We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Wonderful safari venue with superb staff!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Wonderful safari venue with superb staff!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

My parents spent 4 nights at Phinda Forest Lodge on the Phinda Private Game Reserve as part of birthday celebration that we had organised for them.

The booking was expertly handled by Tanya at Africa Direct/

Their comments are as follows:

What an experience!!! The accommodation and food were superb and the Staff could have not been more helpful. Wayne our Guide and our local Tracker were brilliant and we saw virtually every animal we were hoping to see. Not only that, but we were amazed as to how close we were able to get to them.

In addition to the standard activities and facilities, on more than one occasion Phinda surprised us with birthday gifts - a birthday cake during a game drive, champagne in our rooms etc which was a lovely thought.

Our sincere thanks to all the Staff at Phinda. and for anyone wanting a Safari in South Africa, we could not recommend Phinda - Forest Lodge more highly.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sidicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

354 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    317
    29
    4
    1
    3
See reviews for
92
178
14
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Carlos, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

This and Ngala were my favorite places we stayed while on safari. The grounds are set up very well. The staff is attentitive. Love the candles lighting the walkway to dinner at night. The rooms (bungalows) offer privacy and luxury. Rating a four instead of a five due to my safe not working in the room, having to place my passport and money in the managers safe (sketch) and then them not being to open when it was time to leave even though I double check multiple times. They had to hold our flight as we had a white nuckle death grip jeep ride to the airstrip.

The termite mounds are off the charts.

Would go back in a heart beat.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Dave Patterson from The Africa Safari (Bwana Dave on Tripadvisor) handled all of our travel planning and was extremely thorough with the details and suggestions he provided to us. I highly recommend him! We had two nights at Tshukudu Game Lodge (see separate posting) two nights to Kirkman's Kamp (see separate posting) in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, on to Dulini Lodge for three nights. After five nights in Capetown, we flew to Durban and rented a car and drove the 3.5 hours to Phinda Forest. Easy drive once you get used to being on the other side of the road.

Each room was in it's own building with a large deck. The view was just forest but there were monkeys and various antelope around. The minibar (included) with snacks was in a cabinet on thhe deck which I found odd. There were no locks on the doors to the room - just a latch that you put on as you left. No key. There was a safe that you could put valuables in. This lodge didn't offer butler service that we had at the two other & Beyond lodges we stayed at and it really felt like one step downgraded because the butler really got to know the guests and vice versa. There were two computers on property to use the internet but there was no wifi on premise.

We were latew for our first afternoon drive and were taken to the group that had already left. Our ranger was Kyle and tracker was Abel. There were four other women in the Landcruiser. We saw great animals - baboons, warthog, red duiker, zebra, nyala, make leopard walking in the dark and thenm crawled under a fence to another lodge, wildebeast, three female lionesses with six cubs who were 6-9 months old - they were eating a one day old giraffe (which we didn't see get killed). The dinner that was in the boma was good but we sat at individual tables - versus sitting as a group at all other places we stayed. Also, the staff didn't sing or dance - very disappointing.

On our first full day, we saw two wild dog. This is a big deal as Phinda is a fenced property, and they NEVER have wild dog. So they immediately called conservationists (wild dog are endangered). Because we were in the car that found the wild dog, we were allowed to follow the conservationists who wanted to dart and tag at least one so they can track it and relocate it to a lodge 50 miles away that had four female wild dog. So we came back for breakfast and one hour later, we started on our extra game drive to find the dog. On the way, we found four cheetah cubs who had been separated from their mother for almost 24 hours. They were crying for her - it was heartbreaking. The our tracker found the mother a bit away and the story was there was a dominant male cheetah wanted the mother and she led him away from the cubs. The problem was that he wasn't letting her go. it was like watching a national geographic special that you knew wasn't going to end well. We had to leave them and get to the dogs, but found out later that mother and cubs were happily reunited. WHEW! The lodge dropped off a lunch for us and we had a picnic off property. There was a curious warthog who was very interested on what was on the table and came right up to us! Back to the dogs - the local experts were having trouble tracking them and we waited hours. After dark, the team found them, darted one and we gor to see the tagging process. We weren't offered a choice about doing this for an entire day and if I had the choice I would have gone back to the room to relax as we didn't get back until 7:30 pm. It was a really long day.

