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“Fantastic in every way: from the lodge, to the staff, to the food, and of course, the animals”

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andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Stayed here for 4 nights after having been at Dulini in Kruger for 3 nights. Phinda is a truly special place in every way - we missed it the second we left. At both, the staff was as sweet and helpful as possible, and the food was excellent.

Phinda's safaris were incredible and notable for the rhinos, elephants and big cats. Two things stood out in the safaris: first the cats - we saw different sets of cheetas every day (8 in all), followed a pride of lions over 2 days, and even spent an evening with a leopard, following it as it marked its territory; second the lanscape, which varied from a lush sand forest where the lodge is located to picturesque wide open plains where the cats hunt. The safari's were different at Phinda vs. Dulini in that the rangers at Phinda truly track the animals and need to find them for guests to see them. At 260 sq. km, the reserve is huge so it usually took an hour of driving before we started to really see animals. Dulini was more compact so we started seeing animals almost immediately.

The 17 rooms at Phinda were beautifully, modernly redone 4 years ago and in perfect condition. Ask for one further away from the main lodge (such as rooms 10 or 11) so that your neighbors don't peek in while they walk to dinner or safari... Note that the lodge is in the middle of the reserve so one runs into nyalas, impalas and duikers which is a treat.

We did two excursions outside of Phinda: one to the beach to see turtles lay eggs and the other to the cat sanctuary. Seeing these large turtles walk up the beach and lay eggs was a truly memorable experience made "luxurious" because we had a wonderful dinner served for the 2 of us first on a secluded beach. The cat sanctuary was more of a zoo-like experience but petting a cheeta and having it purr was fun.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SuitNflipflops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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277 - 283 of 377 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2012

We have just returned from a 4 night stay at the forest lodge. The lodge is magnificent the cabins are beautiful they have not forgotten any special touches inc your own yoga mat.
The food was delicious and lots of it
The game drives were fantastic. Our guide was Sam and his tracker was mr t they make a great team and make sure u get to see the big 5. Even though they have been doing this for quite sometime they make you feel as if it was their 1st drive and get just as excited as you.
This place is very special and all the staff are warm and welcoming
Way to go phinda

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank joe060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Stayed here for 4 days as a solo traveler, first safari. I probably should have done two days Forest and two days Mountain, but I didn't and I can't say I regret it too much. Every game drive got better and better. Started out seeing a cheetah and three cubs, ended with mating leopards. My ranger was as enthusiastic about seeing game as I was and responsive to requests for certain animals. Food was delicious and abundant - maybe too abundant! Walking by red dyker, monkies and impala as I went to breakfast in the morning was magical. Troops of baboons also came to the waterhole in front of the breakfast pavilion on several occasions. My road transfer to and from the lodge to Richard's Bay airport was exactly on time and the drivers were friendly. I can't wait to go back on safari with &Beyond.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Drew R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

We stayed at the Forest Lodge and it was awesome and so romantic. The detail into everything they do, the smiling faces giving you privacy, the safari trips with our ranger Wayne by ourselves, the bubble bath waiting for us surrounded by candles and champagne, the private candlelight dinner in our casita patio, massage in the patio with the bird singing, the visit of the monkey and the sounds at night. What else is there to say than I will remember the trip for the rest of my life. Wowww! Worth every penny for the peace and tranquility we had so close to nature.

Room Tip: There are about 8 casitas and they are all very private from each other.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Nella S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed at Forest Lodge for two nights and Rock Lodge for two nights (Rock is at the other end of the reserve from Forest, about a 25 minute drive). Definitely recommend mixing it up if you can swing it, as both lodges offer completely different experiences and you will see totally different animals at each end of the reserve.

Both Forest and Rock were luxurious, but very different.

The staff at &Beyond Phinda is second to none - absolutely wonderful rangers, guides, trackers and hospitality staff. Definitely put this on your 'dream vacation' list and make it happen, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Ask for a more secluded room at Forest Lodge, one that is tucked away in the trees, so you have more...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Forest Lodge is truly Zen like! Set deep in the Forest, the rooms are luxurious and very private. The food was outstanding and the staff incredibly helpful and welcoming. Sam, our ranger was very knowledgeable and on one drive we saw black and white rhino, cheetah and her cubs at an impala kill, 10 lions and then at sunset a leopard! Well worth a visit and we will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Merryl W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We flew in from Richards Bay to Phinda Forest Lodge, with 17 cottages....very very nice, but have heard that the smaller Vlei Lodge is even better. Forest lodge has nice big cabin suites with all the extras, but no real views. Games drives twice a day, champagne surprises in the afternoons, outdoor breakfasts on safari, candelight everywhere.
Staff & guides are first class!!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sstj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $272 - $1,203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Phinda Forest Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

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