Thula Thula

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Thula Thula Private Game Reserve
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Location of the reserve
Location KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa
Nearest town Empangeni, South Africa
Coordinates 28°35′24″S31°45′27″E / 28.59000°S 31.75750°E / -28.59000; 31.75750 Coordinates: 28°35′24″S31°45′27″E / 28.59000°S 31.75750°E / -28.59000; 31.75750

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a private game reserve situated in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. It is part of the Royal Zulu Biosphere.

Game reserve entity reserved for game

A game reserve is a large area of land where wild animals live safely or are hunted in a controlled way for sport. If hunting is prohibited, a game reserve may be considered a nature reserve; however, because the focus of a game reserve is specifically the animals (fauna), whereas a nature reserve also if not equally is concerned with all aspects of naturally-occurring life in the area.

Zululand District Municipality District municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Zululand is one of the 11 district municipalities ("districts") of KwaZulu-Natal province. The seat of Zululand is Ulundi. The majority of its 803,575 people speak IsiZulu. The district code is DC26. It is part of a larger historical area also known as Zululand.

KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu bantustan of KwaZulu and Natal Province were merged. It is located in the southeast of the country, enjoying a long shoreline beside the Indian Ocean and sharing borders with three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg and its largest city is Durban. It is the 2nd most populous province in South Africa, with slightly fewer residents than Gauteng.


Thula Thula means ‘peace and tranquility’ in Zulu.


Thula Thula was once the private hunting grounds of the mighty Zulu Warrior, King Shaka. The first historic meeting between Shaka and his father, Senzangakhona, which set the stage for the creation of the Zulu Nation. [1] took place at the Nseleni River at Thula Thula.

Shaka leader of the Zulu Kingdom

Shaka kaSenzangakhona, also known as Shaka Zulu,Zulu pronunciation: [ˈʃaːɠa]), was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom.

Zulu Kingdom Former monarchy in Southern Africa

The Kingdom of Zulu, sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or the Kingdom of Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north.

The land became a game reserve in 1911 and is believed[ by whom? ] to be the oldest private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

The game reserve has two lodges.


Thula Thula was owned by international conservationist and founder of the Earth Organization, Lawrence Anthony and his wife Francoise Malby-Anthony. The cooperation between Earth Organization and Thula Thula however no longer exists as the South African Conservation Fund was found by Francoise Malby-Anthony, [2] . Anthony died in 2012 and the reserve is now run by his wife Francoise Malby-Anthony. The reserve is the setting for Lawrence's books The Elephant Whisperer (2009) and The Last Rhino (2012). In 2018 Francoise Malby-Anthony published a sequel to Lawrence's book An Elephant in my Kitchen (2018) [3] [4]

Lawrence Anthony was an international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer and bestselling author. He was the long-standing head of conservation at the Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, South Africa, and the Founder of The Earth Organization, a privately registered, independent, international conservation and environmental group with a strong scientific orientation. He was an international member of the esteemed Explorers Club of New York and a member of the National Council of the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science, South Africa’s oldest scientific association.

<i>The Elephant Whisperer</i> book by Lawrence Anthony

The Elephant Whisperer published in April 2009 by Pan Macmillan in London and in July 2009 by Thomas Dunne/St Martin's Press in New York, is the second book written by South African author and conservationist Lawrence Anthony along with journalist Graham Spence.


Thula Thula is home to a wide variety of animals, including African elephant, buffalo, white rhino, leopard, giraffe, zebra, nyala, hyena, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest as well as other indigenous species. Over 350 species of birdlife has been identified, including a breeding population of white-backed vulture.

African elephant genus of mammals

The African elephant (Loxodonta) is a genus comprising two living elephant species, the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. Both are herbivores and live in groups. They have grey skin and differ in the size of their ears and tusks, and in the shape and size of their skulls.

Leopard A large cat native to Africa and Eurasia

The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations have already been extirpated. Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range. Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.

Giraffe Tall African ungulate

The giraffe (Giraffa) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. It is traditionally considered to be one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, with nine subspecies. However the existence of up to eight extant giraffe species have been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils.


Since Lawrence's death in 2012, his wife Francoise has started various conservation projects including a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and a Conservation Volunteer Camp. For her effort in conservation Francoise was awarded the French Abroad Award at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris in March 2019. [5]

Wildlife Undomesticated organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans

Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, forests, rainforests, plains, grasslands, and other areas, including the most developed urban areas, all have distinct forms of wildlife. While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that much wildlife is affected by human activities.

Conservation (ethic) ethic of resource use, allocation, and protection

Conservation's goals include protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services and protecting biological diversity. A range of values underlie conservation, which can be guided by biocentrism, anthropocentrism, ecocentrism and sentientism. There has recently been a movement towards evidence-based conservation which calls for greater use of scientific evidence to improve the effectiveness of consecration efforts.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.


