​User Reviews – Phinda GR

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Jordi   –  
Germany DE
Visited: December 2021 Reviewed: Jan 13, 2022

Email Jordi  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

They kill their lions ... dont go.
Overall rating

Its documented that this reserve has killed several of their lions because they no longer meet the reserves needs. Dont spend your money here.

Ruth   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2020 Reviewed: Feb 23, 2020

Email Ruth  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

The BEST experience. AMAZING

Jacqueline Landry   –  
Canada CA
Visited: June 2019 Reviewed: Jul 1, 2019

Email Jacqueline Landry  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

The staff at zuka were kind, warm and so inviting! The safaris were always exciting. The scenery was beautiful!

Jayhawk80   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2018 Reviewed: Jan 24, 2019

Email Jayhawk80  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

A larger than average Game Reserve and a more "natural" safari experience than smaller game reserves or road side attractions.

Frost family   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2018 Reviewed: Nov 13, 2018

Email Frost family  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Manyoni game reserve not listed here. Was better than the more commercial phinda.

Bryan   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: Oct 9, 2018

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.
Overall rating

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.

Kok Kim   –  
Singapore SG
Visited: June 2018 Reviewed: Jul 2, 2018

Email Kok Kim  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

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!

MiChaH   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Jul 29, 2017

Email MiChaH  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Great tour, beatiful landscape, adventurous, great ranger.
Overall rating

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

Chris Bridger   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: October 2016 Reviewed: Dec 21, 2016

Email Chris Bridger  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A truly awe-inspiring holiday in beautiful surroundings.
Overall rating

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.

Michael Potts   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: October 2015 Reviewed: Dec 29, 2015

Email Michael Potts  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Perfect Safari
Overall rating

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.

Average User Rating

  • 4.5/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 20
  • 4 star 6
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 2
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