&Beyond Phinda Homestead
Phinda Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Sophisticated and stylish, yet simple, Homestead Lodge provides the perfect venue to enjoy an African safari vacation with friends and family.
A full complement of staff, ready to attend to the needs of friends and family, will be at your beck and call for the whole duration of your holiday with &Beyond in that wonderful surroundings.
Designed for comfort and ease, this private safari villa offers guests generous courtyards, ponds and living areas .
Getting out of bed early is not necessary, since the beds are positioned so that guests can remain in bed while watching the animals through large sliding windows.
Included in the staff assigned to your group is a dedicated game ranger and tracker, as well as a private game drive vehicle, enabling you to set your own game drive times!
As if that is not enough, the hospitality of your personal chef and butler, trained to the top &Beyond standards, will have you feeling at ease in this private luxury villa. An interactive kitchen awaits your instructions for your favourite meals, or you can wait to be surprised at mealtime. If you should wish to enjoy a picnic on an extended game drive with your friends and family instead of having the meal around a large table, just speak the word and it will be yours.
A Day at Phinda Homestead
As &Beyond Phinda Homestead is a sole-use private safari villa, you will have an entire team of personnel at your beck and call, including a ranger and tracker, as well as a 4x4 safari vehicle, and can choose to spend your day any way you wish. The following is just one suggestion.
Morning Game Drive
Wake you to the adventure of a new day. Your ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the game drive over fragrant tea or coffee. &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is renowned for exceptional sightings of cheetah and the rare black rhino, in addition to the Big Five. There are also a number of resident lion prides and rangers will do their best to provide you with an exceptional sighting of all of these carnivores.
Return to your lodge for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Should you wish to spend the whole morning out in the bush, just ask your chef to pack you a delicious picnic breakfast.
If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast near your lodge, accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insights into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area, before returning in time for lunch.
Cool off with a refreshing dip in the pool, indulge in an afternoon siesta or simply watch the wildlife from your private veranda. Over a late afternoon tea, your ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the afternoon game drive.
Evening Game Drive
This game drive stretches from late afternoon and until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to the roar of lions in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals. Enjoy sun-downers in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon. If you prefer, you may be able to go on a boat cruise down the Mzinene River, watching the wildlife as they come down to drink.
A mouthwatering dinner is waiting for you at your lodge's boma or in a surprising bush location. If you wish, you can venture out again after dinner to see if you can spot any of the nocturnal predators out on the hunt.
Wildlife at Phinda Homestead
&Beyond Phinda is home to an abundance of wildlife, from the large mammals to the smallest antelope. However, it is the faster of predators that has a special place here.
Having reintroduced cheetah to the area after an absence of over fifty years, Phinda has quickly established a reputation as one of the best places to view and photograph these rare cats.
With much of &Beyond Phinda dominated by a mosaic of various savanna habitats, these speedy carnivores have plenty of space to carry out their explosive hunting technique, as well as enough cover to protect and shelter their cubs.
Along with cheetah, lion and leopard are tracked on the reserve on a daily basis and guests have a high likelihood of encountering these magnificent animals. Another success story at &Beyond Phinda is that of both the white and the more endangered black rhino. Brought back from the brink of extinction, both the grass easting white rhino and the shrub grazing black rhino are doing well at the reserve. While the white rhino favours water holes and wallows, the black rhino indulges its inquisitive nature in constant solitary rambles.
The elegant nyala antelope is a frequent sight at &Beyond Phinda, with the reserve boasting one of the highest densities of the species. With its dark brown coat, buttery yellow legs, shaggy mane and impossibly bushy tail, the male nyala is particularly spectacular, while the female contents itself with a less flashy chestnut coat.
The rare sand forest in the northern parts of &Beyond Phinda is the perfect environment for some of the rarer smaller species. The shy red duiker is found grazing on fallen leaves and fruit and the tiny suni, one of the smallest antelope species, may also be seen.
