Phinda Private Game Reserve is not far from the well-known iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Phinda offers you abundant wildlife, courtesy of its incredibly diverse habitats. There, a handful of private lodges share excellent game sightings in a 23,000-hectare wilderness. Within easy distance of the warm Indian Ocean and its pristine beaches, Phinda makes for an ideal "bush and beach" safari destination.

Highlights
  • Incredibly diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, including Big 5
  • Great game viewing, usually daily sightings of cheetah and lion
  • Sanctuary for threatened species like black rhino and cheetah
  • Offers superb bush and beach safari combination with nearby coastal lodges
  • Unhurried, uncrowded safari experience
  • Birder's paradise, 415 species listed
  • Stone's throw from warm Indian Ocean and its spectacular coral diving reefs
  • Seven distinct habitats provide great diversity of fauna and flora

Phinda Private Reserve has many different habitats which make for incredibly diverse wildlife and vegetation. The surrounds are generally lush and green as it's not far from the coast, with landscapes varying from bushveld savannah to hilly areas, very dense thickets to coastal forests with towering trees.

Great game viewing

You'll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of game at Phinda. Cheetah sightings are very rewarding and are often a daily occurrence. Lion are plentiful and you may be lucky to see a few black rhino, too. Other common game includes zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, nyala, impala, warthog, grey and red duiker (small antelope). The rivers and lakes are also teeming with crocodile and hippo.

Open safari vehicles and bush walks

Phinda offers top class guides and trackers who will go out of their way to find any elusive animals and birds on your wishlist. Knowledgeable, friendly and obliging, they'll make sure you enjoy every minute of your game viewing experience, whether by vehicle or on foot.

World class diving and snorkelling nearby

Phinda provides easy access to nearby Sodwana Bay, one of the world's top scuba diving hotspots. It also offers fishing, turtle watching and sea-going excursions. The coral reefs offshore provide a wealth of subtropical marine life and the visibility is generally superb.

Best time to visit Phinda

Phinda is definitely an all-year-round destination with each season offering its own unique sightings and spectacles. During the summer months from September to March, it's lush and green and there are young animals in abundance. During the height of winter from June to August, the vegetation is drier and the game is more easily visible.

Getting there

By air - Phinda has its own good quality airstrip and flying in would be the easiest option to get there. Daily flights connect from OR Tambo International, Johannesburg.

By road - Phinda is a good three hours' drive from King Shaka Airport to the north of Durban.

Our take on Phinda

One of the main reasons to visit Phinda would be the cheetah sightings you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. It's also great for a bush and beach safari combo. Phinda is less than two hours' drive to the pickup point for Thonga Beach Lodge, for example. As part of the andBeyond group, Phinda offers the best of hospitality, service and all-round safari enjoyment. A pleasure to recommend.

Phinda Rock Lodge
Phinda Rock Lodge, rooftop dining, Northern KwaZulu-Natal

Almost like a small-scale exotic castle, Phinda Rock Lodge seems to cling to its steep cliffs, giving you excellent views across the valley. It’s a small, intimate lodge, ideal if you’re looking for a romantic, unhurried safari with excellent game viewing.

Phinda Forest Lodge
Guest Area

Phinda Forest Lodge is located in the northern sector of the 60,000-acre Phinda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Set deep in the heart of a dry sand forest, this award-winning lodge offers 16 luxury suites and superb game viewing. The various habitats ensure a wide variety of game, from the plains-loving cheetah to the shy forest-dwellers and magnificent nyala antelope.

Phinda Homestead
Guest Suite

Recently rebuilt after fire damage, this luxurious, sole-use safari villa is perfect for families, corporates and small groups who wish to spend some quality time away from it all and enjoy each other’s uninterrupted company. You’ll be spoilt with your own dedicated ranger/host, tracker, butler and chef. You’ll also have a private open safari vehicle at your disposal to enjoy looking for the Big 5 and a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

Phinda Mountain Lodge
Phinda Mountain

Closed Mid-Jan to end June 2019 for refurb.

With its prime position on the crest of a mountain, Phinda Mountain Lodge is known for its incredible views out over the scenic and game-rich Phinda Private Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal in north-eastern South Africa. Enjoy 24/7 game watching from the main lodge's viewing decks or your very own private veranda. Plus there's a variety of game activities to make sure you have an unforgettable safari experience.

Phinda Vlei Lodge
Phinda Vlei Lodge, Impala Visitors

andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is an intimate, romantic and exclusive safari lodge, offering you privacy, peace and quiet. The lodge is set on the edge of a sand forest, overlooking a wetland system; you can watch the daily goings on of a huge variety of visiting wildlife from wherever you are at the lodge: the viewing decks, your bedroom or even your shower.

Phinda Zuka Lodge
Phinda Zuka Lodge Suite Interior

Consistently getting rave reviews, Phinda Zuka Lodge is the perfect safari venue for groups and family get-togethers to celebrate special occasions. Zuka can accommodate up to eight guests in exclusive luxury, with your own butler, chef and staff, your own dedicated open safari vehicle, driver and personal guide who’ll happily show you some of the best game viewings in southern Africa.

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Guest Suite
Phinda Homestead, KwaZulu-Natal

Recently rebuilt after fire damage, this luxurious, sole-use safari villa is perfect for families, corporates and small groups who wish to spend some quality time away from it all and enjoy each other’s uninterrupted company. You’ll be spoilt with your own dedicated ranger/host, tracker, butler and chef. You’ll also have a private open safari vehicle at your disposal to enjoy looking for the Big 5 and a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

Phinda Mountain
Phinda Mountain Lodge, Northern KwaZulu-Natal

Closed Mid-Jan to end June 2019 for refurb. With its prime position on the crest of a mountain, Phinda Mountain Lodge is known for its incredible views out over the scenic and game-rich Phinda Private Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal in north-eastern South Africa. Enjoy 24/7 game watching from the main lodge's viewing decks or your very own private veranda. Plus there's a variety of game activities to make sure you have an unforgettable safari experience.

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