Chapungu is pretty high spec. As it does not accept children under the age of 12 years, it isn’t suitable for all families. However, it is an excellent option for couples and even honeymooners, as there is plenty of privacy. The camp is named for the chapungu bird, considered a good omen. If you are lucky, you might spot the bird while on safari here!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Thornybush Game Reserve is about five hours’ drive from Johannesburg. Chapungu is in the northern part of the Thornybush Game Reserve, surrounded by indigenous trees and next to the Greater Kruger National Park.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The buildings are made from wood, stone, and thatch, merging pleasantly with the landscape. The communal facilities include a comfy lounge, with plump sofas, winged-back chairs, and a rather grand coffee table. Wildlife artwork adorns the walls and overall there is a homely and slightly old-fashioned feel. The dining area is adjacent to the lounge. Here, guests can enjoy their meals at a long communal table, seated on an upright chair. The bar, with a line of barstools, occupies one side of the dining space. There is also a dining boma, an informal setting featuring trestle tables and director’s chairs for al fresco eating. The camp has a swimming pool too, fantastic for cooling off in the heat of the day! And guests have access to a lovely relaxing spa.
Guest accommodation at Chapungu consists of eight tents, connected to the main area via pathways through the trees. Each tent is raised slightly off the ground on wooden decking, with canvas walls and roof supported by wooden beams. A modest veranda provides a couple of director’s chairs, so you can sit out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bushveld. Inside the tents, there is a large double bed, bedside tables and lighting, a ceiling fan, and additional air conditioning. As in the communal building, there is an old-world vibe to the décor, bringing to mind the explorers of so many years ago. There is also a little luxury, in the outdoor ‘bushveld bath’ that forms part of the en-suite facilities. You can lie back and enjoy the views while sipping champagne – bliss!
Chapungu is well placed to offer some superb safari activities. Thornybush Game Reserve totals some 14,000 hectares of woodlands and open areas that support a real wealth of wildlife! Game drives typically take place in early morning and late afternoon to evening, so guests can enjoy spotting nocturnal species as well as the animals visible by day. All Big Five animals live here, in addition to loads of other predators and herbivores – cheetah, spotted hyena, wild dog, giraffe, zebra, antelopes and hippos. The reptile count is impressive too, including crocodiles, rock pythons, and the sinister black mamba! Keen birdwatchers are in their element, as the reserve boasts 517 resident, migrant, and nomad species. Guests are also invited to participate in guided walks – these present exciting opportunities to check out all the small things that you tend to miss while travelling in the 4 by 4!
Guests have access to the Amani African Spa at Thornybush Game Lodge, just a few minutes’ drive from Chapungu. Here you can indulge in treatments designed to relax and revitalise.