South African Lodges
Thornybush Game Reserve
Greater Kruger National Park
Limpopo Province
South Africa
Lodge Type
Big Five

The lodge is in the wildlife-rich Fourteen Thousand Hector Thornybush Reserve which borders the Kruger Park; the five-star Lodge offers discerning travellers real luxury and adventure in a timeless African atmosphere. A welcoming oasis of comfort and exclusivity, the Shumbalala lodge is located on the banks of the seasonal Monwana River providing a fantastic setting for exceptional wildlife encounters in the untamed bushveld.

The experienced rangers take guests on morning and early evening game safaris through the vast, Thornybush Reserve in search of leopards, lions, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos as well as smaller game. For the more adventurous guests, the informative bush walks should not be missed. Animals, plants, and trees which are ignored by the safari drives on vehicles can be experienced during the educational walking safaris.

The Shumbalala Game Lodge suites consist of an en-suite bedroom and lounge with large glass sliding doors and a private viewing deck from where views over the waterhole can be admired. The suites wooden balconies and the natural colours, thatched roofs blend into the bushveld surroundings. Guests may choose between the Superior Suites and the Presidential & Honeymoon Suite.

Room types:

  • Superior Suites
  • Presidential Suite.

The air-conditioning and overhead fans offer relief during the warm summer days while the open fireplaces make for a cosy atmosphere during the cooler winters. Guests may relax in between the wildlife viewing activities on their private viewing deck and enjoy the sounds and tranquillity of the bush.

The Presidential Suite, which is ideal for honeymooners, is a haven of opulence and space where exclusivity and luxury in the African bush can best be celebrated. The 225 square meters Presidential Suite features two full en-suite bedrooms, as well as a private dining room, a private lounge with fireplace, an outdoor wrap-around private deck with outside dining facilities, a private boma and a private plunge pool.

Room features:

  • King or twin beds
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Outside shower
  • Fireplace
  • Minibar
  • Air-conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Mosquito Netting
  • Overhead fans
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Hairdryer
  • Pure cotton percale linen with a choice of pillows
  • Private dining is around outside fireplace.


Animals which are home in this reserve include zebra, cheetah, impala, hippo, giraffe, waterbuck, nyala, warthogs, eland, baboons, monkeys, kudu, hyena, blue wildebeest and many birds of prey, smaller birds and nocturnal animals.


  • Guided early morning safari drives
  • Guided late afternoon/evening safari drives
  • Walking safaris
  • Wildlife Photography, Birding and Special Interests.

Nearby activities/attractions:

  • Elephant Back Safaris
  • Hot Air Balloon Safaris
  • Blyde Canyon Boat Cruise
  • Panorama Route Tour
  • Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
  • Hlokomela Community Project


Dinners at the lodge are an elegant dining experience which is prepared by the highly skilled chef who also caters for specific preferences. Weather depending, meals are served at various locations which include magical indoor and outdoor venues.

A delicious brunch can be enjoyed on the veranda with scenic views of the riverbed, while high tea may best be appreciated from the viewing deck overlooking the waterhole. The dinners at the open air boma with fireplace are a firm favourite. For the cooler evenings, the lodge's elegant dining room invites to its comfortable lounge with a fireplace.

A romantic dinner can also be arranged upon request in the wine cellar with a view over the waterhole. This wine cellar features a great selection of local and foreign wines.


Shumbalala Safari Lodge Located in the Thornybush Game Reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park area, the Lodge is situated about 50 km away from Hoedspruit where the Eastgate Airport (HDS) offers the best flight access from Johannesburg. SA Express Airways has two daily flights from OR Tambo International Airport Johannesburg to Hoedspruit Airport. From this airport, the transfer to the reserve is about a 30 minutes drive.

SA Airlink also flies daily from Cape Town to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport KMIA which is near Nelspruit. From there, guests can either take a short charter by air (25 minutes) directly to the Thornybush Game Reserve or a road transfer of between 2 and 3 hours can be arranged.

Nearest airports:

  • Hoedspruit were the Eastgate Airport (HDS)
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport KMIA (Nelspruit).

