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Phinda Private Game Reserve Highlights

Phinda Private Game Reserve consists of a remarkable 23 000 hectares (56 800 acres) of pristine African wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The reserve promises one of the continent's best game viewing experiences including Africa's Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), endangered black rhino, and 415 bird species.

Phinda is described as "Seven Worlds of Wonder", with its seven distinct habitats - a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, river-courses, marshes and pans waiting to be discovered.

Sun Safaris Says

  • Situated between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, Phinda comprises 14 000 ha of prime conservation land.
  • Home to the Big Five and over 380 bird species, while the marine diversity off the nearby coast of Sodwana is said to rival the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
  • In addition to game drives, there are thrilling optional activities on the water, in the air and on the beach.

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Safari Lodges within Phinda Private Game Reserve

Phinda Vlei Lodge

Phinda Vlei Lodge is situated along the reserve's unique wetland system on the edge of the rare sand forest. The lodge is elegant and secluded and offers luxurious accommodation with large game viewing decks from where guests can observe an incredible variety of wildlife.

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Phinda Rock Lodge

Phinda Rock Lodge in Kwa-Zulu Natal is set into a cliff-face overlooking the magnificent Leopard Rock. The lodge is small and personal and is known for warm and friendly service. The romantic suites offer understated luxury with beautiful African sunsets.

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The Homestead

The Homestead at Phinda is a luxury self-catering facility situated in the award-winning Phinda Private Game Reserve in the subtropical northern region of KwaZulu Natal. The interior of the thatched Homestead is spacious with large glass sliding doors to let in the light.

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Phinda Mountain Lodge

Phinda Mountain Lodge is a large lodge situated on the mountain side in the Phinda Game Reserve. This reserve has a huge diversity of landscape, with lake, mountain and coastal plain views from Phinda Mountain Lodge.

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Phinda Zuka Lodge

Bordered by lush green valleys and densely wooded hills studded with aloes, Zuka Lodge at Phinda sits in the Reserve’s western region. With just four thatched Zululand bush cottages, this intimate lodge is ideal for family gatherings and special occasion safaris.

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Phinda Forest Lodge

Situated in the Phinda Game Reserve, Phinda Forest Lodge enjoys an environment rich in wildlife and big game, as well as beautiful and unique views. The main lodge sits in an ideal position to enjoy the great views overlooking the wetland pan.

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Phinda Private Game Reserve on display

Top Destinations

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. Enjoy twice daily game drives, interpretive bush walks on the rare dry sand forest and boat cruises on the Mzinene River.

Phinda Mountain Lodge invites guests to observe the serenity of the South African wilderness from private decks, surrounded by the indigenous trees and shrubbery of the pristine Zululand bushveld. Delicious Pan-African cuisine is served in the dramatic boma, illuminated by dozens of candles and lanterns.

How to Get there

Phinda Private Game Reserve offers easy access from most major towns in South Africa. Sun Safaris can arrange the desired mode of transport depending on budget. The quickest and most convenient way to get to Phinda is by air. Federal Air operates a light aircraft flight directly from Johannesburg to Phinda, which is available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Alternatively, guests can fly to Richard's Bay from either Johannesburg or Durban. A light aircraft shuttle service operates between Richard's Bay and Phinda. Should guests choose to travel to Phinda from Richard's Bay by road, it will be a comfortable drive of approximately two hours. Sun Safaris will make the necessary arrangements and provide maps and directions upon booking.

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Phinda Private Game Reserve Game Viewing and Activities

Phinda Private Game Reserve offers an incredible diversity of game. Predators like cheetah, leopard and lion are tracked on a daily basis and guests stand a good chance of seeing them. The territorial white rhino favour waterholes and wallows.

Herds of elephant and buffalo move throughout the reserve and are easily spotted. Impressive nyala antelope feed alongside impala and warthog. Nocturnal aardvark, bushpig and greater bushbaby may be encountered on night game drives. Mountain reedbuck resides on rocky slopes, while common reedbuck favours palmveld and wetlands.

Tonga red squirrels are restricted to Sand Forest where tiny suni and red duiker are most abundant. The bird life is prolific and an impressive 415 species have recorded in the area.

Seasons and Climate

Phinda offers a sub-tropical climate with a hot and humid rainy season. The rainy season is from September to April and is very hot and humid with most of the rain falling during the months of September to April. Annual rainfall is 29-39 inches (750-1,000mm).

The dry season is from May to August and the best time to visit with pleasant temperatures; warm days and cool

Where to go icon Expert Travel Advice

Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

Where to go icon Price Guarantee

We know a safari can be pricey, but we guarantee that we're giving you the best deal on your travel. We don't want your trip to Africa to be a once in a lifetime experience, we want you to do it again, and again! Through nurtured relationships with our suppliers, we can offer you the best deal they've got, and you'll never pay more than you should for your accommodation. If you find the same holiday for less, we'll confidently better the price.

Where to go icon Tailor-made Itineraries

Just like the spots on a leopard's back, each of our tailor-made itineraries is unique. Every journey has a personality, carefully designed to match the desires and expectations our clients bring to the table. Every element is taken into consideration to stitch together a personalised safari experience, grown from seed and cultivated to embody the perfect adventure. Our tailored itineraries are your safari dreams, defined.