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About Thula Thula Private Game Reserve & Safari Lodge

Only 2 hours North from Durban, and 45 minutes from Richards Bay, in a malaria free area,

Thula Thula, the oldest private game reserve in Kwazulu Natal, once part of the private hunting grounds of legendary Zulu King Shaka, founder of the Zulu Empire, is today home to the Big 4 with buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard, giraffe, hyenas, crocodile, nyala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra and many more, as well as 370 species of birds ,including raptors .

Exclusive bush experience and absolute luxury, with only 8 thatched chalets decorated in flavours of ethnic and colonial elegance, the Elephant Safari Lodge offers superb accommodation with as much privacy and comfort you could wish for.... and the "Suite Royale, our honeymoon suite, or the Suite Imperiale, for those special occasions. Air conditioning is available in all rooms.

Candle lit dinners are served either in the dining room around the pool on the veranda, looking at wildlife coming to the waterhole, or in the Boma around a fire under the stars.

Stylish d├ęcor and superb cuisine in the unique atmosphere of the Elephant Safari Lodge make Thula Thula one of the most renowned gourmet destinations of Kwazulu Natal.

Enjoy exotic cocktails at the "Marula Bar" or just relax in the lounge in the open thatched lapa while viewing game at the waterhole and magnificent birdlife.

Absolute luxury and privacy in the 8 airconditioned individual chalets of the Elephant Safari Lodge, elegantly decorated in ethnic and colonial style with private verandah.

Experience exciting safaris in open Landrovers with our professional rangers through the unique diversity of this ancestral land to encounter big game and superb birdlife.

Thula Thula has re-introduced a breeding herd of elephant in August 1999 marking the historic return of these majestic creatures to the area in nearly 100 years and specialises in elephant rehabilitation, lead by the renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who also initiated the rescue of the Baghdad Zoo in April 2003.

Children + 8 years welcome.

We propose as extra activities :

- Massage therapy :

We propose to our guests a relaxing massage in the comfort of their room with Carlize, our professional massage therapist and reflexologist.

- Full aromatherapy body massage

- Indian head massage


- Back and neck massage

Visit of a Zulu village : an authentic experience of Zulu rural culture and traditions, with an encounter with the Inyanga, the medicine man, who will display for you a selection of herbal medicines.

Hluhluwe / Umfolozi Game reserve (Cengeni Gate) : situated only 45 minutes from Thula Thula, this National game reserve was created in 1895 and is home to the big five.

St Lucia Estuary boat cruises : to view hippos, crocodiles and magnificent birdlife (1 hour from Thula Thula).

Whale watching (From June to October) in St Lucia (1 hour from Thula Thula).

18 Hole Golf Course in Empangeni, Richardsbay or Zimbali.

Anglo-Zulu Battlefields : Isandlwana, Rorkes Drift (2.30 hours from Thula Thula).

Children policy:

Children 12 years and above pay full adult rate.

Children 8 - 12 pay 50% of adult rate if sharing with parents or adults.

Rates include: Luxury accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, all teas/coffees, two open Land Rover safaris a day with professional rangers and trackers, bush walk with experienced trackers. Our game activities include elephant and rhino tracking in open Land Rovers, leopard tracking during bush walks in the riverbed, night drives with hyena call out and great bird watching (370 species including raptors) from your private verandah.

Rates exclude: personal bar account, curio shop account, transfers, or day excursions and gratuity.

Specials: we offer seasonal specials packages for 3,4 and 5 night stays - Conditions apply - Please enquire for more information.


  • Laundry Facilities*
  • Swimming Pool
  • Romantic

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Zulu (isiZulu)
  • Xhosa (isiXhosa)
  • Afrikaans
  • French


  • Portfolio Collection
  • 4 Stars - Tourism Grading Council of South Africa
* Please enquire for further details.

Important Information

Terms and Conditions for Bookings.

All rates are subject to change without notice. All rates are per person per night and include 14% VAT.

