Best big five safari in KwaZulu-Natal
Activity adventure | Natural world | Off the beaten track | Safari | Wildlife
Offering the best big five safari in KwaZulu-Natal, Phinda is a large reserve spanning over 22,000 hectares and home two seven unique ecosystems. Set in a rare and beautiful sand forest, the dense canopy ensures privacy and a calming atmosphere of Zulu Zen. Located between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it is home to unique wildlife, over 380 bird species and the marine diversity off the nearby coast is said to rival the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Phinda is approximately 1.5 hours from Richards Bay Airport, with SA Express offering daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay.
16 luxurious air-conditioned glass suites accommodate guests at Forest Lodge, towering above trees, built upon stilts and appear to float above the ground. As one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges, the exclusive suites feature floor to ceiling glass walls, spacious areas, private verandas and en-suite facilities.
An a-la carte restaurant serves diners at the Phinda Forest Lodge, with a variety of meals on offer. Lunch is served either on the terrace, patio or in the dining room, and dinner held under the stars in an open-air boma. Guests can request to dine in the wild, eating within the bush amongst scenic views and wildlife grazing on the open plain in the distance.
Two daily game drives, commencing at dusk and dawn, provide ample opportunities for guests to spot the abundance of wildlife, including cheetah, lion, leopard, antelope and rhino. For those seeking something different to the game drives, specialist safaris including birding, photographic, rhino capture and research, tracking and family and private safaris can be arranged. A variety of adventures including Zulu village tours, Maputaland beach adventures, night turtle drives, scuba safaris, endangered wild cats projects, swimming with whale sharks and whale watching can be arranged, alongside river cruises and canoeing on the Mzinene River.
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