Phinda Reserve is cradled in the arms of the Ubombo Mountains and flanked to the east by golden beaches and the Indian Ocean, in KwaZulu-Natal. This is one of Africa’s most diverse wilderness areas, boasting seven ecosystems and an extraordinary range of wildlife.
The local Zulu people built Phinda Forest Lodge, which has been built to have a minimal impact on its surrounding environment. The rooms are huge and exceptionally luxurious, with air conditioning and private ensuite facilities. The walls of the suites are glass and open onto the forest, where animals such as red duiker, suni antelope and red squirrel abound.
Unwind in the lodge’s sparkling rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the lodge sitting areas with expansive viewing decks affording panoramic views of the game-filled plains.
The Phinda Reserve offers excellent big five game viewing, with spectacular sightings of the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino. You can enjoy day and night game drives, walking safaris, river cruises and canoeing on the Mzinene River.
Phinda Forest Lodge offers 16 suites which are exceptionally luxurious. They all feature air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms featuring large freestanding baths, a large shower and also slate basins and expansive views overlooking the rare sand forest.
The lodge welcomes children over the age of 8 years old. Children under the age of 12 years can partake in game drives at the guide’s discretion.
The is a large rim flow inviting swimming pool as well as a ell stocked curio shop which also has wifi access on site. There is a boma area where you will be served your delicious dinner a couple of times a week. Phinda Forest Lodge also offer in room massages.
Game drives, walking and birdwatching are all included in room rates. Activities at an additional charge include scuba diving and scenic flights for an astonishing bird's-eye view of Phinda's varying habitats. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, Phinda enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems - a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivercourses, marshes and pans. The diverse wildlife this brings is nothing short of sensational.
When to travel
As a country in the Southern Hemisphere South Africa's seasons are the reverse of the north - with winter in June-August and summer December-February. Game viewing is better during the drier months of April to September. The wildflower season is generally from mid August to mid September. The whale watching season runs from June to November.
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Location and directions
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Phinda Forest Lodge lies within the 56 800 acres of Phinda private Game Reserve, in the Maputaland region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Neighbours the iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park – a World Heritage Site – to the east and is only 30 km (19 miles) due west of the white-fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean.
How to get there
By road, Phinda is 6 hours from Johannesburg, 3 hours from Durban and 1 hour 30 minutes from Richards Bay. SA Express offer daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay. Road transfers from King Shaka International Airport to Phinda can be arranged. Airwing can also arrange private charters from anywhere in South Africa directly to Phinda’s airstrip.