Activities at &Beyond Phinda Homestead
Mzinene River Boat Cruise
Begin or end your day with a leisurely cruise on the Mzinene River. A game drive with your ranger will take you down to the river. Wind your way along the reed-lined banks, where fever trees, gnarled sycamore figs and acacias provide nesting places for over 200 species of water birds that inhabit this riverine system. Photograph these beautiful birds in the soft light of dawn or dusk before returning to your lodge (no additional cost).
Maputaland Beach Adventure
The vast sandy beaches of the Maputaland coastline provide a beautiful setting for a half-day beach outing. Soak up the sun, splash in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, relax with a good book, play beach games, take leisurely walks along the shoreline or snorkel alongside Jesser Point, a protected marine reserve.*
Indian Ocean Scuba Safari
Recognised as one of the top ten dive sites in the world, Sodwana Bay offers an abundance of fish and marine life throughout the year. The gullies, ledges and pinnacles of the coral reef are home to more than 1 200 fascinating fish species.*
Black Rhino Tracking on Foot
Slip on a pair of walking shoes and spend the morning with an expert ranger and tracker to find the rare and endangered black rhino on foot. Follow rhino tracks, recognise rhino middens and scratching posts, and read the signs of the bush in search of your quarry.*
Turtle Nesting Adventure
(Available November to February)
For four months during the southern hemisphere summer, the enormous leatherback and loggerhead turtles emerge from the Indian Ocean at Sodwana Bay to lay their precious eggs in the sand. As the moon rises over the ocean, excitement grows as you drive along the deserted coastline in search of fresh turtle tracks that emerge from the ocean and travel along the beach in search of a suitable nesting site. Watch as the female turtle digs her nest and lays her clutch of up to a hundred eggs.*
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Drift in the warm currents of the Indian Ocean as you swim alongside the largest fish in the sea. Accompanied by a skipper and certified dive-master, head out to sea on board an inflatable vessel in search of these enormous fish. Once located, jump into the water to swim next to these massive yet gentle giants.*
Zulu Village Tour
Be invited into an authentic Zulu homestead, visit the training school of a local sangoma, or traditional healer, and shop for exquisite handicrafts in the community surrounding &Beyond Phinda. Get a glimpse into the rituals of daily life and see how tribal culture and traditional affect rural Zulu villagers in the modern world.*
(* at an additional cost)
Children at Homestead
A private safari villa that is booked for the sole use of one group, &Beyond Phinda Homestead is ideal for family travel. Four spacious suites are grouped around a common lounge and dining area, offering privacy for individual couples while providing shared spaces for the family to spend time together. A nanny’s room is available for childminders travelling with the family.
The exclusive use of a safari vehicle, as well as a dedicated ranger and tracker team, mean that game drives can be tailored for the shorter attention span of younger children, leaving and coming back to the lodge at any time. The private chef is available to prepare meals at any time, catering for early bedtimes and preparing special food for fussy eaters on request. Childminders are available to look after younger children (at an additional cost).
Three meals daily
Local brand spirits and beers
Teas and coffees
Refreshments on game drives
1-hour nature walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers (subject to availability)
Emergency medical evacuation insurance
Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip
Safari shop purchases
All items of a personal nature
Premium brand spirits and cigars
Adventures at Phinda
Government bed levy
Conservancy or park fees
All rates are inclusive of VAT and in South African Rand. Accommodation rates are per family villa per night.
Long-Stay Rates and Signature offers may be applied for.
Children under the age of 16 sharing with 1 or 2 adults are charged 50% of the adult rate. This is subject to the availability of triple rooms.
Private 4x4 safari vehicles can be pre-booked at Phinda Private Game Reserve at additional cost and subject to availability.
The Conservancy fee is not included in the above mentioned rates - these are charged per person per stay.
All pricing is indicative and subject to change. &Beyond Trading Terms apply.