​User Reviews – Phinda GR

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wamcclung   –  
United States US
Visited: January 2009 Reviewed: Jul 28, 2012

Email wamcclung  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Unreconstructed urbanite gives the bush a chance
Overall rating

I travel to photograph city things: architecture, sculpture, graffitti . . . but on a cruise from Mauritius to Cape Town in January 2009 I thought that if I was ever going to see wildlife beyond the cats of Rome or the poodles of Park Avenue, now was the moment. It was beautiful and I enjoyed the 2-day, overnight experience. I have no basis, however, for comparing Phinda with other game preserves; one other guest complained loud and long that some park she had visited in Zimbabwe had a lot more critters - she seemed especially vexed by the dearth of giraffes at Phinda. I got out of it what I expected--a novice's introduction. The guides were rugged and handsome and the impromptu afternoon tea on a hilltop was a real touch of colonial nostalgia. What few photos I took are viewable at http://www.flickr.com/photos/virginiagent/sets/72157612306934389/, in the set labelled "A Beast in View," a line of verse from Dryden.

rpgold   –  
Canada CA
Visited: October 2007 Reviewed: Jul 21, 2012

35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Luxury Accommodation and Terrific Wildlife
Overall rating

We stayed at Phinda Vlei for three nights in Oct 2007. The accommodations were very luxurious and very comfortable. We were very happy with the game drives taken and enjoyed abundant wildlife sightings. Although a private reserve, it is still large enough with varied terrain to avoid redundancy when staying multiple nights. We'd certainly recommend it.

Mark Ratcliffe Visited: March 2012 Reviewed: Jul 20, 2012

A special place where the best of African nature is coupled with luxury and personal hospitality
Overall rating

My wife and I were born in Zimbabwe/South Africa and have been fortunate enough to have had exposure to African wildlife and scenery from a very early age. We now live overseas and every year when we return we fit in a short break and Phinda has been our recurring preference. Each time we have stayed in the Forest Lodge camp, as our experiences have been nothing short of spectacular, and whils the temptation is to try something different, I also subscrive to when you find the best in class there is no need to change.

There are a number of things that make up a good wildlife experience and Phinda more than meets all of these criteria:
- the scenery is diverse, the multitudes of ecosystems at Phinda make it somewhat unique with the Sand Forests, the Grass plains, the rocky hills and the dense scrub in the north.
- The guides are superb, knowledgeable and engaging and I am continually staggered by the diversity of their knowledge and understanding of the animals, plants, behavioural patterns and local traditions. EVERY time we go, we learn something different...every time...I love that!
- The accomodations and the touch of personalisation and luxury of the camp. As I said, we live overseas now and have travelled a fair deal, what Phinda offers is a touch of class. The glass bungalows in the forest, the restuarant and bar areas, the infinity pool are all phenomemal
- The "unique" experiences. The evening bush dinners and mid game drive stops for drinks are fantastic. We also did the "Flight of the Fish Eagle" which took us north of the reserve and across to Sodwana Bay and back down the coastline whilst spotting whale sharks, turtles, hammerhead sharts and dolphins....superb
- The animals!!! By far the most impressive part of any trip. A lot of people write off the fact that a small piece of land has the big 5 all on hand, but at Phinda you certainly don't feel like it is a confined space. For visitors with a short amount of time it is fantastic that within a few game drives you can see what you hoped, and in our case we even got lucky with a daytime leopard sighting

One last comment.... I think one of the success factors of Phinda is that the pre-agreed rate and the lack of cash exchanging hands at dinners or on game-drives or at the bar ADD massively to the whole experience. The staff and guides seem to have a unwavering focus on making your stay as memorable and spectacular as possible. I think the absence of paying for things continually support this and guests can tip everyone at the end on departure.

Overall I can not speak highly enough of what Phinda offers. It is a special place, a chance to de-stress and take in the sounds, sights and smell of nature in it's finest. I have referred many people who have without exception had a fantastic time. It's a real gem!

WanderingEarl33 Visited: December 2011 Reviewed: Jun 9, 2012

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

As perfect a safari as I could imagine
Overall rating

This was an absolute highlight of my visit to South Africa. The variety of wildlife was simply unreal as we saw every animal that I could possibly think of. It's a beautiful location with a combination of open expanses, hills and forests, plenty of dirt roads to get you into the middle of the reserve and rarely was another safari vehicle seen during the 3 days we were there.

The accommodation is five star and involves private villas in the middle of the reserve, each village as luxurious as can be. Transportation involved excellent condition, super comfortable safari vehicles and our guide and animal tracker were knowledgeable, friendly and just brilliant people to spend time with.

Erick Cuellar   –  
Guatemala GT
Visited: August 2007 Reviewed: May 22, 2012

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

Excellent. Great accommodations, and wonderful wildlife.
Overall rating

We had a great experience. It was kind of cold and little rain, but we enjoyed our stay. Since we entered the reserve, we started to view wildlife (giraffes, wilds hugs and we were lucky to see a Lion in the middle of the road). People are really nice. Phinda was great. Excellent food, well organized tours, luxury accommodations. We saw a lot of wildlife including, Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Wild Dogs, and many more.

Deb K M   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2010 Reviewed: May 20, 2012

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

Overall rating

Loved the prides of Lions! The hospitality of our guides were fun as they spread out a table topped with a checkered table cloth andadorned it with Happy Hour goodies..right before a huge thunder and lightening storm! We left in blackness while our guides shined bright lights on glaring eyes in the woods

laurent Museau   –  
France FR
Visited: March 2012 Reviewed: May 8, 2012

50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

Two visits 2011 and 2012 great place for game specialy for cheethas

Marleen   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: August 2007 Reviewed: Apr 11, 2012

Email Marleen  |  50-65 years of age

Overall rating

Accomodation is too expensive for us, but we were allowed to drive through the park and in a few hours we saw several lions, cheetahs and rhino's.

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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