THORNYBUSH GAME RESERVE
SASEKA TENTED CAMP
Nestled on the banks of the Monwana River in the Greater Kruger, Saseka is a new branch of the Thornybush family. The lodge was created with a unique layout that has a classic yet modern style. In your luxury tent, you can sit outside on your deck enjoying the tranquillity surrounding you while listening to the sounds of nature. Take a dip in the pool on your deck, where the local Nyala can be found taking a sip on a hot day. Enjoy an outside shower under the stars, or on a hot day where you can view elephants passing by while you cool off. Friendly and helpful staff, paired with beautiful tented suites, made us not want to leave this small piece of paradise.
BIG FIVE GAME
Thornybush Game Reserve
Yes, but only allowed at
Yes, each luxury tent has a private pool.
A larger fence to keep Elephants out of the camp.
Yes, but at the Thornybush Amani Spa, which guests will be transferred to.
We loved our stay at Saseka Tented Camp, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury tented holiday in the bush.
Thornybush is a collection of luxury lodges in the world-renowned wilderness areas of Sabi Sand and Thornybush Nature Reserve in Kruger Park. Big 5 encounters and the sheer diversity of wildlife in the Kruger Park have helped establish Thornybush as a leading destination in the Greater Kruger Park area. It’s the people here, however, that are the real secret to our bush magic. Our guides lead with an expertise and intuition that’s second to none, while our close-knit teams within the Thornybush lodges, from the receptionists to the chefs, create the homely environment our guests recognise as that ‘Thornybush feeling’.
The accommodation is out of this world, with views of the river bed and nyala's come and drink straight from the pool. Heading out on our first game drive, we were treated to a sighting of a magnificent male leopard in a tree with a large warthog kill. It's incredible to see a fully gorged animal as big as this male reshuffle in a tree and balance. Soon after, a hyena joined him waited at the bottom of the tree for anything to drop.
We visited a hyena den and were surprised to see sweet pups. So small and looking like little bears. They came close to the car; they begin to nibble on our tracker Jordans boots.
We had heard so much about the magnificent Saseka the leopard. We searched for days and then finally found her. And she is exactly what her name means, just too beautiful! Ironically in the bush that we had walked through earlier that day on our bushwalk.
We had a magnificent sighting of three large male lions, all seemed to have eaten the evening before and were lying down under a shaded shrub. We were shocked as they were probably the biggest male lions we had seen.
We also saw one of the males a few days later mating with a lioness. The lioness moving and the male following, she jumped onto a raised log and lay on it for a while.
One afternoon, a sighting of a coalition of cheetahs on the boundary of thornybush had been seen. We rushed towards the sighting and were spoilt with a sighting of them hunting. The coalition moved with pace and eventually crossed over to Thornybush concession. We followed the collision as they scent marked and hunted impala. Unfortunately, they did not make a kill, but it was incredible to watch them. We found them the following day resting under a tree.
On our final day at Saseka, we hadn't found the wild dogs, so we bet the other teams that we would find them. And not even five minutes out of the lodge, we found them scattered all over the airstrip. We followed them for a while and watched as they tried to hunt.
The saddle-billed stork, we had just left the wild dogs and stumbled across a stork. Determined to catch some food, we watched as he constantly pierced his beak into the water and eventually succeeded in pulling out a large catfish. A fascinating sighting, as we watched, he slowly killed the catfish, then began to try to break down the hard body. Then the stork cleaned the catfish and, after this whole process, began to swallow it.
Our second visit to Saseka!
Our afternoon game drive, we found a magnificent male leopard sleeping in the tops of a tree and a female waiting to mate with him at the base of the tree. At the bottom of the sandbank in the river bed, we found two male lions the
The lions had heard the two leopards mating earlier in the day and headed towards them, sending the male leopard up the tree and the female into the bushes. And ended up settling in the river bed for the day.
And we got to the magnificent Verreaux's Eagle-owl perched in the tree and very fast due to the cyclone there has been an influx in the rat population which has kept the owls very happy!
And that is Saseka for you, seeing the big five in one day!
We had the most phenomenal buffalo sighting where we watched over 1000 buffalos across the road from the dam. The rush and speed of them scattering and running, yellow and red-billed oxpeckers flying to the treetops. Dust misting the skies. It was one of the most amazing sightings!!
We found the cheetah male collision this year again. And we watched as they actively stalked impalas who had no idea they were there. And coming so close to bringing an impala down but just missing.
Heading out on our morning bush drive, we heard growls come from the right side of the vehicle. We drove directly towards the sounds and found Saseka and the Malawane male mating.
Such a rare sighting and a first for us. We watched in awe as the leopards fought, snarled and mated continuously.
We had two fantastic sightings of Wild dogs, where we watched them play with each other next to the vehicle and on the second occasion watched as they hunted. Watching wild dogs play with each other shows you how important their family structure and bonds are with each other.
Normally bushbabies are very quick, and you struggle to get images of them. But we were so fortunate to see one right next to the roadside. And when we stopped the car, he curiously looked around and didn't jump off. We were able to see his pads and take a look up close at their beautiful nocturnal creatures.
We were spoilt with a magnificent sighting of the Monwana lionesses walking in the road with their oldest cub. She stopped right next to the vehicle and looked at us, then continued down the road. Further down the road, another vehicle indicated that they had found the rest of the cubs. All five of the cubs were lying down on top of a small hill in the afternoon sun. To precious!
A few nights later, we found the Monwana lionesses again, but this time hunting.
You can find pictures of our sightings below.