Places We Love: Saseka Tented Camp | Thornybush Game Reserve

Suspend what you know about luxury tented camps.  The latest addition to the Thornybush Collection, Saseka Tented Camp, is state-of-the-art, luxurious and imbued with idyllic African wilderness.  Saseka is the Tsonga word for Beautiful.

Set in the north-eastern portion of the big-5 game rich Thornybush Nature Reserve, situated in the greater Kruger National Park.  Saseka, elegantly positioned on the banks of the Monwana dry-riverbed, which sweeps through the reserve, with a distinct curve in the river being a natural catalyst for the site of the main area.

The lodge blends a wonderfully spacious and light, modern look with natural materials and textures, finished with elements reminiscent of a bygone era.

Saseka’s main area, a combination of wood and stone cladding, blends naturally into the surrounding environment and offers both an upper and lower-deck with the colour palette drawn from the natural surroundings; hues of ivory, dark green, apple, sage and subtle flushes of pink echoing the characteristic tones of the flowers found in the bush.  The lodge’s main area is a celebration of nature with the use of light being key.  The extraordinary ceiling filters light into the space – imitating the natural dappled light of a tree canopy and additional illumination comes from the unique chandelier, constructed from metal, wood and rattan.

Influenced by the romantic narrative of tented camps from yesteryear, the tents have been reimagined with a gentle nod to nostalgia, but with the emphasis very much on the 21stcentury design.  The tented suites allow the call of nature and the bush to filter in to allow for a truly immersed safari experience.  Fronted with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, each air-conditioned tent has a spacious, off-white wrap-around environmentally friendly statement deck overlooking the sand bed, a private plunge pool and an outdoor shower.  The canvas stretched high over an interior fit for an emperor.

The Leadwood Tented Villa operates as an intimate, camp-within-a-camp, servicing one, two or three tented suites exclusively. The Villa’s central entertainment area features a lounge and dining area, private and separate from the rest of the lodge - ideal for those families or small groups looking for an exclusive use option.

The 14,000-hectare Thornybush nature reserve is private, ensuring our guests enjoy intimate, uncrowded encounters with the wildlife as well as extended time on sightings. The game density is exceptional and we can take you as close to the action as possible. Once darkness falls, you’ll be treated to thrilling spotlight-lit night drives in search of rare nocturnal animals and big cats on the move.


An abundance of perennial rivers, good groundwater levels and a range of vegetation means a diversity of plains game is drawn to Thornybush, which, in turn, attracts predators. From trumpeting elephant herds along river beds, to the roar of a lion pride echoing through our camps to the thrill of a close encounter with a stealthy leopard, Thornybush is the ideal place to see the icons of the African bushveld.

Insider Tip From Gerry van der Walt

The tents at Saseka are truly unique and will stand out as a highlight of your stay.  Spending time in your tent to enjoy the indoor and outdoor shower, private pool and outdoor lounge as well as the well stocked mini bar and coffee stations is highly recommended. From your tent you have uninterrupted views over the dry riverbed which runs along the front of the lodge and the combination of luxury and wildlife makes for an incredible experience.  If at all possible I’d recommend you stay an extra night and spend an evening and morning enjoying your tent in order to get the full Saseka experience.

Getting to Saseka Tented Camp in the Thornybush Nature Reserve is a breeze.

SA Airlink offers 2 scheduled flights daily between Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) and Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) which takes approximately 55 minutes, and 1 daily flight between Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and Hoedspruit Airport (HDS), which takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Transfers can be arranged on your behalf from Hoedspruit Airport to the Reserve, at an additional cost. This transfer takes approximately 30 minutes by road. Scheduled charter flights taking you directly into one of the Thornybush Nature Reserve Airstrips can be booked through our reservations department.

Private charters are available through several reputable private charter companies whilst driving time from Johannesburg is approximately 6 hours.

Visit Saseka Tented Camp in Thornybush

Saseka Tented Camp caters for the romantic breakaway just as well as it does for the family looking to spend some quality time together in a private villa and with their own private vehicle. We would recommend a minimum stay of 3 nights and would suggest pairing this wildlife experience with some time in Cape Town and Franschhoek.

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