Phinda Zuka Lodge is owned and run by &Beyond. This company specialises in high-quality camps and lodges throughout Safari Africa, operating with the central ethos ‘Care of the Land, Wildlife & People’. Zuka receives consistently excellent reviews for its quality of service. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including three meals daily, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, refreshments on game drives, all safari activities, transfers between the lodge and Phinda’s airstrip, and a laundry service. The lodge is available for exclusive bookings, and it’s open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via road transfer from Phinda’s airstrip. It’s situated in the western region of Phinda Game Reserve, within a scenic valley.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT &BEYOND PHINDA ZUKA LODGE:
Guest accommodation consists of four suites, housed within timber, stone, and thatch cottages spaced well apart within the site. Each cottage is elevated above ground level on timber decking. Set with lounge and dining furniture, the deck is a great spot for relaxing, dining, and enjoying your views! Sliding glass doors lead into the bedroom space, and there’s also an entrance at the back. The bedroom contains a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, an easy chair, one or two snug rugs, and some intriguing wall artwork. We love the blue-and-neutrals palette, which creates a very peaceful feel! The spacious en-suite washroom offers separate flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirrors over, double showers, and freestanding circular bathtub. Additional in-room amenities include air conditioning, fans, telephone, safe, hairdryer, and Wi-Fi.
Zuka’s communal lodge is also made out of timber, stone, and thatch. Its roof extends well over the walls to provide a shady deck – here, guests can relax and tuck in to delicious food and drink while marvelling at the scenery, including wildlife quenching their thirst at the local waterhole. The interiors include a comfortable lounge, with sumptuous sofas and armchairs around a large explorer’s chest put to use as a coffee table. There’s an assortment of occasional tables too, and many of the surfaces are strewn with interesting artefacts. Adjacent to this space is the interactive café kitchen, effectively an open-plan cooking-and-dining area in which, if they wish, guests can get involved in meal preparations. You can also dine in the al fresco boma, while the library offers an alternative zone for enjoying some quiet time, complete with internet access. Anyone in need of a little pampering can request an in-room massage, while keep-fit fans can burn off some calories by using &Beyond’s Gym-in-a-Basket. You can also take a stroll in the lovely garden, and take a dip in the refreshing swimming pool! The pool has particularly good views down to the waterhole.
ACTIVITIES AT &BEYOND PHINDA ZUKA LODGE:
An astonishing variety of activities is available here.
- Expertly guided game drives start out from the lodge twice daily, presenting opportunities to view Phinda’s wealth of wildlife! The reserve covers over 28,000 hectares, including savanna, woodland, forest, mountains, rivers, marshes, and pans. This diversity of ecosystems naturally supports a lot of different species.
- You can expect to see all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to numerous smaller predators and herbivores.
- There are also at least 380 types of bird! The lodge’s bush walks focus on taking a close look at the feathery friends in residence, as well as the plants and insects.
- You can also track black rhino, and you can get involved with &Beyond’s elephant conservation project by helping to change a radio collar on one of the grey giants.
- Photographic safaris in a specially adapted vehicle are available too. Lodge staff are also able to organise ocean safaris, as well as trips to Maputaland, tours of Mduku and Mnqobokazi communities, horse riding in False Bay, turtle nesting adventures at Sodwana Bay (November to January), and even sleep-outs in the middle of Phinda.
- Please note, children aged under 5 years are not permitted on game drives, and under 16s cannot participate in bush walks. However, the WILDChild programme supplies plenty of entertainments, such as nature walks, mini-treks, arts ‘n’ crafts, and making bows-and-arrows!