Below detailed information about the Shumbalala Game Lodge is available.
For any queries regarding this hotel, you are welcome to contact us.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Early morning tea & coffee and biscuit
  • Ensuite / Private bathroom
  • Hairdryer
  • Housekeeping
  • In-room safe
  • Indoor Outdoor Showers
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Viewing Deck


Shumbalala Dining

Delightful delicacies are prepared by Shumbalala's expert chef and these can be taken either in the comfort of your private deck or in more formal surroundings in the candle-lit dining room accompanied by a crackling fire in winter. Open-aired fireside dinners allow guests an opportunity to mingle and share their experiences of the day.

Game Viewing
  • Early morning game drives
  • Late afternoon / evening safaris
  • Walking safaris.
Nearby attractions
  • Elephant Back Safaris
  • Hot Air Balloon Safaris
  • Blyde Canyon Boat Cruise
  • Panorama Route Tour
  • Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
  • Hlokomela Community Project.

  • Airstrip
  • Garden
  • Hotel Bar
  • Lounge
  • Nearby Spa
  • Open Air Boma
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Viewing deck
  • Waterhole for wildlife
Day Itinerary

A Typical Day at Shumbalala

The day starts as dawn breaks with a hunt for animal tracks. Breakfast is served either back at the camp or in the riverbed or bush. 

The trail allows visitors a better chance to see some of the smaller creatures of the woods. Guests are offered walks accompanied by the tracker. The Shangaan teach you about the medicinal uses of plants and trees along with folklore. 

The game continues into the evening to view nocturnal species by the spotlight. Upon returning for a gourmet three-course dinner awaits.


Check in and Check Out Times
  • Check in: 14:00
  • Check out: 10:00
General Services
  • Airport transfers
  • Basic first aid assistance
  • Housekeeping service
  • Individual climate controlled room
  • Laundry services
  • Room service
  • Safari drives
  • Wake-up call
  • Walking safaris
Malaria Status and Animals
  • As the Reserve is a malaria part of the country, the use of anti-malarial prophylaxis is encouraged. It is recommended to use insect repellant. Dangerous animals are on the reserve; please adhere to safety rules

Children Policy
  • By arrangement only.

Pet Policy
  • No pets allowed.

Available Rooms


# Rooms:

The Lodge has four luxury suites which are equipped with a; cozy fireplace, indoor and outdoor showers and a private viewing deck to which guests enjoy the surrounding landscapes.

Room features:

  • Air-conditioned
  • Fireplace
  • Indoor/outdoor shower
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Lounge area.

Presidential Suite

# Rooms:

The Presidential Suite provides only the best of the best with regards to amenities and services. This room includes an extra dining room and lounge as well as a motorized style deck pool that reveals itself from beneath the deck at a touch of a button.

Room features:

  • Air-conditioned
  • En-suite bathroom with outdoor shower
  • Children under 12 by arrangement
  • Two en-suite accommodations.

Double Room

Shumbalala Game Lodge Specials

There are currently no specials for the Shumbalala Game Lodge.
Please check again soon.

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GPS Co-Ordinates

Latitude: -24.452145

Longitude: 31.169919


Directions from Johannesburg to the Thornybush Game Lodge:

1. The N12 to Emalahleni (Witbank), where the N12 highway links up with the N4 highway
2. Continue with the N4 in the direction Mbombela (Nelspruit)
3. Approximately 60 km past Middleburg take the R 540 to your left
4. Travel though the towns of eMakhazeni (Belfast) and eMnotweni (Dullstroom) to Mashishing (Lydenburg)
5. Take the R 36 (which becomes the R 527) towards Hoedspruit, passing through Origstad and descending down the Able Erasmus Pass
6. At Hoedspruit take the R 40 south towards Bushbuckridge
7. Continue 6 km and turn left at the Eastgate Airport sign / Argyle Road
8. Continue 14 km (tarred road) and turn right onto Guernsey Road (following the signs to Thornybush Reserve)
9. Continue 9km (gravel road) and turn left into the Thornybush Game Reserve gate
10. Follow signage to Thornybush Game Lodge for all guests checking in at Thornybush Game Lodge, Shumbalala, Monwana, Serondella, nKaya and Nkelenga
11. Guests arriving to Chapungu Tented Camp, follow signage for Thornybush Game Lodge and continue to Chapungu Tented Camp as directed once in the Reserve.

Star Rating

5 Star

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