A stunning weekend getaway at Phinda Mountain Lodge. We arrived late afternoon on Friday, unfortunately we missed the game drive, but were welcomed firstly by the beautiful Nyala buck that live in the trees surrounding the lodge and then by the staff with friendly smiles and warm welcomes, drinks were offered and a spectacular view of the reserve and a tour of the main lodge area. The lodge has a beautiful open African Zen feel about it and the view point is amazing. We were then ushered to our lodging and oh what wonderful rooms they were. Set in the heart of the lodge overlooking the trees our bathroom was all windows with no curtains, the view from the bath was spectacular, the large sliding doors lead out on to the deck with a private, secluded rim flow pool and two very comfy lounges. The King size bed was stunning, particularly after a wonderful but tiring day of game drives. At dinner we met our Ranger Janus, a large, hearty, robust gentleman with a wonderful knowledge of the bush.
Saturday morning was early rising and off on our game drive. We saw Hyena twice, albeit from a distance, a mother cheetah and her three cubs or pre-adults tucking in to an impala kill. We couldn't have been twenty feet away and it was an amazing experience to see these beautiful lithe creatures in the flesh in their natural habitat. We then chased down two female lions, but they were fairly far from us and we could not approach them and get closer as they were lying on burnt land and the vehicles could not drive on the burnt escarpment due to new shoots growing. The General Game were White Rhino, Giraffe, Nyala, Impala, Kudu, Water buck, warthog etc. The evening drive was even more spectacular, we found two female lions and a young male lion sitting quietly in some dappled shade in the most tranquil dam with flamingos, hippo, crocodile, pelicans and other bird life. The male lion became restless and decided to move and he circled the back of our cruiser and stood right next to the cruiser, walked on and plopped himself down in a more shady spot. At one stage we thought that we would witness a kill, as some Nyala came to drink and the one lioness started to stalk, but she grew disinterested when large noise came from the surrounding trees and it was evident that there was a large elephants bull nearby. As we were about to leave the watering hole we were radioed to say that a herd of elephants was on it's way in our direction and what a sight that was, a large herd of females, males and babies approached, very majestic as they approached the water. The patriach was not interested in our vehicles being any where near his herd and so he was heading straight for us, ears waving, but what a beautiful sight to behold, truly God's Country! We ate at the Boma that evening with the roaring fire and candlelight ambiance. The Venison braai was particularly good. We found the staff extremely friendly, helpful and the facilities first class. We definitely hope to go back some day. A wonderful wonderful stay.
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