounds, as well as the chance to swim with the five different types of turtles. However, the most incredible activity on the island has to be the opportunity to swim with the whale sharks.
Thanda is an incredible place fit for kings and queens. Everything on your adventure to this game reserve is organized to perfection to give you the ability to relax and enjoy the beauty of Africa. ‘Out of Africa and into the lap of luxury’ should be the motto for anyone’s stay at Thanda Private Game Reserve.