In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Thanda Safari, the five star private game reserve located in the heart of South Africa’s Zululand, has released a beautifully narrated short film.
Reflecting on this magnificent 14 000 ha Big Five private game reserve’s story, it recounts the journey that has led Thanda Safari to epitomise the definition of an African safari.
The very heart and soul of the Thanda experience derives from the Zulu people, amaZulu, ‘The People of Heaven’, Thanda Safari’s long-term conservation initiatives and their three award-winning hospitality offerings – Villa iZulu, Thanda Safari Lodge and Thanda Tented Camp.
Throughout this Anniversary year guests too will be immersed in A Safari for the Senses – a journey that will take them a step closer to nature and wildlife. During their stay they will be invited to experience not only the sense of sight, which would typically be associated with a safari, but also the senses of smell, taste, hearing and touch, through various distinctive ways and so allowing them:
To SMELL the indigenous vegetation, the earth after a passing thunderstorm, and their first cup of coffee on a crisp morning game drive.
To TASTE the flavours of the local cuisine, the seasonal fruit sourced from the region, or enjoy a chilled Amarula at sunset.
To SEE the magnificent landscape of KwaZulu, ‘The Place of Heaven’, the vibrant colours of the Zulu mamas, the beauty of a sunrise in the African bushveld and the millions of stars that fill the night sky.
To HEAR the sound of a lion’s roar at dawn, the subtle breaking of branches that usually give an elephant away, the call of the fish eagle, and the powerful drumming of Zulu Warriors.
To FEEL a cool breeze passing through the valleys, the excitement and adrenaline as an elephant herd passes your game vehicle, and to feel the warmth and friendliness of the Zulu people.
Safaris at Thanda are as wide-ranging as its scenic landscape. In addition to spotting some amazing wildlife and more than 400 different bird species on game drives and specialised bush walks, guests may join the conservation team for a day (In the Path of Wildlife) assisting with tracking and monitoring specific species and even assisting with any necessary veterinary procedures.
Those who wish to delve further into the Zulu culture may do so on an In the Footsteps of the Zulus excursion where they will be invited by Thanda’s Zulu custodian to visit a Zulu homestead, possibly spend time with a sangoma (spiritual medium and healer), visit a crèche or join the school children (and future Thanda employees) at a ‘Star for Life’ school, whose aids awareness programme reaches over 150,000 kids.
Furthermore, Thanda Safari is unusual in so far that it offers a complimentary 90-minute Wildlife Photography Lesson to all guests, subject to availability, teaching them how to set up and work with a digital camera, in addition to a series of longer and more comprehensive photographic safari lessons.
Thanda Safari is steeped in Zulu history with the Mduna Royal Reserve; part owned by the Zulu King, being part of the greater Thanda game reserve, linking conservation, history and Zulu culture. The Zulu culture is embraced throughout the guest experience which, together with their unique and unforgettable sensory safari adventures, promises 2019 will be a year to remember.