In 1999 Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of 'rogue' wild elephants from Mpumalanga onto Thula Thula which were destined to be shot unless alternative arrangements could be made. The herd was housed in a boma on Thula Thula but managed to break free and escape. The elephants were successfully tracked, recovered and transported back to Thula Thula. The story of their rehabilitation and Lawrence's subsequent relationship with the herd is told in his book The Elephant Whisperer. The elephant herd, including Nana, Frankie and Mabula are still at Thula Thula as of 2018. The herd has grown to 29 elephants as of 2018. [6]

Related Research Articles

The protected areas of South Africa include national parks and marine protected areas managed by the national government, public nature reserves managed by provincial and local governments, and private nature reserves managed by private landowners. Most protected areas are intended for the conservation of flora and fauna. National parks are maintained by South African National Parks (SANParks). A number of national parks have been incorporated in transfrontier conservation areas.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park South Africas third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, about 275 kilometres north of Durban. It is South Africa's third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline, from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary, and made up of around 3,280 km2 of natural ecosystems, managed by the iSimangaliso Authority. The park includes:

Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, formerly Hluhluwe–Umfolozi Game Reserve, is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. It consists of 960 km² of hilly topography 280 kilometres (170 mi) north of Durban in central KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. The park is the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal where each of the big five game animals can be found.

The Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area was born out of the Peace Park Foundation’s vision to establish a network of transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa. It straddles the border between South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, southern Mozambique, and Eswatini.

Phinda Private Game Reserve

Phinda Private Game Reserve, formerly known as Phinda Resource Reserve, is a 170 km² private game reserve situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. Formed in 1991, this ethnically named reserve means "return to the wild". Phinda has seven distinct ecosystems with palm savannah and mountain bush to rare sand forest and dense thornveld.

uMkhuze Game Reserve

uMkhuze Game Reserve is a 40,000-hectare game reserve in northern Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was proclaimed a protected area on 15 February 1912.

KwaDukuza Place in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

KwaDukuza is a town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In 2006, its official name was changed from Stanger to KwaDukuza, but the Zulu people in the area called it "Dukuza" well before then, and many South Africans still use the name "Stanger" "Stanger" has also been used on new road signs in the area.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is a governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wildlife conservation areas and biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Their headquarters is in Queen Elizabeth Park situated on the northern slopes of Pietermaritzburg, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial capital. Prior to 1994, it was known as the Natal Parks Board.

Hluhluwe Place in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Hluhluwe is a small town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is situated between iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park on the banks of the Hluhluwe River. Hluhluwe is situated on the elephant coast, an area known for its national parks, natural diversity and cultural heritage. Although relatively undeveloped the area is of growing interest to international tourists and travelers. The area hosted several local and international movie productions including I dreamed of Africa and Ghost Son as well as several documentaries that were filmed in the surrounding national parks.

Tembe Elephant Park protected area

Tembe Elephant Park is a 30 012 ha game reserve in Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is adjacent to Ndumo Game Reserve.

Phongolo Nature Reserve is an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife reserve in Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Maputaland coastal forest mosaic

The Maputaland coastal forest mosaic is an ecoregion of the subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome, on the Indian Ocean coast of Southern Africa. It covers an area of 30,200 square kilometres (11,700 sq mi) in southern Mozambique, Swaziland, and the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Mozambique's capital Maputo lies within the ecoregion.

Babylon's Ark, The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo (2007) is a book by South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, with writer Graham Spence. The book tells of the struggle to save the Baghdad Zoo during the US-led Coalition invasion of Iraq.

Thula is a town in Yemen.

SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary

The SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary is a 5,000 ha (50 km2) wildlife rehabilitation center and reserve in South Africa's Limpopo Province, located a few kilometers south of Leydsdorp, and near the western boundary of the Kruger National Park.

<i>An Elephant in My Kitchen</i> 2018 book

An Elephant in my Kitchen, published in July 2018 by Pan Macmillan in London, is the first book written by South African author and conservationist Francoise Malby-Anthony-Anthony along with author Katja Willemsen.

The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), is a non-government, non profit company and public benefit organisation which contributes to the conservation of marine and coastal resources in the Western Indian Ocean, founded in 1951.


  1. "Bio Shaka Zulu".
  2. "South African Conservation Fund".
  3. Anthony, Lawrence; Spence Graham (April 2009). The Elephant Whisperer. Pan Macmillan. ISBN   978-0-330-50668-7.
  4. Malby-Anthony, Francoise; Katja Willemsen (July 2018). An Elephant in my Kitchen. Pan Macmillan. ISBN   978-150-986-489-8.
  5. "Le Petit Journal Prix Publique".
  6. David Adam (22 February 2009). "The Elephant man". Retrieved 29 November 2010.