Thutlwa Safari Lodge


4* Luxury Game Lodge in the Black Rhino Game Reserve

Imagine your very own piece of safari solitude. A place for you to enjoy with a group of friends, family and loved ones, on your own time and at your own pace – welcome to Thutlwa Safari Lodge.

Our authentically-inspired lodge is a luxury, self-catering escape for guests looking to experience the solitude of the Black Rhino Game Reserve, which is incorporated into the Pilanesberg National Park. With accessibility to the greater Pilanesberg area, you can expect the privacy and bespoke offerings synonymous with an exclusive-use lodge, while enjoying the traversing rights to 57 000 hectares of wild safari space offered to the visitors of the national park.

The Thutlwa lodge is an Exclusive Self Catering Lodge and it is rented out as a whole lodge.  This means that you get the entire lodge for yourself.

Included in the  package is 2 x 2.5 hr Guided game drives per day on a Private Safari Vehicle. Maximum number of adults is 8. Maximum number of children under 10 is 2.

Thutlwa Safari Lodge gets its name from the Tswana word for giraffe. These elegant animals are always a pleasure to observe whether they are chewing away at their leafy greens or bending down to drink water. Inspired by the grace and carriage of these beautiful animals, Thutlwa Safari Lodge lends itself to relaxation in the heart of the bush, with attention paid to even the smallest detail.

At Thutlwa, we strive to offer you as much fluidity during your stay as possible – with no restrictive itineraries and no time limits. You are also welcome to bring young children and toddlers along on game drives – unlike most lodges that cater to the wider public.

The lodge has been designed with large families and groups in mind. The open-plan design lends itself to that ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling, with all the necessary creature comforts one could expect from a luxurious, exclusive-use lodge.

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A guest is any person that is 10 years and older.

*A maximum of 4 extra children per booking.

*The lodge has a Generator for backup power. The Generator will only run between 6 am and 10 pm in the evening. It will be up to the General Manager on site to determine the exact times the generator will run.
** Peak season rates apply on all RSA Public Holidays as well as during the following dates (start & end dates included):

** Peak season rates apply on all RSA Public Holidays as well as during the following dates (start & end dates included):

Jan 2024 – 16 Jan 2024, 20 Mar 2024 -3 Apr 2024, 15 Jun 2024 – 8 Jul 2024, 30 Sep 2024 – 1 Oct 2024, 14 Dec 2024 – 31 Dec 2024

Look at our Special Offers for SA Residents under our special offers section!

Exclusive Use

The main entertainment area is spacious and consists of a fully-fitted modern kitchen with a fridge and freezer. Boasting an automatic coffee machine, microwave and ice machine in the kitchen area, you can enjoy all of the conveniences of home-living without having to compete with other guests for the use of these facilities.

An eight-seater dining room forms the heart of the dining area, while the casual lounge lends itself to kicking-back and channel flicking – so now you can go on safari and get the score in the same weekend! The formal lounge is an area where you can relax and read, or head to the bar area for a few drinks. There are both wine and beverage fridges available for you to utilize on a self-stock basis.

The boma and braai area joins onto a large thatched lapa which offers casual seating and a large dining table for alfresco dining. If you’re not up for the afternoon game drive, spend your time lounging around the pool with a good book, or take a stroll to the thatched viewing-hide a few meters away. The lodge is surrounded by an electrified fence to keep you safe from the Big 5 animals that are regularly spotted in the area.

Take to the crystal-clear, blue water of the pool after a game drive, before enjoying an evening of stargazing, sipping drinks around the fire, and listening to the sounds of the African bush at night.

While Thutlwa Safari Lodge is available exclusively – guests can rest assured that a member of staff is on the premises 24 hours a day. The lodge is serviced daily for our guests’ convenience

Note: There is cell-phone coverage at the lodge, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi in the main area.

Family Friendly

The freedom that comes with booking an exclusive-use lodge means you get to enjoy the entire space without being concerned about other guests and how your holiday may impact them. By choosing Thutlwa Safari Lodge you get to choose your safari times and durations, as well as who accompanies you on your drive, with small children to join at parents’ discretion. If you’d prefer to stay at the lodge with your toddler or young child while others head out, the following items are available to you on request: High chair, baby monitor, plastic dishes and cutlery, sleeping cot.


