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Thornybush Game Reserve

Jackalberry Lodge Location Map

Jackalberry Safari Lodge lies within the Big 5 Thornybush Private Game Reserve - 14,500 hectares of prime game viewing bushveld just west of Timbavati and the Greater Kruger Park.

The majestic Drakensberg Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for this lodge, which offers understated comfort and a restful, ethnic ambience that blends harmoniously with nature. More than 60 species of wildlife can be found in the immediate vicinity of the lodge, including lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, elephant, hyena and cheetah, and more than 280 different species of birds have been recorded - a real paradise for birdwatchers.

Game drives are taken in open safari vehicles every morning and evening with highly trained rangers and trackers. Walking safaris can also be arranged.

In between game activities, guests can head to the swimming pool and enjoy the Lowveld sun.

At the end of a day, a hearty bushveld dinner is taken at the open boma next to the pool where guests can relax by the crackling camp fire, listening to the night sounds of Africa as the animals come to drink at the floodlit waterhole.

The views from each of the 5 suites are superb and your private patio is the perfect place from which to submerge yourself in nature's harmony.  En-suite bathrooms wrap you in luxury, with double basins, a shower and corner tub overlooking an environment teeming with game. An extra outdoor shower provides a novel way to freshen up, to the lyrical strains of the bushveld choir.

There is also one Honeymoon Suite, which has a private lounge area.

There is also one Family Suite, with 2 separate bedrooms.

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Rates Include

All meals, tea/coffee and snacks; the Thornybush Conservation fee; the Tourism bed levy; 2 guided shared game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles with highly trained rangers and trackers; and bushveld walks are included. PLEASE NOTE: All other drinks are NOT included.

Children Policy

Children of any age are welcome. Rates available on request. Children under 6 are generally not allowed on normal game drives, but this is at the Manager's discretion.

Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve. 

Jackalberry Lodge offers the Little Legends Children Programme for its younger guests.

Activities offered inside the camp area include the collecting of insect and tree identification.

Rangers also do short talks on animals and animal behaviour for the bigger kids, and painting activities, building of puzzles and story telling are offered for the smaller children.

The library at the lodge also has a range of children's books and games with animal themes.

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

Start TestimonialI would just like to thank you for organising an absolutely fantastic safari for my group. It was faultless! Jackalberry Lodge was fantastic. The service was amazing, the staff lovely and the game viewing the best I've seen at any SA lodge. We even managed to see a cheetah catch and kill an impala from start to finish. I would highly recommend both Travel Butlers service and also the lodge. Thanks again and I look forward to one day booking another safari through you. End Testimonial


Start TestimonialThe trip was great, Jackalberry Lodge was all we'd expected. The staff there were great and we were treated like at a 5-star resort. Saw lots of animals (all but the leopard, which I hear is evasive).End Testimonial


Start TestimonialGot back from our Africa trip last week and just wanted to say thanks for everything. We had the most fabulous holiday – which even exceeded our expectations. All of the accommodation was great. Darryl and Chrissie at Idle and Wild were very welcoming and helpful. And Jackalberry was wonderful! Your other recommendations such as Dyer Island cruises and the Shangana Cultural evening were all good too. In terms of Wildlife - we saw far more than we expected to and were completely knocked out by both Thornybush and the Kruger Park. After the wonderful safaris with Dave and Lawrence at Jackalberry in which we had amazing sightings of all of the cats and the rest of the big five – we were a bit worried that our self-drive safari might be a bit of an anti-climax – but we couldn’t believe how bursting with wildlife the Kruger is. We saw a lioness with two cubs on our first night, elephants bathing, and one evening at the magic sunset hour we drove across a plain at the top of the Capricorn loop that was just teeming with zebras, buffalo, ostriches, all kinds of game and elephants too. I wouldn’t say that Mopani is the best maintained of the rest-camps (we visited a few others) – but that’s not a criticism, as we enjoyed ourselves there and were grateful to have found accommodation at such short notice. And watching the hippos and crocs with a drink in hand from the restaurant terrace was lovely. Now we have the Africa bug – we’d like to visit Botswana. Any chance that you might cover that area soon? We will certainly recommend you.End Testimonial


Start TestimonialMany thanks for your suggestions on where to stay. Both places were excellent and your advice on stopping first at Hazyview for a night was a good idea as to drive the whole way would have been tough after travelling. The accommodation, staff and service in both places we stayed were excellent. As we drove into Jackalberry on the first day we came across about 7 giraffes. We spent so long taking photographs of them that the people who had been waiting for us thought we had a flat tyre! We really did not expect to get so close to the wildlife - it was brilliant. We were lucky enough to see the Big 5 on our safaris. We did 5 vehicle safaris and one walking safari. Our guide, Dave was very knowledgeable and got us almost within touching distance of many of the amimals and our tracker Lawrence was very determined. The staff in both places were very helpful and it was nice to have everyone eat together in Jackalberry as we got to know the other guests more quickly. Thanks so much for your help in organising the trip. It was fantastic.End Testimonial


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Jackalberry Lodge Location.

Directions For Drivers

From Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport: Turn left and proceed along this road. After about 15 km, turn right at the Thornybush signboard into Guernsey Road, continue down this road, go past the first Thornybush Reserve entrance, and the entrance to Jackalberry Lodge is a few kilometers along the road on your left-hand side. All visitors have to pay a cash Conservation fee of R50 per person (subject to change) to enter the reserve.

Once inside the gate, follow the signs to the lodge through the reserve. Allow about 20-30 minutes to drive from the gate to the lodge.

Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.

From Hazyview: Follow the R40 towards Klaserie. Continue through Klaserie, and about 6 km before you reach Hoedspruit itself, turn right at the signboard towards Eastgate Airport/Thornybush Reserve/Timbavati Reserve (Argyle Road). Go past the airport, continue along this road and follow the directions as above.

From Kruger National Park/Orpen Gate: Exit the Park, and continue along the R531. Turn right onto the R40, and follow the directions as above.

From Johannesburg/Pretoria: Take the N12 or N4 highway to Witbank/eMalahleni (from Johannesburg Airport, follow signs to Boksburg to find the N12). Follow the N4 highway past Middleburg (Toll Plaza), Belfast/eMakhazeni and Machadodorp (Toll Plaza). Follow the Schoemanskloof option on the N4 and then take the R36 to Lydenburg/Mashishing.

Follow the R36 to Ohrigstad, go through the Strydom Tunnel and take the R527 to Hoedspruit. Turn right onto the R40 towards Klaserie, and continue along this road until you see the turning off to the left for Eastgate Airport. Turn left here and follow the directions as above.

General Information For Guests

Each Chalet offers an En-suite bathroom; Air conditioning; Telephone; Hair-dryer; Tea / Cofee Station; Mini Bar; Moquito nets and a private patio.

Lodge activities and amenities include: Morning and afternoon/evening game safaris; Walking and birding safaris can also be arranged; Swimming Pool; Curio Shop; Library; Internet and Satellite available; Open-ari dining or around the fire boma.

Wi-Fi is available at the lodge at an additional fee per device per stay.

If you are arriving/departing via FedAir, the lodge is a 10 minute drive away from the airstrip.

Popular Alternatives to Jackalberry Lodge

These are the top properties booked by people who considered staying at Jackalberry Lodge, but for one reason or another booked a different property. It may have been that Jackalberry Lodge was not available on the nights they wanted to stay, or they decided that somewhere else was better suited to their budget or itinerary.

If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.

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