On a recent holiday back to our native South Africa, my husband Greg and I decided to leave our toddler with the grandparents and treat ourselves to a stay in the luxurious, award winning Thanda Private Game Reserve, about 3 hours north of Durban. We have both spent a lot of our childhoods in the Zululand area and it was wonderful to return to this pristine wilderness again.
We were hosted at Thandas luxurious main lodge in one of their incredible bush villas complete with private plunge pool and outdoor sala. We immediately kicked off our shoes and soaked our feet in the pool whilst marvelling over the immense Zululand bushveld in front of us. After the traditional tea we headed off on our afternoon game drive. We shared our vehicle with a semi-retired couple from Canada and a young honeymoon couple from Australia, both of whom had never been on a safari before. As seasoned safari-goers it was a joy to watch their excitement at seeing the animals for the first time and we too enjoyed familiarising ourselves yet again with Africa, after being way for much too long.
That evening we enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal under the stars. As parents of a nearly 2 year old it was a delight to have a ‘date night in such a spectacular setting.
The following morning we were up early on the look-out for elephants. The bush was extremely dense and we were literally ducking to avoid getting knocked over by branches. It did take some time but our patience paid off and we were treated to a spectacular sighting of 3 young male bulls tussling with each other. It was a fantastic display and one which I am sure the other couples on the vehicle will never forget.
Unfortunately our stay was a short one but one that nevertheless gave us a real feel for what Thanda is all about. We managed to take a sneak peak at the tented camp, also on the reserve and were astounded by the luxury of the tents, particularly the exquisite honeymoon tent with outdoor shower and plunge pool. The tented camp was fully booked at the time and it is quite easy to see why.
On the whole we will remember Thanda for our knowledgeable and friendly guide Ryan, the utter luxury of the bush villa we stayed in, the sheer beauty of the reserve and of course, the spectacular wildlife.
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