As one of the last outposts of Zulu culture, the Thanda Game Reserve is a truly unique holiday destination. Thanda is a privately-owned reserve, so it’s much less busy than Kruger and other public spaces.
The reserve sits on the northern side of KwaZulu-Natal and spreads across 14,000 hectares of bushland. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this means there’s a lot of wildlife to discover in this area, including the big five. You just have to go looking for it.
The best way to see the animals in Thanda is by taking a game drive through the bush, or a guided walking tour. The guides and trackers in this reserve are local experts, so they’re the best people to help you see lions, buffalo, leopards, rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, hyenas, warthogs and even wild dogs. If you’re interested in smaller creatures, you can also see the ‘little five’ here: elephant shrew, rhino beetles, leopard tortoises, ant lions and buffalo weavers. Birdwatchers also have over 400 species to spot.
There are some other activities you can amuse yourself with too; hiking, horse riding and fishing are all popular pastimes for visitors. It’s also possible to visit local communities in Thanda – it’s one of the best places to experience traditional Zulu culture. The name ‘Thanda’ translates to ‘love’ in the Zulu language, and there’s a sense of romance throughout the reserve. However, when you go to the nearby village, you’ll see true love shared throughout the community. Witness ancient rituals performed by Zulu warriors and you’ll gain a brief insight into what the powerful history of the Zulu people.
We love the Thanda Game Reserve as it’s dedicated to conserving both the environment and the Zulu customs. It has strong connections with wildlife conservation foundations and community support initiatives. The reserve tends to hire locals, as they have the expertise and knowledge to improve this area in a sustainable way that will also benefit the community.
You can tell that they love what they do, as all the reserve staff are dedicated to making your stay special. There’s even an animal photography expert on hand to help you capture your once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Plan your trip to the Thanda Game Reserve today.