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.
- 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:
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- Also Known As:
- Phinda Forest Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve