&Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge

Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

At a Glance

  • The lodge is located in an incredibly rare location – on the edge of 200 hectares of the worlds 500 hectares in the midst of beautiful waterways.

  • With only 6 suites its incredibly private and excellent for couples wanting a true safari experience with the ability to see the Big 5 as well at lots of rare species.

  • The rooms are a lovely fusion of contemporary and colonial with unique antiques in each.

  • While away the warm days in your private plunge pool looking out at the wildlife which frequent the grassy plains in front of the lodge.

  • Enjoy a private candle lit dinner from the privacy of your suite for an extra special night.

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

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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Insider's View

Phinda has both black and white rhino as well as lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant.

Sit on the deck in the main area and watch game wander across the plains in front of you.

Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to South Africa


Phinda Vlei Lodge offers exquisite, classic style and intimacy against the backdrop of truly wild Africa in all her splendour. The lodge comprises six elegant thatched suites to offer that exclusive safari experience.

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.

Phinda Vlei Lodge is an elegant and exclusive lodge whose stilted suites of thatch, teak and glass overlook Phinda’s unique ’vlei ’ or pan system at the edge of the forest. Each of the six suites boasts a large, airy double bedroom with spacious en-suite bathroom and gorgeous free standing tubs, private plunge pool and outdoor deck, ideal for bird and game watching.

Relax and unwind in the comfortable sitting area in front of a warm and inviting open fireplace. Savour delicious and innovative Pan African meals, served on the expansive game viewing decks or in a beautiful and remote bush setting.

Here you can enjoy twice daily game drives, interpretive bush walks where you can explore the fascinating ecosystems of the rare dry sand forest and canoeing/boat cruises on the Mzinene River. You can also go diving in the Indian Ocean or why not take to the skies to get a totally different perspective of the Phinda Game Reserve's wonderfully diverse landscape.

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Phinda Vlei Lodge offers six spacious air-conditioned suites with an en-suite bathroom featuring inviting free standing tubs, private plunge pool which brings welcome respite from the heat of the African sun and outdoor deck, ideal for bird and game watching.


Children over the age of 8 years are welcome at Phinda Vlei Lodge. Children under 12 years can partake in game drives at the guide’s discretion.


Facilities at the Phinda Vlei Lodge include a private bar and plunge pool in each suite. The lodge offers expansive viewing decks and a comfortable sitting area. The lodge also offers in room massages.


Swimming, game drives, walking safaris, boat cruises and canoeing are all complimentary at Phinda Vlei Lodge. 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.



Sophie Jones (Staff)

Set within the dense Forrest on a steep hill of the Western Ghats, Orange County Coorg encourages a healthy fresh lifestyle. This rustic retreat can be described as a 'lush plantation paradise' which is set 800 metres above sea level and is home to 200 acres of coffee and spice PLantations. The Rooms are naturally rustic in style but up to date enough not to feel at all tired. There is plenty going on in the hotel and around the grounds for all guests to be active if they feel the need.


Louisa Verney (Staff)

Vlei is a great option for those wanting a smaller, more intimate lodge.

Our guide was superb, not only delivering some great sightings (a male leopard, two lionesses on a kill) but imparting some fascinating facts about the bush. Did you know that male leopard wee smells like buttered popcorn? The sand floor of the forest makes tracking slightly easier here as one can follow their tracks.


&Beyond, South Africa - Long Stay Offer

Receive a discounted rate when staying 8 or more nights when staying at this &Beyond accommodation.
Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Please speak to one of our specialists for more information.
Book from 13 October 2021 to 10 January 2023
Travel from 11 January 2022 to 31 May 2022
01 September 2022 to 10 January 2023
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  • &Beyond Wild Child programme

    Specially designed activities ensure your children get the most out of their safari experience, with activities such as tracking footprints and making traditional bows and arrows to add to game drives with their parents.

  • 4WD Game Drives

    Go on private or shared game drives in the world famous Greater Kruger Area, South Africa to see the Big 5 - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino - and a host of other animals. The Kruger is also a brilliant spot for birders so pack some binoculars.

  • Private Safari

    Ensure absolute flexibility throughout your safari by pre-booking a private driver/guide. Your guide and tracker will work closely with you to tailor your safari around you interests, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Location & directions

Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Vlei Lodge lies within the northern region of the 56 800 acre Phinda Private Game Reserve. Situated 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.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

    Why book with Scott Dunn?

  • 100% financial protection
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Firsthand knowledge
  • Renowned service
  • Award-winning tour operator

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Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to South Africa

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