Built on a small scale, the Lodge has a very exclusive feel. It does not have a spa, but guests have access to the large spa at neighbouring property Thornybush Game Lodge. Shumbalala has quite a sophisticated vibe and an extremely large presidential suite - effectively two luxury suites in one, with additional motorised deck pool!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Lodge is accessed along a sand-and-stone track, with trees on either side. It is located in the north region of the Thornybush Reserves, not far from the Kruger National Park.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are plenty of trees on site too, adjacent to the communal building and guest suites. The main structure is made from timber, stone, and thatch, fairly sturdy in appearance. Inside, the furniture is chunky too! In the main lounge area, well-cushioned sofas and stout leather armchairs surround a solid coffee table. This space also contains a television and bookshelves. The palette is mostly browns, with occasional splashes of rich reds. Another lounge area boasts a cosy fireplace. Indoor dining is available in Shumbalala’s elegant dining room – alternatively, if the weather is pleasant, guests might prefer to dine on the veranda, with its lovely views over the Reserve. A spacious brick deck extends further into the wilderness, complete with fire pit. There is a swimming pool too, perfect for cooling off in the heat of the day. Finally, a secluded wine cellar entices with its exciting selection of vintages and provides an intimate setting for a romantic dinner, should you care to indulge!
Guest accommodation at Shumbalala consists of four luxury suites and one presidential suite. Each luxury suite has a comfortable double bed, bedside tables and lighting, a storage chest, a seating area next to a fireplace, and en-suite facilities comprising flush toilet, twin washbasins, indoor and outdoor showers, as well as a picture window! The style of both suite options is very similar to the style of the communal areas. If you book the presidential suite, you have a private lounge, your own dining area, two bedrooms, each with en-suite facilities, and a motorised deck. This deck is pretty special – you simply press a button and it opens up to reveal a private plunge pool! It is also worth mentioning that all accommodation here has been rated 5-star by South Africa’s Tourism Grading Council – it really is superb.
Activities from Shumbalala Game Lodge focus on classic game drives and walking safaris. The drives take place early in the morning and following high tea. Afternoon drives often extend into the evening, so guests have a chance to spot the nocturnal wildlife of the Thornybush Reserve! There really is plenty to see here. All Big Five are in residence – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo.
Other species include cheetah, spotted hyena, wild dog, giraffe, zebra, antelopes, hippos, and many more predators and herbivores. There are lots of reptiles too, such as crocodiles, rock pythons, and black mambas. The birding is also impressive – at last count, there were 517 residents, migrants, and nomads! The Lodge’s walking safaris are a wonderful opportunity to spot the feathery friends, as well as the Reserve’s plant life and all the insects going about their daily lives. You can even take part in some rhino tracking!