Thula Thula Celebrates 20 years of work in Hospitality and Wildlife Conservation
Our Thula Thula adventure started in 1998 when Lawrence and I bought a small 1500 hectare game reserve with hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and antelope, birds and snakes of every kind, three crocs and a timid leopard. Not even a year later, in August 1999, Nana arrived with her traumatized herd. To help fund their conservation, we opened Elephant safari Lodge in May 2000, followed by the luxury tented camp and conference centre six years later.
It’s 20 years since we first started and today Thula Thula is a magnificent game reserve of 4500 hectares, with more expansion projects on the way. Our herd has grown to 29 happy elephants! Buffaloes and rhinos were also introduced along the way. This means that wildlife protection is our number one priority and a strong anti-poaching team is on the ground 24/7 to watch over them.
Last year we opened our wildlife rehabilitation centre and in June 2018, we will open Thula Thula Volunteers Academy, an exciting learning and working experience aimed at inspiring and teaching volunteers about wildlife conservation while they live on site in tents, for a total “back to nature” experience.
Many of you know Lawrence’s book, THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER, which he wrote with Graham Spence, and which describes our wild adventure of rescuing Nana and bringing her and her herd of seven to their new home in the Zululand bush.
The sequel, AN ELEPHANT IN MY KITCHEN by Françoise Malby-Anthony and Katja Willemsen, will be released on 26th July 2018 in UK/Europe. It’s all about life at Thula Thula after Lawrence passed away – the challenges, tears, achievements, joy, beautiful moments but also the tragedies. Taking care of wildlife is a unique way of life that I share with the amazing support of passionate and dedicated people – the Thula Thula team.
Thank you to every one of you for standing by me after Lawrence was gone. Your love and loyalty gave me the courage to never give up, and together we have kept Lawrence’s legacy alive. And a very special thank you to all our guests for their heart warming support all these years, and for so many of you who come back to Thula Thula year after year. It means so much.
Francoise Malby Anthony