Booking Procedure:
Reservations all require a 50% non-refundable deposit. Final confirmation of booking is only made on receipt of above-mentioned payment.

Full payment 14...
Terms and Conditions for Bookings.

All rates are subject to change without notice. All rates are per person per night and include 14% VAT.

Booking Procedure:
Reservations all require a 50% non-refundable deposit. Final confirmation of booking is only made on receipt of above-mentioned payment.

Full payment 14 days prior to arrival. Should deposit not be received as requested, the lodge reserves the right to cancel the booking.
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Availability and pricing

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  • Tented Camps Tented Camps Sleeps 2 Includes: All Meals Rooms / Units: 6
    • Rooms Adults
      • Luxury Safari Luxury Safari Sleeps 2 Includes: All Meals Rooms / Units: 3 2 x 3/4 Beds, en-suite with bath and shower, air-con, private veranda, tea and coffee station and all Bath room ammeniti... see more
        • Rooms Adults
          • Deluxe Room Deluxe Room Sleeps 1 Includes: All Meals Rooms / Units: 2 Features:  Double beds, Queen beds
            • Rooms Adults
              • Family Tent Family Tent Sleeps 4 Includes: All Meals Rooms / Units: 2 2 x 3/4 Bed, 2 x single beds, mosquito net, fan, full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower, private viewing... see more Features:  Three-quarter beds
                • Rooms Adults
                  • Suite Imperiale Suite Imperiale Sleeps 4 Includes: All Meals Executive Suite with 2 x 4 Poster double beds, lounge, air-con, large full bathroom, full viewing deck, tea and coffee... see more
                    • Adults
                      • Honeymoon Suite Honeymoon Suite Sleeps 2 Includes: All Meals Features:  King beds
                        • Adults
                          • Laxury Safari Suites 6 (Queen Size Bed ) Sleeps 2 Includes: All Meals Queen Size Bed, en-suite with bath and shower, air-con, private veranda, tea and coffee station and all Bath room ammeni... see more
                            • Adults

                              Reviews for Thula Thula Private Game Reserve & Safari Lodge

                              15 guest reviews Reviews of

                              4.5 out of 5 stars
                              5 star
                              4 star
                              3 star
                              2 star
                              1 star
                              Geert Smit
                              01 May 2017

                              We enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Food, lodging, drives were all OK. Good value for our money. Just one remark: we were a group of six (elderly couple, children and grandchildren, celebrating the x th anniversary of ...), when we joined for dinner we discovered that our group was split because there was free seating for everyone at one table. Thula Thula should not let this happen. They should make sure that groups sit together by f.i. designated seating. The personnel reacted well to this by asking other guest to relocate, but it was a bit embarrassing.

                              Ken Williams, South Africa
                              25 January 2012

                              My wife and I had two days at Thula Thula, they were truly remarkable. Everything was wonderful and the staff were tremendous, especially our guide Siswe. Thanks to all for a memorable visit!

                              Elmari Rautenbach, South Africa
                              30 September 2010

                              What a wonderful experience, we were a group of 11 and nothing was too much to change for us. The food was superb and the friendliness of the staff was wonderful. You were all were great, keep up the good work.

                              Paola Guadarrama, Canada
                              24 June 2010

                              Me and my parents loved staying in Thula Thula! The staff are so nice and always available for you whatever you need. The game ride was cold but rewarding and the animals are just beautiful. All the information given by the guides is so interesting. The rooms are beautiful, clean and in general the place is amazing. What can I say about the food? It is delicious, a truly culinary experience. I would definetly love to come back.

                              Nora Tomori, Hungary
                              30 October 2008

                              Very kind members of staff, beautiful place.Pool was not cleaned of leaves.

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                              Thula Thula Private Game Reserve & Safari Lodge Map

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                              Thula Thula Private Game Reserve & Safari Lodge is 0.5km from the centre of Empangeni , the nearest airport 73.4km (Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport).
                              *Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling