Thanda means ‘love’ in the language of the Zulu people. And if you’re looking for something a little more African to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your beloved this year, then look no further than Thanda Safari. We just know you will fall in love with the whole experience from beginning to end − from the luxurious tents and thrilling game drives to a bonfire under the stars.
In the heart of northern KwaZulu-Natal, just off a dirt road on the N2, you will discover Thanda Safari, one of the most sought-after and luxurious tented safari camps in Africa. With its majestic and scenic African landscapes, this multi-award-winning Big Five private game reserve spans 14 000 hectares and is the home of incredible wildlife and over 300 hundred bird species. The tented camp houses 15 deluxe safari-style tents with a charming colonial feel. The tents nestle in an evocative bush environment, with flickering firelights and lanterns illuminating the path that leads to your tent at night. With its romantic flair, it is the perfect place for a honeymoon or another special occasion you wish to celebrate − or just to simply treat yourself by breaking away to the serenity of the bush.
TENTING IN LUXURY
Each tent is hidden amongst the lush trees, giving you privacy to roll up the canvas doors and windows and lie on your king-size bed as the wind gently rustles through the curtains, while you can enjoy an almost panoramic view of rolling hills with scattered thorn trees and buck roaming peacefully around the tent. These animals are shy but so amiable you’ll want to pet them and invite them in.
After a lovely game drive, you can head back to your tent for the day to get drinks and snacks from your minibar and just laze on the stunning sun terrace reading a book or even enjoy a therapeutic massage right on the deck of your tent. The massages are so professional and relaxing, you’re bound to want to fall asleep and wish they’d never end. The tents include a lovely en-suite canvas bathroom that’s equipped with pretty much everything you need, or if you want to be a bit more daring, you can opt for the lovely outdoor shower. At night, after dinner, you will be escorted by a game warden to your tent, where you’ll find your bed covers rolled back, bed lights switched on, and chocolate on your pillow. You’ll fall asleep to the sounds of wild animals with the peace of mind that there is a fence separating you and them.
For those who want a bit more extravagance and space, there is Jabula Tent. Jabula means ‘happiness’ in isiZulu, and the romantic, private, beautifully spacious Jabula Tent in Thanda Tented Camp is all about happiness. Decorated in sophisticated safari chic, it is ideal for bridal couples, honeymooners, and special occasion travellers. Jabula Tent has a king-sized bed and separate lounge, minibar, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, bath, splash pool and spectacular views of the reserve.
Thanda Safari offers three different accommodation types: Thanda Safari Lodge, Villa iZulu and Thanda Tented Camp.
- Thanda Safari Lodge has nine bush suites. Shaped like a traditional Zulu homestead, the suites offer panoramic views of the surrounding game reserve.
- Villa iZulu is an outstanding safari hideaway for families, holidaymakers and wedding parties wanting privacy. Situated amidst lush green lawns and surrounded by expanses of wild African bush, Villa iZulu can accommodate 10 guests in five suites.
- Thanda Tented Camp features 15 colonial-style safari tents, each with its own viewing deck and en-suite bathroom.
FINE SAFARI DINING
Thanda Safari’s menus are creatively conceived, and you are guaranteed to await each meal time with anticipation. From slow-cooked potjiekos to tender game cuts flavoured with homegrown herbs − every meal offers unique Thanda dishes and tastes, combined with carefully chosen wines and impeccable service.
After your early-morning game drive, you can enjoy a full English breakfast buffet. At midday, there will always be some delicious menu options awaiting you. In the evening the most delicious three- or four-course dinners will be served after your evening game drive.
And there is nothing like a campfire in the bush at Thanda Safari under South African stars in their traditional African bomas. You will enjoy a cuisine braai and bonfire while being entertained by traditional African dancers.
The Tented Camp’s central dining and gathering area includes an inviting lounge, expansive deck and library overlooking a waterhole, private business area, cigar bar and impressive wine cellar, while Thanda Safari Spa offers a range of treatments from expertly trained therapists.
EXHILARATING GAME DRIVES
You can request to be woken up at the crack of dawn to go on an exhilarating game drive where you are bound to see at least four of the Big 5. The reserve’s dedicated team of wildlife guides and trackers lead their guests on adventures into the reserve’s plains, valleys and mountains in search of the legendary Big Five and all the extraordinary wildlife that can be seen on an African safari. You’ll see an incredible range of animals, including cheetahs, hyaenas, giraffes, warthogs, and abundant bird and plant life.
During your game drive, there will be sunrise and sunset refreshment stops at breathtaking locations overlooking the reserve. Whether it’s sunrise coffee and rusks or sunset drinks and snacks, you’ll be reluctant to leave − but will eventually have to, with memories for a lifetime.
Guided walks through the bush can also be organised, as can photographic safaris. Both offer a thrilling experience of the wilderness and its inhabitants. Thanda’s guides and trackers share their extensive knowledge and animal tracking ability with you, as well as ancient Zulu stories of the wild. Private game drives are available on request.
This is an African experience you don’t want to miss out on!