Stay at the andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
A lion’s mane reflects the sunset glow. You’re so close, so amazed, you don’t initially see the rhino behind you. It’s a rare black rhino as well, an indication of Phinda’s exceptional conservation program. Keep exploring and follow a cheetah in the high grass. Now into the woodland you go in search of elephants. All this in just one hour. Back at Mountain Lodge the kids get involved with pizza making while you dip into the pool. It’s the big five and so much more, a family holiday with a difference, a very personal connection with Africa’s wildlife.
Phinda is a 230 square kilometre private reserve in Kwazulu Natal, far from the famous Greater Kruger. It is a fenced reserve, however, these fences don’t impact on the experience and Phinda is about the same size as the entire Sabi Sands. What’s cool is that there are seven different ecosystems, which is perfect for encountering a full range of animals. You will see bigger herds in Kruger, but for wildlife diversity Phinda is exceptional. AirLink provides flights to Phinda from Cape Town, Johannesburg and some other safari destinations.
Perched on a mountain above the reserve, the suites provide a cosy and comforting luxury. Private pools and outdoor showers are just two highlights. For older kids consider the family cottages as they give you more space. There’s nothing groundbreaking about the design, but it’s quietly impressive and the level of service is superb.
Who is it for
A dream for families, especially as a first-time safari destination. Everyone can explore easily and in comfort, whether aged six, 16 or 65. Most couples will prefer the intimacy and exclusivity of a lodge in the Sabi Sands.
Amenities & Activities
This is a big-five-plus destination, where rare animals like cheetah and black rhino are remarkably common. Suni, pangolin and red duiker are just three other unusual animals you can encounter. It makes for an ideal first-time safari experience, complemented by all the unique activities. Children can join the WILDChild program, you can do special sleep outs, plus conservation activities like elephant collaring.