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Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge

D312 Buchanana Main Rd, Ntambana 3880 South Africa
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Traveller (598)
Room & Suite (45)
Dining (28)

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About

#1 of 1 lodge in Ntambana
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Thula Thula private game reserve is a unique safari destination and home to elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and superb bird life, in Kwazulu Natal, in a malaria free area. With its unique atmosphere, stylish decor and superb cuisine, Thula Thula offers you the choice of exclusive accommodation between the luxurious Safari lodge, renowned gourmet destination, and the 4 star Luxury tented camp, offering an authentic bush experience in great style. Special packages, spa massages, Zulu culture tours.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Bar / lounge
Airport transportation
Meeting rooms
Massage
Gift shop
Secured parking
Internet
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Kid-friendly buffet
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Mosquito net
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun terrace
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Housekeeping
Bottled water
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Family
Languages Spoken
English, French

Location

D312 Buchanana Main Rd, Ntambana 3880 South Africa
Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge
Getting there
Richards Bay Airport
36.7 km
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King Shaka Intl Airport
129.7 km
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520Reviews20Q+A58Room tips
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Susan H wrote a review Jan 2024
Marple, United Kingdom301 contributions143 helpful votes
+1
One of my optional trips on my cruise was to Thula Thula, it has been on my bucket list since I read the elephant whisperer and there’s an elephant in my kitchen. Ideally I would have stayed at the lodge because it was a wish of my late husband for us to visit the lodge. Francois was a fabulous host and seeing Nana, Nandi and other animals in the books was the cherry on the cake. The guide was so knowledgeable and we had a fantastic game drive, followed by a fantastic lunch cooked by Tom. I had just finished reading the elephants of Thula Thula and Francois was kind enough to sign it for me. Precious memories
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Date of stay: January 2024
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Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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tbekker2023 wrote a review Dec 2023
Germiston, South Africa1 contribution
Will go there again Have enquired for 2024. A place worth visiting. Staff and venue brilliant. Would spend there longer if possible. Guide excellent. Food and service could not be better. Would like to join the volunteer programme
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Date of stay: December 2023
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Steven A B wrote a review Nov 2023
Carmel Valley, California83 contributions32 helpful votes
+1
We did a day visit and it was one of the highlights of our 18 days visit in the area. Our game drive with Victor was superb and lunch on the outside patio was divine. Francoise gave us a warm welcome and we took pictures on the patio. Definitely bring friends for a much longer stay at Thula Thula.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Garrymn1980 wrote a review Oct 2023
Perth, United Kingdom39 contributions39 helpful votes
+1
What an unforgettable experience we have had. The weather didnt cooperate and we spent most of our 6 nights in rain but it didnt dampen our experience one little bit. From the minute we got there everything was effortless and well organised. We had the warmest welcome from the staff who were ALWAYS friendly, helpful and caring. Our guide for our stay was Victor and to be honest this gentle kind soul of a man made the experience for us. He is very knowledgeable and every day he taught us something new, a new fact we could digest and soak up. No 2 drives were ever the same. His love of the park, what he does and for the animals shines through from the first interaction we had with an animal on the drive. He talks to them and talks about them like they are his family. His love for the animals really draws you in. Even when it was horrendous rain he looked after us all with blankets and ponchos and his enthusiasm kept everyones spirits up. Always positive about the game drives and positive we would see at least some animals when the weather had other ideas. This isnt a job for Victor, this is his way of life and he loves it, thats evident from the start, he takes pride in what he does. And that mahindra is some machine, comfortable, able and powerful. The tented accommodation we stayed in was spotless. The beds were comfortable and warm and the staff always looked after us, if it was cold and wet we could get back to the wee heater on and the heated blankets on in the bed. Always more water put in the fridge if needed. The outside shower was just the best for a morning wake up. The food served was always fresh and delicious. We will definitely be back for a visit at some point. Definitely recommend this for a holiday we have never felt so calm or at peace than when we were there. Its a magical place. Thanks to the team for making it so good.
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Date of stay: October 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Alan V wrote a review Oct 2023
Eagan, Minnesota11 contributions4 helpful votes
A great place to view some of South Africa's animals. Accommodations were top notch and the service was outstanding. Gourmet meals served in a beautiful atmosphere. Evening game drives should start no later than 3:30 in September for best photography.
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Date of stay: September 2023
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Tina O wrote a review Sept 2023
2 contributions
I have wanted to visit Thula Thula for years after having read the book(s). It was a dream come true and quite emotional at times. All of the guests seem to know the stories and being re-told some of the episodes by the rangers is quite special and different from other safari experiences we have had. It's like we already know the place, a bit like coming home. Loved it!
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Date of stay: August 2023
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Linda wrote a review Sept 2023
Durban, South Africa3 contributions
+1
I really enjoyed being at Thula Thula. It was such a peaceful getaway. The game drives were amazing, Muzi was such an amazing ranger, and the close encounters with the elephants and rhinos was absolutely magical.
