Shumbalala Game Lodge

Code: Shumbalala Game Lodge
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Shumbalala Game Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park

The Property

Situated on the banks of the seasonal Monwana River the camp is an unexpected oasis of luxury and comfort in the unforgiving heat of the African bushveld. It is here where you will find the exclusive Shumbalala Game Lodge managed by a team with a friendly yet professional approach to their guests, also overseen by the family themselves.


Set under shady African trees lining the seasonal Monwana River, Shumbalala Game Lodge comprise of a select number of superior suites (4 x superior suites / 75 square metres) with privacy and luxurious comfort in mind. To ensure absolute exclusivity and privacy, the lodge prides itself in giving personalized attention to a select number of guests at a time. The spacious private suites each comprise of a bedroom and lounge, en-suite bathroom, large glass sliding doors and private viewing decks with a view over the ever active water hole. Natural colours, wooden decks and thatched roofs compliment the bushveld surroundings.

In addition to the Superior Suites our Presidential Suite is a true haven of opulence and space offering unexpected luxury and exclusivity in the African bush. The Presidential Suite, a total of 225sqm includes two full en-suite bedrooms, a private dining room, private lounge, fireplace, wrap around private deck with outside dining facilities, a private boma and private plunge pool. The understated décor is African modern while the expansive wooden decking around the suite provides a perfect platform from which to experience the spectacularly wild african game and bush.

Click the green button on the page to view all the luxuries our Superior suites and Presidential suite have to offer; thus making the optimal decision when booking.

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Game drives and game walks

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Child policy (Under 12 years by arrangement & children U/6 may not join game drives unless exclusive use is taken).

Dining & Wine collection

Dinner is a sumptuous affair prepared by our in-house chef catering for your specific preferences. Depending on the weather, meals are served at a variety of locations for your enjoyment. Enjoy brunch on the veranda overlooking the riverbed, high tea on the viewing deck overlooking the water hole; enjoy the open air boma with fireplace at night time where dinner is also served. In addition there is an elegant dining room for the cooler evenings with it’s inviting lounge and fireplace. Enjoy your interaction with other guests at this time sharing the experiences of a different kind. A romantic dinner in our specially designed cellar with a view over the water hole is not to be missed during your stay. It boasts an impressive selection of local and foreign wines for your enjoyment.


Thornybush Private Game Reserve

View the Map to the Lodge:  Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Shumbalala Game Lodge Map

Rates (all inclusive)

  • Children: 6 – 12 years pay 50% of the sharing rate,
    13 – 18 years pay 100% of the sharing rate
  • Just click on the green button to view availability, rates, specials, room selection and make a direct booking.

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A Day in The Bush

A typical day in the bush starts off at around 5:30 am (depending on the time of year) with a wake-up call by your ranger after which follows early morning tea/coffee before you set off on your game adventure for the day…

An informative and professional game drive with the excitement of tracking down the untamed game and big 5 is interrupted by a stop over in the bush for tea or coffee with a light snack.

The adventure continues and you return back to camp at around 9:30 am to freshen up. This is followed by a sumptuous brunch with a choice of continental and hot breakfast.

Following brunch the possibility of a bush walk lures the more adventurous or young at heart offering unexpected insight and knowledge of the eco-system to learn more about the fauna & flora unique to the area.

You then have time to rest or relax at the pool, browse our curio shop, visit our library or sit on your private or the lodge deck enjoying the sounds and smells unique to the African bushveld. You are most likely to encounter wild animals browsing the camp grounds or a herd of elephants at the water hole directly in front of the lodge. This is also a unique time for bird lovers to indulge their passion in the abundance of the species found.

Afternoon high tea is a time to interact with other guests and is served at around 3:30pm with a selection salty and sweet treats. Following directly thereafter you are off to an afternoon & evening game drive adventure with a stop-over in the bush for sundowners watching the splendour of the African sun setting over the mountains. Drinks are accompanied by snacks and some South African specialties.

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. Fetched by your ranger at your room (Shumbalala is not fenced so it is unwise to walk around by yourself after dark) for a drink at the bar or to select your wine from our wide selection in our underground cellar.

Dinner is a five course affair prepared by our in-house chef with fresh ingredients. Dinner is served at various settings – around the fire, by candle light in the dining room, on the lodge deck, in the underground cellar or even in your suite for a more romantic affair!
You will retire to your bedroom prepared for the evening (including a roaring log fire if it is cold) after a long but refreshing and fulfilling day in Africa – our staff are renowned for their pampering of guests who almost always depart as friends with a tear in their eyes.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at “where the lion sleeps”.

What To Bring

Please remember the following when visiting Shumbalala Game Lodge: 

  • Your camera and video camera – you are welcome to take as many photos as you wish during game drives.
  • A pair of binoculars are provided for you in each suite for your enjoyment.
  • Walking Shoes should you wish to go on a game walk.
  • Sunscreen and bathing suit during the summer months is essential. Some guests also enjoy the poolside during other seasons as temperature remain moderate throughout the year.
  • Clothing – please refer to our suggested clothing for the different seasons in the weather summary below.
  • Malaria is found in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and thus includes the vicinity you will be visiting. Malaria is not much of a risk in the winter months. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas. We do however stress that Thornybush Reserve is a low risk malaria area and incidents are very rare.
  • The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers, such as a mosquito net, (which is provided in your suite) and the use of a good insect repellent (also provided). If you decide to take malaria prophylaxis, it is essential that you take the drugs according to the directions on the package insert. It is advisable to consult a medical professional first – please also take note that expectant mothers should avoid malaria medication.