Thutlwa Safari Lodge is fully-equipped to cater for groups and families looking to get away, safari-style. While the Lodge is fully serviced daily, you are invited to make full use of the facilities on offer on a self-catering basis. Shop in advance or do some last-minute provision shopping at the nearby convenience store.

Malaria-Free Area

If you’re looking to travel with young children or babies, the Black Rhino Game Reserve (as well as the greater Pilanesberg area) is a safe option as it’s one of the few Big 5 bushland areas deemed malaria-free.

Black Rhino is a private game reserve that forms an additional ‘corner’ on the Pilanesberg National Park. It is on the North West side of the Pilanesberg, with its own secured, private entrance that is situated on the western side of the reserve. While ecological conditions at Black Rhino are very similar to that of  Pilanesberg, a noticeable difference is the sweet veld vegetation which complements Pilanesberg’s predominantly mixed sour veld.

Lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, rhino (black and white) and the endangered African wild dog all roam free on the reserve. Welcome to Big 5 country! Antelope species to try and tick-off your sightings list include eland, sable, impala, gemsbok, tsessebe as well as springbok.

If you’re up for a challenge, keep your eyes peeled for the less popular ‘small 5’, namely the elephant shrew, the antlion, the buffalo weaver, the leopard tortoise and the rhino beetle.

As per the Lodges’ namesake giraffes are also abundant on this reserve. There are over 354 bird species waiting to be spotted and identified by those avid bird enthusiasts.

The Black Rhino Game Reserve has established traversing rights with the North West Parks and Tourism Board whereby the privately-owned lodges within the Black Rhino Game Reserve are entitled to cross from the Black Rhino Game Reserve into the Pilanesberg National Park.

This allows you to enjoy the privacy of the reserve along with the richness of the national park, and to experience the abundant sights and sounds of the bush from the comfort of Thutlwa’s 10-seater, open safari vehicle.

Luxury, Self-Catering Accommodation

The lodge offers four luxurious and spacious thatched-chalets with an open-plan living and entertainment area. Each accommodating two adults and the option of snooza’s (fold up mattresses) for younger children, all accommodating up to ten guests in total (additional children on request – terms apply).

The luxury, thatched chalets have been carefully designed and positioned to maximise the spectacular views of the Pilanesberg mountains and the surrounding wildlife.

The luxurious en-suite bathrooms leave little to be desired with his and hers basins, a double shower and beautiful stone bath. And, for those wanting to fully immerse themselves in nature, there is also an outdoor shower to be enjoyed, in tandem with the sights and sounds of the wild. Each chalet also offers a tea and coffee station, bar fridge and lockable safe.

  • From Johannesburg or Pretoria take the N4 west
  • Turn off onto the R556 north towards Sun City
  • Follow the R556 past Sun City and continue for 5.11 km to the STOP sign
  • Turn right at the intersection onto the R565
  • Continue on this road for approximately 27 km through a village
  • You see the Black Rhino Game Reserve entrance on the right.


Each of the 4 luxury 80sqm standalone chalets all has the following:

  • King size / twin beds
  • Air conditioning
  • En-suite bathroom (bath and shower)
  • Complimentary bathroom amenities
  • Outside shower
  • Luxurious cotton linen
  • Bath & Swimming towels
  • Outside patio with seating facilities
  • Bar fridge
  • Tea/Coffee making facility with a Nespresso machine
  • Complimentary Tea/Coffee
  • Electronic safe
  • Hairdryer 


The large kitchen area is fully serviced and equipped with:

  • Cutlery, crockery and glassware
  • Large fridge/freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • 4-plate electric stove and oven
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Microwave
  • Ice machine



  • 8-seater dining room table
  • Causal lounge area
  • Flat screen LCD TV
  • Satellite TV
  • DVD Player
  • Formal lounge area
  • Bar area
  • Wine and beverage fridges
  • Guest toilet
  • Wi-Fi in main area
  • Air conditioning


