Dramatically set into a cliff face overlooking the spectacular Leopard Rock, with a watering hole drawing wildlife from the depth of the valley below, Phinda Rock Lodge’s rugged adobe-style building wouldn’t be out of place in a desert pueblo, but the lush bushveld vegetation and wildlife dotted on the surrounding slopes leave you in no doubt that you’re in the middle of Africa.
With only six suites carved into the rocky hillside, this romantic hideout offers an eagle’s eye view across the valley and complete seclusion from the world below. Perched high above the surrounding panorama, your closest neighbour is likely to be an inquisitive spotted genet paying you a friendly visit on the dining deck.
This is an intimate lodge, where guests are treated like family and time is shared with fellow safari adventurers, who soon become friends. Because of its cliffside location, Phinda Rock is not suitable for small children.
Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 23 000 hectares of protected wildlife land and has a strong focus on conservation and community involvement. The reserve is particularly well known for close-up sightings of the elegant, yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino. Cheetah, lion and leopard are tracked on the reserve on a daily basis and guests have a high likelihood of encountering these magnificent animals.
With its seven distinct habitats, Phinda is often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans. It is much more than just another Big Five reserve.
Phinda Rock Lodge is an architectural delight, combining Malian influences with pueblo panache. The cliff-top suites provide an intimate, cosy space, seemingly suspended over the deep valley below and providing breathtaking views. Each suite is constructed from contoured stone and adobe, and boasts solid wooden shutters and doors that open onto a private rim flow plunge pool and viewing deck. It provides a strong sense of being sheltering within the mountain itself. Spacious en-suite bathrooms have deep bathtubs encased in wide windows, while three of the suites also feature outdoor showers deeply sheltered in the leafy growth, providing some of the most scenic alfresco bathing on the African continent.
For staff at Phinda, there is no better way to spend the day than in making guests' safari dreams come true. Personal butlers, chefs, housekeepers, security and workshop staff are the magic ingredient at Phinda, with their collective commitment to creating moments that take guests' breath away.
Delicious and innovative cuisine is served in the cosy dining room, at your suite, or in beautiful and remote bush settings, creating lifelong memories in a variety of intimate dining settings.
Elegant and serene, the gracious spaces of Phinda Rock Lodge are designed for quiet contemplation of the African bush. In winter, warm and inviting open fireplaces make the comfortable guest sitting area the ideal place to unwind on a cool afternoon.
The lodge’s comfortable sitting areas offer the perfect vantage point for viewing the abundant birdlife in the surrounding trees and the wildlife roaming the bush below. Witness striking, fiery sunsets from the game viewing deck, suspended over the landscape.
Many of the highly trained professional rangers and trackers belong to the surrounding Zulu communities and can share cultural insights in addition to their incomparable wealth of wildlife knowledge.
Twice-daily interpretive game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles ensure excellent Big Five game viewing, with spectacular sightings of the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino and the abundant wildlife and birdlife. Evening game drives last until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to lions roar in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals.
If you prefer, you could go on a boat cruise down the Mzinene River, watching the wildlife as they come down to drink.
Enjoy bush walks accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insight into the smaller animals, insects and vegetation in the area.