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andBeyond Phinda Zuka Lodge
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andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge(Phinda Private Game Reserve)
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Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed September 3, 2013

Zuka Lodge is an extraordinary hideaway in the middle of Phinda private game reserve. First of all, it is the largest reserve we have been to, and for 8 days and 16 game drives, we did not repeat any territory. The ranger, Eduard and the tracker, Simi were 2 of the most wonderful people! They were most interested in OUR interests, and then pursed them without fail.
Food was wonderful, one of our family having a difficult allergy. She was given the same food as we were, made to her specifications, in terms of her needs. We have never experienced such skill and accommodation.
What an absolutely wonderful venue for a family holiday to remember always

Room Tip: There are 4 cabins and they are all the same. Each one is beautifully appointed with every amenity possible, and all great quality.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Ruth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

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.

Room Tip: The rooms...all 4, are all the same- it really doesn't matter.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Primoclass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

10 of us arrived at Zuka Lodge from various parts of the world of a family holiday. Our grandsons were all under the age of 9, I do not think Zuka had so many little boys in one go!! but the staff were well prepared for them & catered to all their needs.The guides Edward & Nick kept the little fellows very interested in the wild life & by the time we left our youngest who is 4 + knew most of the animals by name.
The meals were also catered to the young ones need, but the 5 adults did not miss out on anything, as our meals were discussed before hand,Dudu fed us well & made sure there was "hot chocolate" on the game drives for the boys, who looked forward to it.
All 4 rooms were extremely comfortable & could not ask for more. Bath by candle light, wow!!
I do highly recommend this wonderful lodge to anyone wanting a relaxed family holiday.
A big thank you to all the staff, Kenny & the Zuka family for making this family holiday one never to be forgotten.

Room Tip: Room 4 has lots of Nyala's around. loved it. room 1 closest to the main area.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Annette680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We spent 4 nights at the magical Zuka Lodge at Phinda. As mentioned in previous reviews, Zuka Lodge is made up for 4 rooms, so the overall service and feeling of the Lodge is one of a personal nature. The manager, Kenny, immediately greeted us by name and was always on hand with Ndu, who even kept an eye on our children to allow the adults to go on a walking safari (which was very much appreciated). Eduard and Sibu (our driver and tracker) were utterly charming company and ensured that we saw all the game that was on our wish list, apart from the elusive leopard. Warick, the chef, discussed each of our meals with us in advance and cooked the most delicious food. His baker makes perfect pastry too. Travelling with children, this meant that all our meals were thoroughly enjoyed by all. In addition to this, our children have various food allergies and our quick discussions meant that all allergies were taken into consideration at all times, making meal times completely stress-free. We had very high expectations when arriving at Zuka Lodge, some might say unrealistically high. Suffice to say, that these were surpassed in every way. I could go on, complementing the setting, the rooms, the cleanliness, the work with local communities, the abundance of games to play in the lounge, the gin and tonics whilst the sun sets on a game drive, so many little touches that make the whole experience magical.......Zuka Lodge is not a cheap safari, but it is a most wonderful safari experience and I would not hesitate to recommend it. We look forward to returning and looking for that leopard...

Room Tip: Lodges 1 and 2 have a more direct view of the water hole.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank dawn w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

We arrived at the Phinda Reserve not knowing what to expect, it being our first safari. We stayed at the Zhuka Lodge, which only has 4 huts and we were 4 couples- perfect. We were greeted by the staff, who immediately started to pamper us. The lodge is perfect, the rooms perfect. We felt comfortable right away. Special thanks to our rangers Lucky and Simi who spotted everything- big 5 in under 2 hours one morning! The cook Dudu was a wonder, I will never forget her charm and her kitchen, the manager Nina who always knew what we needed and wanted without being asked. Phinda should be on everyone's bucket list!!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Patzimms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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