  • Plunge pool
  • Sun loungers
  • Hot tub
  • Firepit
  • Braai/barbeque facilities
  • Thatched lapa
  • Formal and casual seating
  • Thatched-bird hide

Terms & Conditions

  • Rates are quoted inclusive of VAT in South African Rands, subject to availability.
  • All rates quoted are subject to change, without prior notice, however rates quoted for confirmed bookings will be honoured.
  • Accommodation consists of 4 free standing en-suite thatched chalets, 3 with King-beds and one with the option of King or Twin-beds. Snooza’s (fold up mattresses) are available in all rooms, suitable for younger travellers and 2 baby cots are available on request.

Rates include:

  • Luxury exclusive use at a fully equipped self-catering safari lodge
  • Flexible morning and evening game drives with a qualified guide
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Tea and coffee stations in the thatched chalets
  • Emergency medical evacuation

Rates exclude:

  • All meals & beverages
  • Any extra activities
  • A fully refundable breakage deposit of R 2000, to be prepaid
  • Park entry fees
  • firewood

Exclusive Use (max 10 guests- Max 8 adult sharing)

Activities are offered in the form of game drives in open 10-seater safari vehicles with a knowledgeable ranger.

  • Additional activities are at own discretion offered in the greater Pilanesberg area.

Child Friendly

  • The lodge is family-orientated
  • Children 9 years and younger do not count as guests
  • Children will be accommodated in the safari chalets with Adults
  • Snooza’s (fold up mattresses) available for children
  • Baby cots available on request
  • Children of any age permitted on game drives and are required to sit on a seat. We do not allow children to sit on laps.

Deposit Policy

For all bookings made within 30 days of travel
Full payment Is required within 48 hours of your booking. This payment can be made via bank transfer or credit card (Master/Visa).

For all bookings made more than 45 days of travel
A 50% deposit Is required within 48 hours of your booking and the balance 45 days prior to arrival. This payment can be made via bank transfer or credit card (Master/Visa).

Cancellation Policy:

  • 1-13 days prior to arrival – 0% refund
  • 14-29 days prior to arrival – 25% refund
  • 30-59 days prior to arrival – 50% refund
  • 60-89 days prior to arrival – 75% refund
  • 90 + days prior to arrival – 100% refund

Arrival & Departure:

Check-in is from 14h00 on the day of arrival and check-out is before 10h00 on the day of departure. If the arrival will be after 18h00 please inform the lodge in advance.

As per reserve rules (no more than 10 guests allowed on the lodge property at any given time), we unfortunately cannot allow any early arrivals or late departures.

Please note that you will have to sign an indemnity form covering your stay at the lodge, this can be finalised in advance.


  • A guest is any person that is 10 years and older
  • A maximum of 10 guests may stay at the lodge
  • The lodge has 4 Safari Chalets, which can accommodate a maximum of 8 adults sharing. Children are accommodated in cots or on Snoozas in the Chalets, on request.
  • Additional children may stay on request – terms apply
  • A maximum of 10 Guests are allowed on a game drive vehicle which includes children of any change.
  • Rates are for the entire lodge per night
  • Minimum stay of 2 nights
  • VAT inclusive
  • Comfortable walking shoes,
  • sun hat,
  • sunglasses, sunscreen,
  • binoculars, camera,
  • light, neutral coloured clothing,
  • swimming costume,
  • warm jackets,
  • insect repellent, fire lighters,
  • all food and beverages including coffee beans and Nespresso capsules.
  • The water at the Lodge is drinkable, should you prefer bottled water, please bring this along as well.

 Browse the tabs below to view more information about the lodge.


Need Assistance?

South Africa Flag image +27 14 004 0056 / 014 004 0056
Business Hours:
Mon - Fri (09:00 - 17:00)
Sat (09:00 - 13:00)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours

What sets us Apart !

  • Ideal for family or group getaways
  • Rich biodiversity of game
  • Home to the “Big 5”
  • Over 350 bird species
  • Effortless road and air access