User Reviews – Phinda GR
Email Jacqueline Landry | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
The staff at zuka were kind, warm and so inviting! The safaris were always exciting. The scenery was beautiful!
Email Jayhawk80 | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A larger than average Game Reserve and a more "natural" safari experience than smaller game reserves or road side attractions.
Email Frost family | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Manyoni game reserve not listed here. Was better than the more commercial phinda.
Email Bryan | 65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Phinda must offer one of the finest guided game viewing experiences available in South Africa.
Our stay at Phinda in one of the beautiful game lodges in the Sand Forest section was an amazing experience. Phinda has a fascinating variety of attractive bushveld landscapes including mountains, forest, vlei and open grassland. There is an abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five and many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as cheetah and rhino. The bird life is also a big draw card.
The accommodation is of five star quality and unique. Each couple had their own secluded lodge in the forest a short walk from other lodges, the swimming pool and restaurant but hidden from them. The on-suite bathroom had windows looking out on the forest allowing you to leave the blinds open while taking a bath or shower watching Impala browsing in the forest outside.
Our stay included all meals, two professionally guided game drives each day with a separate vehicle, ranger and tracker allocated for our group of 6 guests. Apart from the first day, the same ranger and tracker handled all our game viewing trips. On several occasions our ranger and tracker joined our group for the evening meal, which provided the opportunity to discuss the days viewing experiences with very knowledgeable experts. It also allowed them to get to know us and helped in planning and personalising the next days outings to suit our particular interests.
The quality of the food was excellent. Apart from the three main meals, snacks and drinks were provided in the bush during game drives and during the afternoon break between lunch and the late afternoon and evening game drive. On two nights the evening meal after the game drive was in the form of a barbecue in an open-to-the sky boma. A highlight was the champagne breakfast in the bush organised for us on our last day.
Weather during our stay was superb. During the early morning game drive it was crisply cool and sometimes misty making the mid-drive coffee break very welcome. You must try Amarula Cream in your coffee instead of milk. The misty landscapes were a photographers delight. The days were warm and very comfortable. We had a few short showers, which added to rather than dampened the experience.
All the staff are very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. They interact with you throughout your stay giving a new meaning to the word hospitality. If it fits within your budget, Phinda is an experience no one should miss.
Email Kok Kim | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Cheetah was our main "target" sighting we got that.
Plus bonus of lion sightings (mating, eating carcass, stalking and chasing warthog and facing off with a rhino family). 2 lionesses we followed walked by our jeep twice!
Email MiChaH | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Great tour, beatiful landscape, adventurous, great ranger.
We went there for a gamedrive with ranger Sam and he was very determined to let us see the beauty of the park and all the wildlife. We were looking for the Leopard and he didn't stop until he had find one. Beatiful spots in a very beatiful landscape
Email Chris Bridger | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A truly awe-inspiring holiday in beautiful surroundings.
Our trip to Phinda Game Reserve was as a present for my Dad's 60th, and it did not disappoint. Our accommodation (we stayed at the Mountain Lodge in Phinda) was beautifully laid out and equally good for both seclusion and socialising - whichever you prefer. The rooms were incredibly generous in size with decking out the front and even a plunge pool for those that are feeling brave. The grounds of the lodge were kept in immaculate condition, the swimming pool was literally a 2 minute walk from your room, as was the outdoor and indoor dining area which hosted the majority of breakfasts, lunch and dinners. Prepared by head chef Neo (who made a point of individually welcoming you to your table and explaining what was for dinner every night, a really nice touch) and his team, the food was always of impeccably high standards as was the presentation of it. We couldn't have been more impressed at the level of service from the in-house team of hosts. They could not do enough to make your stay a more memorable one, from how you'd like your eggs done, to birthday gifts they really did provide everything and were a large factor behind why I feel the holiday was such a successful one. Keep an eye out for Mandla particularly, who I didn't see without a smile on his face for four whole days.
The weather was amazing for the duration of our stay, including some breath-taking electric thunderstorms on our first night. As for when you're out on safari, it does get quite cold when you're out after dark, so despite it being really sunny when you set off, take a jumper. Blankets are provided which was unexpected, but very much appreciated! It was my first safari and will take some beating - we managed to see everything we wanted to, leopards and black rhino's included...and as a keen photographer I was afforded plenty of time to take photos at will of the amazing animals on show. Our guides were totally receptive to what we wanted to see and put on a wonderful breakfast in the bush one morning, as well as taking us on some great walks when there was a bit of downtime.
My only minor criticism would be that considering you spend 7 hours a day in them, the Jeeps weren't the most comfortable form of transport. I'm a little over 6 foot 2 and the legroom in the Jeeps wasn't really adequate for me, the seats weren't very well padded either - but really once you'd gotten over it this didn't detract at all from my overall enjoyment.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Phinda Game Reserve to anyone, it was an unforgettable experience and we owe much to those who hosted us and made our stay that little bit more special.
Email Michael Potts | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
I have been to Phinda a number of times but this visit was by far the best. The accommodation, food and location is unsurpassed in the Natal area. What made this trip special was the luck we had with the game sightings. Game sightings are often down to luck however in this occasion we were spoilt, great quality sightings and the rangers spent a nice amount of time with each sighting. The rangers are fantastic at Phinda and they make the safari.
Email CarolynEaton | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
A truly wonderful experience for a family holiday.
Phinda is rich in some wildlife- rhino, cheetah for instance we saw in abundance and these are both animals that are often difficult to view, but other animals proved more elusive to us, the drought at the time we were there had moved elephants further north so we saw very few. On the whole we saw a good range of wildlife and the rangers and trackers always got us close to them. Accommodation was luxurious with great attention to detail. Food was abundant and delicious. Service from all staff was first class, friendly, hospitable without being intrusive. I particularly like the ethics of this company, their commitment to conservation is evident and they also do a great job to support their zulu comunity which meant staff were happy which means guests are happy.
The experience of a lifetime!
Our trip could not have been more perfect from the moment of our arrival. Giraffes crossed our path from the jeep trek from the landing strip to our beautiful accommodations at Phinda Mountain Lodge, and my husband and I felt like kids all over again in our excitement. The friendly staff greeted us from the moment we arrived with a refreshment and cool towel. Our room was spacious and beautifully appointed; and the meals we had were simple and delicious during our 5 day stay. Ian, our amazing guide, was extraordinarily knowledgeable and the passion he has for his work was contagious. There were so many photographic opportunities that I was starting to feel like the paparazzi of the Animal Kingdom, and I came home with some incredible moments to treasure forever. I cannot wait to go back!!!