There’s getting close. And then there’s getting so close that you can count a leopard’s individual whiskers and hear the rugged huffing of a buffalo herd. We’ve always been delighted by the intimacy of experiences at Phinda Private Game Reserve, where close-up wildlife sightings bring goose bumps to the arm and stirrings in the soul.
Lush green landscapes and diverse habitats
Phinda is lush and green, located close to the World Heritage iSimangaliso wetlands on the eastern coast of South Africa. There’s a real abundance of flora here, which supports a rich concentration of mammals.
We’ve always been really impressed by how the reserve’s seven distinct habitats can be connected on a single game drive. It’s like driving through the best of Africa and getting close to it all in a single morning. The safari can then be further complemented by seeing sea turtles along the nearby beaches or taking diving excursions in the Indian Ocean.
A great destination for elusive wildlife
Cheetahs and black rhinos are some of Africa’s most sought after yet elusive sights - but not in Phinda Game Reserve. We have many fond memories of inquisitive cubs and proud horns emerging from the bushes. While the reserve is home to the big five, it’s the role as sanctuary for threatened wildlife that makes the experience so special.
Exceptional service and guiding
Phinda is operated by &Beyond, one of the pre-eminent names in the luxury safari industry. Over the years, we’ve been extremely impressed by the knowledge of the guides, and their ability to tailor the experience dependent on the mood. A handful of lodges are spaced out across the game reserve and it’s not often that you encounter another vehicle.
Phinda Game Reserve contrasts the classic savannah experiences found elsewhere in South Africa. You’ll discover a new cast of animals and habitats, whether it’s your only safari stop or you’re including Phinda in a multi-destination safari. We’d recommend at least three days to get the best from this private reserve. Because, after one day of such intimacy, you’ll be very eager to continue the experience.