Thula Thula, a family owned and operated private game lodge, is situated in the heart of Zululand, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
This 4500 ha, malaria-free game reserve was established in 1911 and has been operational as Thula Thula since 1999. It is home to a wide variety of game like elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard, giraffe, and birds.
Thula Thula, with its centuries of cultural and wildlife heritage, takes pride in tracing back its origin to the private hunting grounds of King Shaka, founder of the Zulu Empire. The first historic meeting between Shaka and his father (Senzangakhona), which set the stage for the creation of the Zulu nation, took place at the Nseleni River at Thula Thula. The Zulu name Thula Thula literally means peace and tranquillity.
Thula Thula was also the home of late bestselling author and conservationist: Lawrence Anthony, who passed away on the 2nd of March 2012. His second book, The Elephant Whisperer relates the story of the rescue of the Thula Thula elephants and the special relationship he has created with the herd.
Thula Thula is run by his wife, Francoise Malby Anthony, who carries on the legacy of Lawrence with his conservation projects and running of the two lodges. Game Drives:
Experienced rangers will guide you on exciting safaris by open game drive vehicles through the unique diversity of this ancestral land to encounter big game like buffalo, elephant, hippo, leopard and rhino, giraffe, hyena, crocodile, and a spectacular variety of other indigenous species and superb birdlife.
• Game drives and bush walks are included in your accommodation packages
• At the tented camp, one morning bush walk and one-afternoon game drive daily
• At the Elephant Safari Lodge, one morning and one-afternoon game drive daily
BOMA DINNER & ZULU DANCING
Dine under the stars in the boma for a traditional South African braai (barbecue) or a potjkie (meat stew with vegetables cooked on the fire in a cast iron pot). At your request, Zulu dancers from the nearby village will come and perform magnificent Zulu dancing in traditional attire.
Our rangers will take you to a remote part of the game reserve for Champagne, gourmet picnic lunch in the tranquillity of the bush at Thula Thula Game Reserve.
These Culinary Courses have been designed by French owner and trained chef, Francoise Malby-Anthony. The chefs of Thula Thula ensure the Safari Lodge is remembered as much for its food as it is for the peace and tranquillity that surround it.
Our professionally trained therapists will soothe you with a relaxing therapeutic massage in the comfort of your room.
A dedicated team working 24/7 for the protection of our precious wildlife. With the K9 unit, Boris and Debbie, the Belgian Shepherds Malinois, part of the patrolling anti-poaching team.
These armed guardians of our wildlife work day and night, driving around doing fence patrol, and deployed in the whole game reserve for ambushes, in order to prevent wildlife crime. Added to this special unit, we also have the WILDLIFE PROTECTION AND RHINO MONITORING TEAM dedicated to guarding our rhinos, Thabo and Ntombi, day and night.
The protection and survival of our wildlife is an absolute priority at Thula Thula. THANK YOU to our donors for your amazing help and contributions, as we would not be able to do it without you.
The Thula Thula Rhino Fund is part of the SOUTH AFRICAN CONSERVATION FUND, a registered Non-Profit Organisation, founded by Françoise Malby-Anthony, Managing Director of Thula Thula Private Game Reserve and widow of well-known conservationist, explorer and international bestselling author Lawrence Anthony.
In March 2012, Thabo, who was three years old at the time, was shot and wounded by ruthless poachers who entered into the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve to poach our rhino for their horn.
This resulted in the establishment of the Thula Thula Rhino Fund, which raises funds for the protection and preservation of the rhino population within the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve. Funding goes towards supplying much-needed equipment for counter poaching activities, for crucial conservation initiatives and to ensure the ongoing protection and survival of our rhinos but also all our endangered species.
ELEPHANT LAND EXPANSION
The original herd of 7 elephants in September 1999, when they arrived at Thula Thula. Classified as “rogue” and “troublemakers”, our original herd of 7 elephants, made famous in the best-seller “The Elephant Whisperer” by Lawrence Anthony, has now increased to the maximum sustainable capacity.
Contraception program for our male elephants
Having now reached its maximum capacity in terms of habitat for our herd, the reserve implemented a reversible male elephant contraception programme to allow controlled breeding. This operation started in Sept 2012, is being renewed every 6 months and unfortunately is not having the desired effect.
An alternative to relocation
Although contraception does not adversely affect the elephants and does not produce any behavioral side effects, questions do remain as to how continued contraception might influence such a highly sociable species.
Thanks to the local community, Thula Thula now has the opportunity to add a further 3500 ha of land to increase their habitat. This solution requires 35 km of electric fencing as well as roads, increased security, guard training, security equipment, and vehicles, conservation, land management, and the list just go on, to keep our wildlife safe. Community projects such as this, not only support the wildlife but also improve local employment and education.