Fringing the reserve’s wildlife-rich wetland system, Phinda Vlei Lodge is situated along the edge of one of Africa’s few remaining dry sand forests and has excellent Big Five game viewing.
Carefully tucked away in one of six secluded suites, perfectly integrated into the African bush, you are guaranteed to see more animals than people during your stay - and that’s not even counting the game drives! The atmosphere at Phinda Vlei Lodge is exclusive and personal, with a mixture of understated sophistication and pure luxury. With each of the thatched suites carefully positioned for a prime view of animals coming out to drink, the game viewing never stops.
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.
Gracious and elegant, the six thatched suites are set well apart, and intimately integrated into the surrounding bush. Decoration is a subtle blend of North and West African styles, with hints of a Balinese influence. Each suite features a private plunge pool and a game viewing deck that overlooks a grassy meadow complete with watering hole, where guests can observe herds of grazing antelope and zebra, as well as a variety of birdlife. At Phinda Vlei Lodge simply spending time in your spacious suite is like being on safari. Each morning and early evening the animals appear, dotting the sweeping vlei in a never-ending wildlife parade.
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 on the expansive outdoor decks, 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 Vlei 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.
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 in open 4x4 safari vehicles ensure excellent Big Five game viewing, with spectacular sightings of the elusive cheetah, the rare black rhino and the abundant wildlife and birdlife. Evening game drives lasts 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. Children aged 6 to 11 are permitted on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion.
If you prefer, you could go on a boat cruise or canoe down the Mzinene River, watching the wildlife as they come down to drink.
Enjoy bush walks (not for children under 16) accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insight into the smaller animals, insects and vegetation in the area.