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Date of stay: September 2023
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Trip type: Travelled solo
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joaniefox2015 wrote a review Sept 2023
Hendersonville, North Carolina2 contributions1 helpful vote
From the accommodations, to the French cuisine, to the kind and welcoming staff, to Siya - the expert professional game ranger, to the animals on twice daily game drives...this was a life altering experience. Lawrence and Francoise created an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect among the animals and neighboring people. And since his death eleven years ago, Francoise has steadfastly moved onward and upward bringing this game preserve to the highest standards, like no other. I will be forever grateful to all of Thula Thula, for this amazing, heart opening experience.
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Date of stay: August 2023
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: If you got in August it's winter. Bring gloves and a warm jacket. There are no flys, mossies,...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Lisa H wrote a review Aug 2023
1 contribution
If you're going to see the animals in Lawrence Anthony's book The Elephant Whisperer you will not be disappointed. If you don't want to read my comprehensive review, here's a short review. The service is excellent. The staff go out of their way to give you great service and accommodate your requests. The accommodations are fair and in poor condition and decor. The food is akin to the finest 5-star restaurant you've been to if you're staying at the lodge cabins, I have no idea about the food at the tented camps but was told their food is more "down to earth" not fancy schmancy. Why is my review titled the good, the bad, and the ugly? The cabins.......old and tired and it shows. Cleanliness is not on top of the list and we had to change cabins upon check in due to the shower being overwhelmingly covered in mold and mildew. Upon bringing it to staff's attention, the manager dispatched cleaning teams to all the cabins where all the showers were scrubbed thoroughly for the next 3 hours. But the whole cabin just feels like a highway Motel 6 that's seen better years but with clean towels and sheets. The cabin itself is in poor shape with holes in the walls and open spaces where the siding does not meet the roof. You can stand inside the cabin and look directly outside through all the open holes and crevices but, thankfully, we only saw two bugs so that's a plus. The windows are filthy and are sealed shut due to monkey's raiding the cabins and the paint is peachy orange; not a very soothing color. The decor is old and tired and feels like it was cheaply decorated and the window coverings are of various shades and sizes and not flattering to the cabin interior. But you're there to see the animals! And the linens are changed daily. Take note: The ad claims you get two bottled waters a day for your room but we did not. We stopped before arriving and bought several quarts of water to have and thankful we did. Bring your own bottled water if you drink lots of it. And speaking of water, ladies, leave your expensive skin care lines at home. The bathing water at Thula hula has sulphur in it and smells of it. The grounds are beautiful and the animals graze all around it and your cabin. When it's dark though, there are no pathway lighting to walk back to your cabin and you can't see your hand in front of your face it's so dark out there. Definitely bring your cell phone to use your flashlight accessory. You'll need it. The food. Simply marvelous! It is fully upscale when staying in the cabins so be prepared for that. No meatloaf and mashed potatoes there! For a down home diner fare, that is with the luxury tented camp guests. Excursions: The St Lucia Estuary cruise does not have magnificent birdlife. It hardly has any birdlife at all. The mangroves are dead and do not sustain a wide variety of birdlife. You will see hippos and a crocodile sunning itself on the riverbank. Maybe a South African eagle will be hanging out. The Umfolozi reserve has big cats and the big five. It also allows for self guided tours to the pubic and hopefully your sightings will not be limited due to tourists getting out of their vehicles for close up pictures which scare the animals away. Zulu Village and "shops". You will be driven to a local "village" where it is expected you will buy candy for the children and visit the wellness lady and offer gratuity. It is not a bazaar of locally made items for sale. The trip to the Indian Ocean is magnificent and you will have a packed picnic lunch to enjoy while there. Both are fantastic! Enjoy! Watch our for the monkeys trying to steal your lunch. Pack a jacket no matter the time of year; morning and after the sun goes down is chilly, especially on game drives. Enjoy the bush drives and keep your cameras ready! The drivers are committed to providing sightings of all the wildlife and giving you the best photographic opportunities to remember your trip. And remember to tip your driver directly at the end of your stay as you do the staff. There are websites that recommend a tip amount guide but with anything, I tip according to the effort and service. Our driver knew we came because of the book and the elephants and tailored our drives primarily around the elephants first and then all the other majestic animals.
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Date of stay: August 2023
Value
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Baileyspeople wrote a review Jul 2023
Troy, Michigan17 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
The adventure of a lifetime! We cannot say enough good things about Thula Thula! The Luxury Elephant Safari Lodge chalets are beautiful, comfortable and those beds - Devine! The food is first rate and elegantly served, too! I’m still dreaming about chocolate coffee tart! ❤️Service, accommodations and adventure wrapped into one unforgettable experience! We will fondly remember our time and new friends we made at Thula Thula for years to come!
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Bring a headlamp, warm hat, and a cotton scarf - those morning game drives are chilly!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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PRICE RANGE
R 10,244 - R 10,475 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
thula thula exclusive private game reserve and safari hotel kwazulu-natal
LOCATION
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalNtambana
NUMBER OF ROOMS
16
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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THULA THULA EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE GAME LODGE - Reviews & Price Comparison (Ntambana, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and French.