Phinda Game Reserve

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stamp3Why photographers love Phinda

Phinda is recommended as a photographic lodge because

  • Phinda is the training ground for the best guides in South Africa
  • Variety of included activities including game drives, night drives and walks
  • Excellent birding and some of the best cheetah viewing in South Africa
  • Mix of habitats and species especially Sand Forest biome.
  • Add on activities such as scuba, snorkeling and fishing

How we rate Phinda

Wildlife  starstarstarstar
Wilderness  starstarstarstar
Lodge & Dining  starstarstarstar
Vehicles  starstarstarstar
Guides  starstarstar starstar

Phinda at a glance


&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge – sixteen stilted glass chalets. Built to minimize impact on the rare Sand Forest. They seem to float between the forest floor and the towering torchwood trees

&Beyond PhindaRock Lodge – six chalets built into the rock face overlooking the Leopard Rock (see picture)

&Beyond PhindaMountain Lodge – twenty chalets and conference facilities situated at the top of a lavish bushveld world, with panoramas of the Lebombo Mountains and the Lake St. Lucia coastal plains.

&Beyond PhindaVlei Lodge – six stilted suites of thatch, teak and glass overlook Phinda’s unique wetland system at the edge of the forest.

There are also two homesteads. &Beyond Phinda Homestead and &Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge

The concession

Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.  It now covers some 28 555 hectares of land. The area is extraordinary in that it covers seven different habitats. Of these the rare sand forest is perhaps the most fascinating. The western side of the reserve where Mountain and Rock Lodge are situated are on rocky ground while Vlei Lodge and Forest Lodge lie to the east along sandy ground.

The seasons

Phinda is recommended as a photographic lodge beca8se is a year round destination where each season has something special. Sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs between November and March. This is the rainy season when vegetation is greener. Whale season is May to November. June to August is the dry season and breeding season for birds.

What Phinda costs

Rates start at R6500 per person per night sharing including all meals and activities.. &Beyond has a programme called Fly me to Phinda to encourage guests to use Phinda as well as their excellent camps in the Sabi Sands. These offers includes free flights from Johannesburg directly into the park. Direct access is via 3 hour drive from Durban, 6.5 hour drive from Johannesburg or 1 hour drive from the airport in Richards Bay.

Photographers need to know

Phinda is recommended as a photographic lodge because this is an excellent area for photographing cheetah. Rhino are also found here regularly as are lions. Wild dogs are occasionally seen.

The good news

Phinda means return to the wild and since 1991 this is what has happened here. &Beyond, formerly Conservation Corporation, was one of the pioneering companies in South Africa promoting responsible ecotourism. They are also involved in a great deal of excellent community projects including Rhinos without Borders which is reintroducing white rhino  to Botswana where there is less chance of poaching. AndBeyond guides are some of the best in Africa and all go through a rigorous 3 year training programe before working with guests.