Phinda is made up of 17,500 hectares of conservation land bordering the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park two and a half hours’ drive north of Durban. It has seven different ecosystems within the park and combines grassland, woodland, wetland and forest with mountains, rivers, marshes and pans. With such varied habitat, it is able to sustain an enormous range of wildlife. Not only is it home to all of the Big Five, but cheetah and black rhino sightings are common. It is also excellent for birdwatching, with more than 380 species of bird.
Each of Phinda’s four main lodges is situated in a different habitat, as is illustrated by the names – Forest Lodge, Mountain Lodge, Rock Lodge and Vlei Lodge. There are also two smaller lodges, designed for sole use by families and private groups. You can even split your stay between two different lodges to get a more varied experience.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy both on and off site – game drives, bush walks, canoeing on the Mzinene River, white rhino tracking and even a Mzinene riverboat cruise to watch the sunrise or sunset. Scenic flights over the reserve and scuba diving off the coast can be arranged too. It is also possible to combine a stay in one of the lodges with a walking safari, during which you sleep in a spacious tent offering a comfortable bed and an ensuite toilet.