We think Thanda Tented Camp has everything you could desire for a luxurious safari holiday. It is superb for solos as well as couples, groups, and honeymooners! Thanda the company has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past four years running, so you are in safe hands.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The reserve is easily accessible via road transfer from three airports – Johannesburg International, Durban International, and Richards Bay. A sandy track leads you into Thanda Tented Camp.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The site is very neatly laid out, with wooden paths through well-kept gardens. The buildings are constructed from wood, stone, and thatch, aiming for a classic safari feel. This is rather luxury safari, though! All the communal areas are very pleasant. The lounge contains well-cushioned armchairs and sofas around wood-and-metal coffee tables topped with a chess set, ornaments, and a couple of potted plants. The bar occupies this space too, along one of the walls, with comfortable bar stools. Interior décor is neutral on the whole, with splashes of colour from artwork, vases, and a gorgeous Persian rug. In the dining area, the colour scheme is also fairly neutral, encouraging you to appreciate the rich shades of the natural world while you tuck in to a delicious meal. There is a curio shop as well, perfect for purchasing souvenirs! Outside, a wooden walkway leads to the camp’s boma, which has additional seating and amazing views over the reserve, including a busy waterhole. The camp also has a lovely rim-flow pool with sunloungers and parasols, as well as a superb spa.
Guest accommodation at Thanda Tented Camp consists of 15 tents – 14 standards and one large unit for anyone in need of extra space! All are connected to the communal area by sandy pathways through the trees. The standard tents have canvas walls and roofs over a wooden floor. Nine have twin beds, four have king-size beds, and one has a queen size. Single beds are available for children. Other furniture includes bedside tables, comfy seating, and a storage unit combining drawers and cupboards. There is also a mini-bar, a safe, and a ceiling fan. The walls feature clear panes at a few points around the bedroom, with curtains to provide ample privacy. En-suite facilities comprise a flush toilet, twin washbasins, and either an inside/outdoor shower or bathtub – if you would like to book a standard tent, please let us know which arrangement you would prefer!
Each tent also has a private sun deck, where you can sit in comfort and admire amazing views of the reserve. The larger tent has a name – Jabula – and it is positioned up a flight of wooden steps, upon a spacious veranda. The veranda is large enough to accommodate a Jacuzzi bath and a couple of sunloungers, with a parasol to provide a little shade. Inside, there is a king-size bed with plenty of pillows, seating at the end of the bed, big bedside tables, room for more beds for children, a dressing table, a clothes storage unit, a ceiling fan, a safe, a mini-bar, and an adjoining lounge area with sofa and chairs. The en-suite bathroom contains a flush toilet, twin washbasins, a bathtub – and there is an outside shower!
As for activities, Thanda Tented Camp offers vehicle and walking safaris, stargazing, and some interesting excursions outside the Thanda reserve. The vehicle safaris take place during the day and at night. Thanda boasts a real wealth of wildlife! The reserve covers 14,000 hectares of grasslands, scrublands, hills, and forests. All Big Five are in residence here, together with cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, antelopes, warthog, and the rare wild dog. The birdlife is pretty impressive too, so do not forget your binoculars!
Walking safaris present great opportunities for checking out the birdlife, as well as the plant life and all the ‘Little Five’ – elephant shrew, rhino beetle, leopard tortoise, ant lion, and buffalo weaver. This is a chance to learn about the local culture too, through the guides’ tales of their villages. Wildlife photographer Christian Sperka is on hand to help you get the best shots and you can even take a stargazing safari to focus your gaze on the night skies, illuminated by starlight. Excursions from camp include a trip to a local village, a day out with the conservation team, a picnic at 9 Mile Beach, and a hippos-and-crocs cruise on the St Lucia Estuary within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park! With Bucks & Bugs kids’ club available as well, featuring junior rangers courses, there really is a wonderful mix of things to do here.