26 March 2020

To the entire Thanda Family, On Monday, 23 March 2020, The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced an escalation of measures put in place on the 14th of March 2020 by declaring a de facto national lockdown to slow down the spread of COVID-19. This will cause significant disruption to our daily lives and have a material impact on the South African economy as well as the world, but exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures. Decisive action is essential to protect human health and life, as well as socio-economic sustainability. It is up to all of us, individually and collectively, to do everything in our power to slow the spread of the virus, to create time for health systems to respond effectively and to keep the social and economic damage caused by the pandemic to a minimum. Thanda therefore supports the measures announced by President Ramaphosa.

So, as of today, and in accordance with the lockdown, Thanda Safari shall be closing its doors. All guests have managed to find a way to get home, which is a great relief. Whilst South Africa and the world brace for a couple of weeks of either total lockdown, self-isolation or social distancing and quarantine, we would like to wish everyone everything of the best during this difficult and challenging time, and pray and hope that all of our trade partners and guests will get through this pandemic in good health.

Approximately 25% of our staff contingent shall be staying on the game reserve to make sure that all essential services continue without any disruption. A team will be disinfecting the various accommodation establishments as a precaution and everyone shall be observing strict WHO hygiene protocols and routines. Thanda Head Office shall be operating out of everyone’s homes during this period, which means that our finance, sales, marketing and reservations teams will continue to work and will be on standby to handle any queries or requests that may come in during this lockdown period. We shall re-open for business on the 17th of April 2020, and I can confirm that guests are making use of the opportunity to escape into the wilderness and spend some time close to nature, where life carries on as normal, as it has done for thousands of years in unpolluted surroundings, fresh air and where the daily sunrise and sunset have breathed life into the bush and where the seasons have brought new life to nature each and every year. In fact, late April to late August is the best time of the year to visit Zululand and to go on safari, as you can experience the best game viewing due to the slightly cooler and dry weather during our winter and the short grass and less dense bush, which allow you to get up close to all of the Big Five and other wild animals.

I urge you to use this unexpected quality time to do some research on and make plans for when you can visit us, so that we can Thandarise you and make your African Safari dreams come true. This crisis will blow over, we will get through this and life will soon return to normal, and we want all of you to know that our exceptional staff will be ready to welcome you and blow you away when that happens.


Warm regards,


Pierre Chief Executive Officer


Thanda Safari is a world of wilderness and wildlife, matched with a deep commitment to Zulu culture and environmental conservation. Thanda means ‘Love’ in the language of the Zulu people, and Thanda Safari lives this ethos in the management of its 14 000-hectare reserve, its three unique properties, and its community partnerships. Experience the ultimate safari and game lodge experience with Thanda Safari, which has repeatedly been named the World’s Leading Luxury Lodge.


A luxury private game reserve and member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Thanda Safari has three distinct accommodation options: Thanda Safari Lodge offers 9 exquisite bush suites; Villa iZulu is a completely private and exclusive bush retreat, ideal for celebrities, small groups and families. Thanda Tented Camp has 15 luxury safari tents for an evocative experience of the wild.


Nothing compares to the feeling of being in a game reserve in Africa. On an early morning or late afternoon safari, all your senses awaken during up-close encounters with the Big Five in their home terrain. The lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo: these icons of the African wilderness inspire a lifelong connection with Thanda Safari and this beautiful continent.

Conservation & Initiatives

Thanda Safari’s ethos is based on people, wildlife and the environment coming together to conserve the region’s wild, natural surroundings and to partner in socio-economic upliftment, job creation, education and skills development in the region.

Location & Access

Thanda Safari is a private game reserve situated in the renowned wildlife region of northern KwaZulu-Natal, some 260kms north of Durban. Guests can drive directly to the reserve or fly to the Phinda Airstrip, the local airport at nearby Richards Bay or to King Shaka International Airport in Durban. Our guides will meet you and drive you to Thanda Safari.


Reservations +27 32 586 0149