Thanda Safari Lodge.
Not too far from Hluhluwe, in the direction of Mkuze, is Thanda Safari Lodge. There are nine ultra-luxurious suites on offer, two being twin rooms, and the remainder double rooms. We were housed in a double room.
When we say ultra-luxurious, as they mention on their website, we mean ultra-luxurious. Thanda gives the size of these suites as 220m². That is almost double the size of our smallish three-bedroom house in Johannesburg. And we have not even mentioned the service yet. Ultra-luxurious.
Our suite had the following: huge bedroom which is at the center of this almost all open-plan suite, a large bathtub, twin vanity stations, shower, outside shower, toilet, dining area with coffee station, open mini-bar, central fireplace for colder evenings, outside deck with plunge pool, viewing deck with large, round bed from where you can take in the view and animals wandering close to your unit (the birds drinking from the plunge pool kept us entertained), a boma for private and deep conversations in front a crackling fire.
That was our unit. At the main lodge, we had all our meals (except for one where we were treated to a private dinner at our suite). We loved the library and small reading room, a bar for refreshments, and a swimming pool. Spa services. It is also from here where we were taken on a very informative guided walk under the expert guidance of some of the expertise game ranger found at Thanda. Oh, and did I mention the early morning game drives which include hot beverages and snacks and the evening game drives again with snacks and sun-downers? This is a Big Five game reserve and we saw four (no glimpse of a leopard) of them plus much more – too many to mention but know that there also are a number of birds of prey around if you are into birds.
We killed time between meals and game drives lazing around our plunge pool and private viewing deck, relaxing on the huge bed. We found some interesting coffee table books in the library we paged through (not too much time to dig into a novel) and sipped on something with a straw at the bar.
Now I must mention that we have been to Thanda twice. The first time in 2017, the second time in 2018. There was no fault to be found on either occasion, BUT on the second time, we were pleasantly surprised with the much better service we received from the staff. This included everybody. Field guides, trackers, housekeeping, hospitality, kitchen staff (even the food was better), management.
Would we go back? No doubt!