Shumbalala Game Lodge

Location: Greater Kruger & Panorama Region | South Africa

Price guide: £££££ £200-£350 per person per night

Shumbalala Game Lodge is set beneath the shade of trees lining the Monwana River, in the Thornybush Game Reserve in Greater Kruger National Park, and offers some of South Africa’s best game viewing and safari experiences in a beautiful and luxurious setting.
Perfect forWildlife lovers with a thirst for adventure who don’t want to stint on luxury and style.
In the knowShumbalala means ‘where the lion sleeps’ and you can come face to face with lions here.

Recommended for...

  • Wildlife & Nature
  • Guiding
  • Setting & Views
  • Landscapes & Scenery

Hotel Overview

Sense of Place

Shumbalala Game Lodge sits in the heart of the Thornybush Game Reserve, which spans over 14,000 hectares, looking out over vast savannahs and winding rivers where wildlife such as zebras, giraffes, leopards and wildebeest roam, alongside birds such as loeries and hornbills.

Rooms at Shumbalala Game Lodge

There are just six luxury suites here, offering an exclusive safari experience. They are made of thatch and stone and have plenty of local character as well as being ultra-luxurious, including plush beds, cosy fireplaces and private indoor/outdoor bathrooms. Each one has large glass sliding doors and a private teak deck overlooking the African bush, where you can relax in a cane chair and watch the wildlife on the riverbanks.

For the ultimate in safari luxury, the large Presidential suite has a dining and lounge area, a private boma and its own private plunge pool to cool off in between safaris.

Food & Drink

The cuisine is outstanding: meals are freshly-prepared by expert chefs and served on the lodge’s deck perched above the riverbed or in the atmospheric candlelit dining room, from hearty breakfasts to delicious five-course dinners.

You’ll be served signature coffee and freshly-baked muffins during your morning drive, before breakfast back at the lodge, and you can indulge in high tea before your afternoon drive, with sundowners and snacks at sunset. After an exhilarating day on safari, relax in the wine cellar with a chilled glass of wine, overlooking the waterhole on the edge of the savannah, where animals amble up to drink, and gather around the open-air boma for a traditional braai.


While away the afternoons swimming in the pool or lazing poolside, or curl up in the library with a good book.

Activities at Shumbalala Game Lodge

Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives and spot the famous Big Five and more with your expert ranger in a fully-equipped custom-built vehicle. We also recommend the walking safaris, which offer an even more immersive experience of the landscapes and wildlife. You might see a leopard lazing in a Jackalberry tree, a hyena or elephant in the riverside thickets, or a lion pride on the prowl.

From birdwatching and photography excursions to boat rides and hot air balloon trips, there are plenty of other ways to take in the scenery too.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
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  • Apr
  • May
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  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

To reach Shumbalala Game Lodge, you can take a 1-hour flight from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport to Hoedspruit Airport, followed by a 30-minute drive to the lodge. Another option is to fly from Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit, followed by a short 25-minute flight to the private airstrip at Thornybush Game Reserve or a 2 to 3-hour drive. You can also take a private flight from Cape Town or Johannesburg to the reserve.

More places to stay in Greater Kruger & Panorama Region


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

Make an enquiry

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