Described as 'Seven Worlds of Wonder', &Beyond Phinda encompasses an impressive 28 555 hectares (70 560 acres) of prime Big Five wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal. This Reserve comprises seven distinct habitats – from dry sand forest to wetland systems and mountain ranges. Catch a glimpse of the shy suni antelope, track rhino in the bushveld, observe breeding herds of elephant in fever tree forests, hold your breath as a cheetah teaches her cubs to hunt, glide past hippo on the Mzinene River and marvel at the gracious nyala. Phinda is home to more than 3 000 of these rare antelope.
One of our key partners in Africa, &Beyond have 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations in Africa. Each with its own style and character, the lodges all offer something really authentic complimented by outstanding local teams. Their lodges in South Africa, and specifically in KwaZulu Natal, are all based on the stunning Phinda Private Game Reserve. The ethos of &Beyond is proudly seen at each lodge. They believe in the ‘Care of the land, wildlife and people through the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences’. Here at Tailormade Africa, we are lucky enough to have visited almost every single one of the &Beyond lodges across Africa, and would be delighted to talk you through the best option for you.
This is a great question. The risk here is extremely low, however it is unfortunately not 100% clear of malaria therefore we do recommend that you speak to your travel advisor before travelling to this part of the country.
Phinda is a wonderful addition to any KZN itinerary as it is just three and a half hours by road from Durban OR if you prefer to go by air, there are daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Phinda’s private airstrip! We can also arrange a private charter flight from Durban (or anywhere else for that matter). Remember, we create all itineraries entirely bespoke so let us know your preference and we can make the magic happen!
That age-old question! In truth it depends on what you’re after, but we think that there is so much to explore on this beautiful reserve that all times of the year will bring something special to your safari. The dry season (May through to September/October) is when the bush will be at its driest, which makes for easier game viewing. That said, it does drop in temperature at night which can make those early and evening game drives a little nippy. You can just wrap up in the blankets Phinda will provide though and tuck into a tasty whiskey to keep warm! In the summer months when temperatures heat up (October/November through to around March) you can expect the odd thunderstorm which is quite a sight to see, and the rain brings with it stunning greens which make Phinda a photographer’s paradise! It can make finding the animals a little harder, however cats don’t like getting their paws wet so you may find them just strolling along the roads – nice and easy! Ultimately you’ll have a phenomenal safari experience no matter when you visit, as Phinda Private Game Reserve is home to some incredible animals including the Big Five, as well as 436 bird species.
Phinda Private Game Reserve is over 28,500 hectares of private game reserve situated in KwaZulu-Natal, in the furthest eastern part of South Africa between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. With its seven distinct habitats, Phinda is often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans. The reserve is also home to 1,000 hectares of Africa’s remaining rare dry sand forest just a short distance to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular coral reefs of the Indian Ocean which means it offers you the most remarkable opportunity to combine both bush and beach!
In our opinion, it’s impossible to say just one or two are the best! Phinda is home to six magnificent lodges, each with its own individual charm and character and we are lucky enough to know the lodges inside out, which means as soon as we get to know you and how you like to travel or what you expect from your South African safari, we can put you in the best home-from-home possible. A few of the lodges are representative of where they sit within the reserve (Mountain Lodge, Rock Lodge, Forest Lodge, Vlei Lodge) and if you’re looking for proper exclusivity we’d recommend either Zuka Lodge (just four suites) or Phinda Homestead (an exclusive-use four-bed villa). Each of the lodges allows you to embrace a huge variety of incredible activities including twice-daily game drives, nature walks, conservation and community experiences, sleep outs, village tours, an infrared Night Eye Experience, specialist safaris, as well as nearby ocean activities such as scuba diving and turtle hatching (seasonal). So what are you waiting for?
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the award-winning &Beyond Forest Lodge fuses architecture and conservation. The lodge was hand built by local artisans, with a minimal footprint on the forest floor – not one tree was felled during construction... Learn more
In this exclusive sole-use safari villa, the beauty of Africa’s wide open spaces is drawn indoors. Personal touches and the warmth of The Homestead’s dedicated staff, including a private ranger, tracker, butler and chef, bring renowned African hospitality to life... Learn more
Perched on a dramatic hill top with wraparound views of the spectacular Ubombo mountain range, and the surrounding Zululand bush, &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge is a dramatic safari destination. Intimate sitting areas brim with sunlight, and open decks make the most of the magnificent views... Learn more
Dramatically set into a cliff-face overlooking spectacular Leopard Rock, the unique Rock Lodge at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is an architectural fascination. The Lodge’s comfortable sitting areas are the perfect vantage point for viewing the abundant wildlife roaming the bushveld below... Learn more
Fringing Phinda Private Game Reserve's wildlife-rich wetland system, situated along the edge of the rare sand forest, the sophisticated &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is intimately integrated into the surrounding bush. The atmosphere is exclusive and personal, with a mixture of understated sophistication and pure luxury... Learn more
Bordered by lush green valleys and densely wooded hills studded with aloes, &Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge sits in the west of Phinda Private Game Reserve. Characterised by hues of blue and stone, with a strong emphasis on shape and texture, Zuka’s overall ambiance is that of cool, coastal bush style embodying the sophistication of simplicity... Learn more