I’m quite proud to be a compatriot to Dan Olofsson, Swedish IT billionaire and philanthropist. One of Dan’s huge projects is Thanda Safari; a 14 000 square kilometers private game reserve in the beautiful, hilly bushlands and forests of northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Thanda is rewarded and world-renowned for its passionate and sustainable approach to wildlife – you may see The Big Five – and highly interesting educational initiatives and co-operations with the local community; among those the Star for Life project.
Thanda has three accommodation options: Thanda Safari Lodge with nine separate villa huts called bush suites, in a charming African-Narnia style with own pools and ‘bomas’. Another option is the Thanda Tented Camp with 15 luxury safari tents where non-dangerous grass eaters wander freely around the tents, pool and restaurant area.
And there is Dan Olofsson’s own villa, possible to rent when he is not there with his family: Dan’s villa is named Villa iZulu and is a huge, private and exclusive bush retreat, often chosen by small groups, celebrities and families. If I ever get to stay there, I will take the “parents, main bedroom” with private veranda overlooking the water hole.
On top, for those who would like to become residents in this huge reserve, there is a new project with a 44 private villas yet to be constructed, in the northern parts of Thanda. Personally, I’m not really there with the needed six million dollars for one of those Royal Villas, even though it would be exciting to fraternize with the Zulu King and to wake up to roaring lions in the surrounding mountains.
I loved the exclusive experience of the South African bush and the Thanda understated luxury, matched with village and school visits and its celebration of Zulu culture. Plus the boma dinner by the fire – and a sad zulu sangoma (divine) examination and prophecy regarding myself…I still need to digest that one.
Christian Sperka has taken most of the pictures of animals in this post, among those Thandas beautifully posed leopard, just waiting for us in the bush. Christian Sperka is the photo master at Thanda and cooperated excellently with Becky, our tracker. I will never forget the rhinos chasing lions, nor the newly arrived cheeta. See Christian’s pics from our game drives.
You may, by the way, book a free two hour wild life photo course withChristian Sperka at Thanda, it’s included in the tent or villa price, as well as all inclusive food and game drives. Longer photo courses and rides in Christian’s specially adapted photo jeep ”Green Mamba” may be booked as well, at an additional cost. Highly recommended. @sydafrikaresor @christiansperkaphotography