- Range of activities
- Glass fronted accommodation
- Black Rhino
The ‘&Beyond’ Phinda Forest Lodge is located in the Phinda Private Game Reserve in the Maputaland region of KwaZulu-Natal. One of three ‘&Beyond’ properties in the area, this contemporary lodge has lots to offer in its unusual location and its luxurious feel makes it ideal for couples and families alike.
The modern eco-designed lodge has beautiful communal areas including a rim flow swimming pool and multiple large decks with views over the plains. Dining is done Al Fresco with meals taken on the open air deck or around the outdoor boma. A fantastic range of wildlife can be seen on the twice daily game drives with common viewings of cheetahs and the rare black rhino. Guide led walking safaris are also offered with the chance to track black rhino on foot. The Phinda Game Reserve covers a range of habitats from mountain forests to coastal dunes and consequently an unusually wide range of other activities are available including river cruises, motorboat and canoe safaris, diving and snorkelling, plus whale watching and swimming with whale sharks ( all at an additional cost).
The accommodation is raised on stilts above the sandy forest floor in the heart of the rare Dry Sand Forest. Comprised of 16 glass fronted rooms, each suite is bright and airy and provides for luxurious living. Floor to ceiling glass gives 360 degree views of the forest whilst towering trees ensure seclusion and privacy. Each large air conditioned room includes free standing baths, large showers and slate basins and your own private verandahs. Unfortunately for families, family rooms are not available and therefore more than one room would have to be taken.
Children are welcome at Phinda Forest, however 12 is the minimum age for participating in game drives. Children between 6 and 12 are permitted at the manager’s discretion so sensible, well behaved children should not have a problem. As with all ‘and beyond’ facilities, a ‘Wild Child’ program is run providing fun, interactive activities for children of all ages. Child minders are also available making the experience a family friendly choice although the accommodation could be a disadvantage. Phinda Mountain lodge could be a preferred alternative.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019