Fodor's The Complete Guide to African Safaris
Thanda Private Game Reserve
Thanda Private Game Reserve Review
Located in a wild, beautiful part of northern Zululand, multi-award-winning Thanda is one of KwaZulu-Natal's newer game reserves. Like its neighbor Phinda did in the '90s, the 37,000-acre reserve is restoring former farmlands and hunting grounds to their previous pristine state, thanks to a joint venture with local communities and the king of the Zulus, Goodwill Zweletini, who donated some of his royal hunting grounds to the project. Game that used to roam this wilderness centuries ago has been reestablished, including the Big Five. Thanda (tan-duh) is Zulu for "love," and its philosophy echoes just that: "for the love of nature, wildlife, and dear ones." Rangers often have to work hard to find game, but the rewards of seriously tracking lions or rhinos with your enthusiastic and very experienced ranger and tracker are great. Because its owner is passionately committed not only to the land but also to the local people, there are many opportunities to interact with them. Don't miss out on Vula Zulu, one of the most magical and powerful Zulu experiences offered in South Africa. After exploring the village, including the chief's kraal (compound) and the hut of the sangoma (shaman), where you might have bones thrown and read, you'll be treated to the Vula Zulu show, a memorable blend of narration, high-energy dance, song, and mime that recounts Zulu history. The lodge can also arrange golf, scuba diving, snorkeling, whale-watching, and fishing expeditions.
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