Our Rating
8.6
Overall

Shumbalala

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Thornybush

from R 6638 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Our Rating
8.6
Overall

Shumbalala

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Thornybush

from R 6638 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

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Our Verdict

Our choice as the top upmarket lodge option in Thornybush – sit back and relax on the wooden viewing deck overlooking the lodge's waterhole

Our Ratings

8.6
Overall
8.5
Luxury & style
8.5
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.5
Romance

Our Ratings

8.6
Overall
8.5
Luxury & style
8.5
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.5
Romance

What's Hot

  • Shumbalala looks out on a waterhole where a steady procession of game can be seen making their way down for a drink
  • On those cold evenings you can snuggle up with your better half in front of your private fire place – very romantic! A private dinner for 2 in the wine cellar also pushes those romance buttons perfectly!
  • Usually a maximum of just 8 guests in camp – so Shumbalala is perfect for those guests wanting a more intimate and personal lodge
  • We love the baths where you can watch game through the picture window – for the more adventurous the outdoor shower will give you an even more up-close-and-personal experience!
  • For those of you who can't seem to let go of the ‘city life' there is complimentary WiFi and cellphone reception (3G) in all public areas of the camp

What's Not

  • Shumbalala is a bit on the pricey side as it is a 5 star luxury lodge – but if you're looking for that bit extra, look no further!
  • This lodge isn’t suitable for those with small children – but children under 12 may be accommodated in the Presidential Suite with their parents
  • Perhaps lacks the prestige name and reputation of the similarly upmarket Sabi Sands lodges
Shumbalala

Shumbalalaromantically relax in the lounge or on your private viewing deck, read a book or just soak up the tranquility, smells and sounds of the bush that surround you! There are excellent views over the lodge’s waterhole where a steady procession of game can be seen coming down to drink

Lodge Profile

Our choice as the top upmarket lodge option in Thornybush – sit back and relax on the wooden viewing deck overlooking the lodge's waterhole

Quick Overview

Location
Thornybush
Drive Time
6 hours drive from Johannesburg
Malaria
Yes - low risk area
Setting
Overlooking a riverbed
Rooms
5 suites - 4 superior and 1 presidential
Aircon
Yes
Pool
Yes - and a private pool at the presidential suite
Spa
No - but can use Thornybush Game Lodge
Camp Fenced
No
Tracker
Yes - ranger and tracker
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
No children under 12 - except in the presidential suite by prior arrangement

Shumbalala is nestled in the heart of the Thornybush Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park where it lies in a concession area of 14 000h of land - situated on the banks of the seasonal Monwana river the camp is a stunning oasis of luxury and comfort in the unforgiving heat of the African bushveld. The lodge is managed by a team of friendly yet professional staff, often overseen by the family that owns Shumbalala to make it a really personal experience.

The lodge conjures up an immediate sense of tranquility, opulence and space courtesy of Shumbalala's custom designed buildings with their African décor, high thatched roofs and attention to the finest detail. It's all about a very personal and intimate experience too as Shumbalala offers just 5 luxurious rooms in total - a selection of 4 Suites as well as 1 Presidential Suite - all of which have a view of the African bush and the river bed. The Suites are set under shady African trees lining the Monwana River – they're very spacious and luxurious affairs boasting attractively stone-clad walls, beds draped by mosquito netting and a lounge with large glass sliding doors which houses a private viewing deck that looks over the riverbed. The Suites have all been built in such a way that they’re tucked away out of sight of each other for perfect privacy – so you enjoy using your gorgeous outdoor shower knowing that the only thing you’ll be seeing are perhaps the resident bushbuck!

The two-bedroom Presidential Suite offers you even more luxuries and space with natural colours and thatched roofs which complement the bushveld surroundings. The villa includes two full en-suite bedrooms, a private pool, dining room and lounge with a romantic fireplace – as well as a wraparound wooden deck with outside dining facilities and a private boma. In fact if you prefer, meals can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own suite. The trump card though has to be the James Bond style motorised pool deck – simply push a button and the deck slides aside to reveal your private swimming pool! Both room types boast overhead fans and air-conditioning, providing welcome relief from the heat of the bushveld summer. In winter there are cosy open fireplaces to take the edge off the cooler nights, at the same time creating an atmosphere that is romantic with a capital R!

You can relax in the lounge or on your private viewing deck, read a book or just soak up the tranquility, smells and sounds of the bush that surround you! There are excellent views over the lodge’s waterhole where a steady procession of game can be seen coming down to drink. Lazy afternoons are spent swimming in the pool, lounging on the sunbeds or reading in the library. Delicious meals are prepared by Shumbalala's expert chef and these can be enjoyed either in the comfort of your private deck, in more formal surroundings in the candle-lit dining room accompanied by a crackling fire in winter, or outside next to a roaring open boma fire which also allows guests an opportunity to mingle and share their experiences of the day. One of the Shumbalala's key attractions is its underground wine cellar in full view of the river - this unique facility is also perfect for an intimate dinner for two!

The game viewing at Shumbalala is similarly excellent - located deep in the Thornybush game reserve, it's one of the country's great tracts of untamed game-viewing. Many of the trackers were born and raised in the Greater Kruger area and as young boys they spent endless hours in the bush – this innate knowledge of the bush never fails to amaze city slickers like us when we are privileged enough to go on game drives or walk on foot through the bush with them! (bush walks lure the more adventurous or young at heart and this is where the trackers are often able to impart unexpected insights and knowledge – not to mention the odd moment of adrenaline-fuelled excitement when you stumble across some big game!)

Ultimately it is the serendipity of nature that amazes you most – on your game drive you can expect to see art-deco zebra and their ungainly side-kicks, the bizarre looking wildebeest; dozy giraffe to bright-eyed bush babies; not to mention a whole variety of sleek and tasty looking antelope (well tasty to the many predators resident here anyway!) It's even more of an adventure when you stumble upon a leopard lazing in a Jackalberry tree, a hyena giving you a lazy yellow eye in the gathering dusk, a majestic bull elephant crashing its way through the reeds, a surprise sunrise encounter with a lion pride on the prowl – and the beauty of it all is that every game drive is different and impossible to predict!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Prices exclude the conservation fee of R80 per person per booking as well as the TOMSA levy of R5.70 per person per night (these amounts must be pre-paid)
  • Subject to availability

Child Policy

  • Due to the nature of the facilities at Shumbalala, children under 12 years are welcome by prior arrangement only