Overview – Phinda GR
Phinda is Kwazulu Natal's best private game reserve. It is on a par with some of the best reserves in the popular Sabi Sands near Kruger National Park, except that it is fully fenced and thus not part of a greater ecosystem. All of the Big Five are easily spotted. The reserve's flagship species is cheetah and sightings of this gracious big cat are unsurpassed.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing with all of the Big Five present
- Open-vehicle game drives with top guides
- Night drives and walking safaris available
- Several luxury lodges belonging to the &Beyond group to choose from
- Only very expensive, fully inclusive packages available
- Big emphasis on checking off flagship species
- Fenced environment doesn't offer an experience as authentic as in large ecosystems
Phinda offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the country. All big safari animals, including the Big Five, are usually spotted on a two-night stay. Aside from the Big Five, there is a major focus on cheetah, as Phinda is renowned for its sightings of this big cat. Both rhino species are present and regularly spotted.
Four different lodges have been positioned to experience the different habitats within the park. Forest Lodge is set deep in the heart of the rare, dry sand forest, while Mountain Lodge looks out over the reserve from the top of a koppie. Vlei Lodge overlooks the vast wetland, and Rock Lodge sits suspended over a deep valley below.
Weather & Climate
Phinda Game Reserve has a sub-tropical climate that brings plenty of humidity and rain during the summer period (October to April). February is by far the stickiest month, with the heat and precipitation at their highest. By contrast, winter (May to September) is hot but not sweltering, with things cooling right down at night.
Best Time to Visit
You can see animals at any time of year at Phinda, but the drier months (May to September) have the best conditions for wildlife watching. There’s little rain, and as a consequence, the undergrowth recedes, so animals are easier to spot. They also make their way to local waterholes and rivers, as other water sources have dried up. That said, the rainy months (October to April) are when you’ll see migrating birds and newborn animals.
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Phinda Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Melissa is an award winning travel writer for Fodors, Frommers and Insight, including guides to Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Phinda – practically perfect private preserve
&Beyond used to be called the CC Africa and before that, the Conservation Corporation. In that guise, they were amongst the very first pioneers of Africa’s great tourism success story, marrying restoration of derelict land, the...
Latest User Review
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!