For our last full day, it was lightly raining- the first rain we had all safari. We actually found the wild dog again! In the afternoon, we were the oly ones in the car and went to the hyena den and saw the cubs, who were only a few weeks old. The mother is one tough lady - she lost half of her lips in a battle, along with her tail and she had an open wound on her back. She had another cub who was a few months old and he was tormenting the cubs. Our last morning, we were with one new couple from Capetown and had great sightings of zebra, white rhino (we couldn't find any black rhino), two male cheetah brothers, a large faily of giraffe, wildebeast, baboons and a rock monitor lizard.

So overall, we had great sightings - we hadn't seen wild cheetah or wild dog anywhere else and we saw the most cubs at Phinda. But it lacked a river on property - it had a waterhole right off the dining room, but we really loved having sundowners at various river points at Kirkman's Kamp. We also really missed having the butler service we had at our other locations. There was nothing wrong with Phinda, but we would recommend staying at the Sabi Sands properties instead.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stressed2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
367 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 757 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2012

A long and dull drive from Durban. A cold towel on arrival and then a talk about the various wild animals that may eat you. Then you are taken to your chalet. The room is ultra clean and is a good sized chalet with a comfy bed. Great products in the bathroom with a large bath and strong shower. Good sized outside seating area. Well stocked mini bar.
The swimming pool has a nice view out to the plains, and you are often joined by monkeys in the trees. The breakfast/ lunch area too has good views out towards the plains.
The food is average, but you are here to see the animals!
Which ever drive you go on, (morning, noon or night) you should see The Big Five, the rangers know their stuff, although sometimes it is a bit more crocodile Dundee than anything else.
Although the room is amazing, the staff excellent, the location and amenities first class. I think I would rather see these animals properly in the wild. For those who do not live in South Africa, this is expensive, if you have never seen these animals up close and personal, then treat yourself, two days will do.

Room Tip: Ask for chalets close to reception.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank undercoverelephant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2012

We, a family of 5 , celebrated my husbands 60th birthday at Phinda Forest Lodge
.From the start the staff made it a special occasion.
The service is beyond what you normally experience at a 5 star resort as the staff at Forest Lodge have mastered the friendly,homely feel.
The attention to detail is great and left me with lasting impressions. They organised a stop in the middle of the bush as a surprise drinks stop surrounded by lanterns and then on the morning of his birthday we celebrated with a special breakfast stop!
I would like to mention a few special staff members . Douglas,the manager, Warrick ,our ranger along with a great tracker Mr T ,very skilled indeed.Thandeka ,a wonderful asset at mealtimes who has taken her hospitality role so seriously and memorises the guests names and the wonderful cook , Sam.

Overall a wonderful choice

Room Tip: Rooms 5 & 6 have slight view of Vlei
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Noogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

With rooms that are both luxurious and imaginative, a staff that is attentive and helpful, supurb food, and extraordinarily knowledgeable rangers and trackers, this may be the perfect game lodge - maybe not for those who just want to see the Big 5 and move on, but definitely for people who want to see and learn more about South Africa's environment and the game that lives there. The area's ecology and game animals are remarkably diverse and consistently fascinating.The lodge is also enhanced by the sucessful partnership that it has developed with its host community.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Moonriser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2012

Exceptional everything: scenery, food, service, amenities, wildlife, rooms, etc. It just doesn't get closer to paradise than this. The facilities are cleaner than a whistle and the staff is simply out to please. Some of the best days of my life! LOVED IT!!

Room Tip: They are ALL good!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mwright4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Phinda Private Game Reserve
18.1 mi away
Zululand Tree Lodge
Zululand Tree Lodge
#2 of 7 in Hluhluwe
4.0 of 5 bubbles 122 reviews
17.3 mi away
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris
22.3 mi away
Ghost Mountain Inn
Ghost Mountain Inn
#1 of 1 in Mkuze
4.5 of 5 bubbles 365 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
#1 of 2 in Ngala Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 419 reviews
8.8 mi away
Bushwillow Collection
Bushwillow Collection
#2 of 34 in Hluhluwe
5.0 of 5 bubbles 288 reviews
14.6 mi away
Thanda Safari
Thanda Safari
#1 of 1 in Thanda Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 356 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

Property: andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Address: Kwazulu-Natal, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the award-winning Forest Lodge fuses architecture and conservation. The lodge was hand built by local artisans, with a minimal footprint on the forest floor – not one tree was felled during construction. An exquisite contradiction, floor-to-ceiling glass walls invite the forest inside, while the dense tree canopy shelters and provides privacy. Floating on stilts above the forest floor while dainty suni graze below, the 16 Zulu Zen suites blend harmoniously into the dappled shade. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels so you can book your andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Phinda Forest Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing