Your knowledgeable and experienced ranger conducts professional early morning and later afternoon / evening game drives in an informative and relaxed fashion. Fully equipped custom built game viewing vehicles offer all the comfort and luxury for our guests. Your qualified ranger will be happy to share all their knowledge of the bush - from the prized big five (leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino) to the smaller game, plants, trees, insects and more.
Two game drives are conducted at the best suited times of the day to maximize the number of sightings. An early morning game drive start directly after morning coffee at approximately 5h30 in the morning (and a half an hour later in the winter). The excitement and rush of the adventure is interrupted by a stop over in the open bush for tea or coffee with a light snack - often with a view over nearby game. The adventure continues and you return back to camp at around 9:30 am to freshen up before brunch.
Following afternoon high tea the afternoon game drives start at approximately 16h00 (and half and hour earlier in the winter) and continues into the night. The game drives are again interrupted by a stop-over in the bush for sundowners watching the splendour of the African sun setting over the mountains. The game viewing at night offers the opportunity to view the nocturnal animals including the possibility of lions out on the prowl.
You return after dark to be welcomed with a sherry at the lodge at around 7:30 pm to freshen up for the evening's events.
Generally game drives return 3-4 hours after departure. Whilst there is an emphasis on showing our guests the renowned big five, our rangers realize the importance of all fauna & flora and is dedicated to ensuring your utmost enjoyment of all aspects of the bush.
Amongst many other expect sightings at close range of abundant game including but not limited to Leopard, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Cheetah, Zebra, Impala, Giraffe, Hippo, Waterbuck, Nyala, Warthogs, Eland, Baboons, Monkeys, Kudu, Hayena, Blue Wildebeest, various smaller game, birds of prey, smaller birds and nocturnal animals.
The Thornybush Reserve is blessed with an abundance of species which includes:
Following brunch guests are welcome to enjoy the relaxing facilities at the camp but for the more adventurous informative bush walks are offered. This is one of the best ways to experience detail of the bush that would not be possible by vehicle.
These walks are conducted by your knowledgeable and experienced ranger accompanied by his tracker – both there to ensure the walks are done professionally and safely.
Wildlife Photography, Birding and Special Interests
For the birding and photography enthusiasts the reserve has plenty to offer and game are encountered at close range. Rangers are trained to consider your special interests during game drives and walks. In addition their knowledge of the finer things within the eco-system, bush and plants as well as astronomy offers an insight into more than just the extraordinary wildlife.
"Close encounters of a different kind" are the experiences that will linger in your memory long after your visit to Shumbalala Game Lodge - an African Safari not to be missed!