Thula Thula Game Reserve


Family owned and operated, Thula Thula was home to the late Lawrence Anthony, conservationist and best selling author of ‘The Elephant Whisperer’. Only two hours north of Durban in a malaria-free area, the oldest private game reserve in KwaZulu Natal provides sanctuary for elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo, superb birdlife and more, combined with Zulu history, style and good food. And now there is also a rhino orphanage for the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife.

The Safari Lodge has 2 luxury open-plan suites and six thatched rooms, decorated in ethnic and Colonial style with exceptional gourmet dinners. The relaxed Tented Camp has 8 stylish safari tents each with a private viewing deck and en-suite bathroom with Victorian bath, 6 with an outdoor shower. An authentic African bush experience with traditional South African home cooking. Game drives, massages, cooking classes and more, including a visit to a nearby Zulu village to meet a traditional “Sangoma”.

TGCSA 4-Star Lodge | French spoken | Private airstrip | Special packages | WiFi hotspot | Children welcome at Tented Camp

4 reviews

  1. Magic!

    This place was the trip of a lifetime! Magical experience with the elephant herd! The rangers were the best. Thank you Promise and Seya for making our stay in Thula Thula even more memorable and special. We have memories that will last a lifetime and we plan on coming back again. Nature and conservation at its best!

    Lamb P
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Stayed 5 November 2016

  2. Very friendly helpful knowledgeable staff. Lunch was delicious

    The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable and the food was delicious. The lodge has a very tranquil feel and is well kept, however the main reason we visited was for the elephant encounter and we saw none.

    Melmoth, South Africa
    Stayed 23th November 2016

  3. A Very Special Place

    This was our second visit to Thula Thula and it will definitely not be the last. I just loved everything about this reserve. We stayed at the tented camp this time around and I was very impressed with the entire experience. Each tent is pretty well secluded from the others which creates a nice atmosphere, particularly when you hear lots of animal noises at night. Just to be clear, these are luxury tents and are very comfortable indeed. You will hear a lot of praise for the staff and its all true. Nothing is too much trouble. Catering is out of the top drawer. Every meal was special and salads so fresh it was hard to imagine we were sitting in the middle of the bush. The game viewing and birding is excellent. Obviously the elephant herd is a star attraction (if you have not yet read “The Elephant Whisperer” do so immediately) and you will not get better sightings of a breeding herd anywhere. Although they don’t have predators there is an abundance of other game and the birding is excellent. Each game drive brought a new experience with numerous sightings. The rangers as you might expect are highly experienced and professional with almost uncanny eyesight to spot even the most well disguised animal. What particularly impressed me was the flexibility of the whole operation. Extended bush walk, private game drive, whatever the request, no problem at all. Thula Thula also do wonderful conservation work through their rhino orphanage program and it’s gratifying to know that in some small way by staying there we are also helping to support that work. I most definitely will be back again. On this last trip we spent 3 nights at Thula Thula before moving on to Phinda Mountain Lodge a little further up the coast. Next time around it will be a little longer.

    Duncan W
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
    Stayed 24 November 2016

  4. Look no more

    I visited Thula Thula in Nov 2016. My first visit was 8 years ago. Still one of the best experiences I’ve had with nature, with life and of course the elephants they have. Thula Thula (BTW, this means in zulu “Peace and Tranquility”) offers are 2 types of accommodation: the luxury lodge and the tents. Experiencing the tents (camp) is amazing as you can hear animals close by and be woken up by the thousands of birds around. The price is excellent given that it includes 3 meals per day, 1 game ride and 1 morning walk. During the morning walks, expert rangers tell you it’s “about the little things” but when you encounter giraffes, zebras or rhinos close by it’s simply amazing!! I would feel very comfortable bringing my children along (both times I have visited is after work meetings). They also offer other activities, this time I had a picnic in the bush (with champagne) and visited the zulu village.
    Before you go, I strongly recommend reading “The Elephant Whisperer” by Lawrence Anthony. This book will introduce you to the family of elephants and how the reserve came to life.
    Note: this is not a place to feed the elephants as many tourists love doing. This is a place to connect with elephants, with nature and life.
    The conservation work Thula Thula does, goes beyond words! I will go back and trying to convince my organization to hold meeting here 😉
    Very safe, french cuisine, bonfire after dinner, swimming pool (both at lodge and camp), expert rangers.
    Of the big 5, the only animal they don’t have are big cats

    Ottawa, Canada
    Stayed November 2016, traveled with friends

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