Like many other reviews, this was our first safari experience- however, when we left Phinda we visited two other camps- and our initial impression of Phinda still stands- it blew us away. There is not one thing that stands out- the rooms are not overly luxurious, but they are comfortable, clean, with large bathrooms and a sitting area- but they seem to be exactly what you would want for an African Safari- not over the top, but in a sense, in touch with nature. The staff was fantastic- extremely attentive without being the least bit intrusive. We used 3 cabins for our group, and the 4th was empty, so it felt to us like a private family/friends compound. I would encourage any family or group of friends that need 4 accommodations to book here- you will literally "own the place." Our safari driver and guide, Ed and Simi, were also fantastic- very knowledgeable, willing to go the extra mile for us, and friendly with a sense of humor- they ceased feeling like guide and driver and felt more like a couple of knowledgeable friends we were visiting in that beautiful country by the second drive. The wildlife we saw was by far the best of our trip (we also visited North Sabi Sands and Zambia)- yes we saw the "Big 5"- but so much more- we were trailing two cheetah brothers that were hunting, which came upon a white rhino mother and calf- the curious calf would run up to the cheetah's, which would hiss and it would run back to its mother- this happened numerous times, and then some giraffe's (which we learned are very curious) came over to check things out- so we have photos of giraffe's, 2 cheetahs and the rhinos all checking each other out (it almost felt staged it was so amazing!). In addition, the scenery is beautiful, far more so than North Sabi Sands- so when we weren't seeing animals, which was rare we were enjoying the ride anyway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An intimate safari retreat, andBeyond Phinda Zuka Lodge is situated amongst densely wooded hills studded with aloes. Available as a sole-use private villa, everything guests need is right within reach - a dedicated game ranger and game drive vehicle, an interactive kitchen with a dedicated chef, a butler, a comfortable library with Internet access and TV, a sitting room with a fireplace for evening chats, their own swimming pool and even a private watering hole right in front of the lodge. ... more less