Click for the homepage of The Safari Guide, your resource to a safari holiday in Africa

Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa

Cheetah: All the Big 5 as well as Cheetah can be found at Phinda

Phinda Game Reserve

Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are present in the Game Reserve

Stunning wildlife in the St Lucia area

Phinda borders the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park in Natal, South Africa

The Safari Holiday Booker - Book your Safari Online

Safari Holiday Shop

Book your perfect South African Safari Online >> Safari Holiday Shop

A guide to South African Game Parks and reserves

Game Reserves & Parks

Our guide to the best game reserves and National parks in South Africa >> more

Car hire South Africa

Car Hire in South Africa

We've searched car hire companies who offer car hire in South Africa, so you don't have to Try it now!

Cheap Flights to South Africa

Flights to South Africa

Try our flight centre South Africa for cheap flights to South Africa and grab yourself a bargain >> more

Phinda Resource Reserve

Phinda is a private game reserve that shares a border with Mkhuze game reserve that forms part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it is located between the Indian Ocean and the St Lucia wetland park, a world heritage site. Phinda has 23 000 hectares of pristine bush, that consist of seven unique ecosystems, home to all of the Big 5 and is also known for it's sightings of Cheetah.

The Phinda reserve was once all farmland, but now has been completely restored to into a pristine wildlife area. This achievement is actually reflected in it's name as “Phinda” means 'return' in Zulu and is referring to the work done in returning the area back to the wildlife.


  • All of Africa's Big five
  • About 400 species of birds
  • Twice daily game drives
  • Walking Safaris
  • Leopard Research

Phinda Walking Safaris

Phinda's guided bush walks offer you the chance to observe Phinda’s pristine wilderness and it's wildlife up close and personal. A walking safari differs to a game drive in that nothing compares to the adrenalin rush of an encounter with wild animals on foot.

Because you are traveling at a much slower pace than in a vehicle, you will get more time to identify animal tracks (spoor) as well as take a look at insects, birds and learn more about Phinda’s diverse habitats and fascinating ecology.

Phinda walking safaris range from a short pre-sunset walk to 5 hour morning walks returning to your lodge in time for breakfast. All walking safaris have a maximum of 8 people (must be at least 16 years old) and are led by a qualified armed field guide and a tracker.

Game Drives

As well as the bush walks, Phinda obviously also offers game drives in open 4x4 vehicles. These drives are led by a fully qualified and experienced rangers (field guides) as well as a Zulu tracker to help in locating the best wildlife sightings.

Mzinene River Cruise

Another highlight of Phinda is a dawn or sunset cruise on the Mzinene river, you can also arrange to go canoeing on the river as well.

Leopard Research

Phinda offers a number of more specialist safaris, including a 2 night safari where you join in with the Phinda research team who monitor the daily movements and behaviour of the reserves leopards. Leopards can be extreamly difficult to find due to their solitary and shy nature and are only seen by a few very luck people on a normal safari. Whilst no animal sighting in the wild can ever be guaranted, this safari gets as close to doing so as is possible.

The St. Lucia Wetland Reserve

The Phinda Private Game Reserve borders the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (iSimangaliso) and thus offers the unique opportunity to also explore the very different habitats of this region. This means from Phinda, you can organise to go scuba diving or game fishing in Sodwana Bay, horse riding through False Bay Nature Reserve, take a breathtaking flight over the whole area.

For more on the whole area take a look at the Greater St Lucia Wetland Reserve

Malaria Area

Phinda sits within an area where there is malaria and it is recommended that you take the necessary precautions if you visit this area. More information on Malaria.

Phinda Accommodation

Within Phinda, there are four luxury lodges to choose from:

Phinda Forest LodgePhinda Forest Lodge

Probably the most spectacular of all the lodges at Phinda, is the Forest lodge which has glass walls and is raised off the forest floor, so as to minimize the impact on the rare sand forest. In all there are 16 glass "chalets" all built on stilts that gives the illusion of them floating between the rare Dry Sand Forest floor and the towering torchwood trees. Each dwelling is located in such a way as to offer complete privacy and each have their own separate bathroom with bath and shower and their own private bar and verandah.

The main lodge has a swimming pool, dining area and game viewing deck with panoramic views of the plains below.

Phinda Mountain Lodge BedroomPhinda Mountain Lodge

The Mountain Lodge at Phinda has the impressive Lebombo mountains as a backdrop, overlooking the reserve. There are 25 private chalets all with air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms, personal bar and verandah.

The main lodge area also features a curio shop, outdoor boma where some meals are served, swimming pool and game viewing deck.

Phinda Rock LodgePhinda Rock Lodge

Rock lodge is the most intimate of the lodges at Phinda, with only six chalets. Each made of only natural materials: stone and wood, built into a rock face and sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Leopard Rock. Each chalet has it's own en suite bathrooms, private plunge pool and game-viewing deck and all are air-conditioned. Three of the rooms have outdoor showers for a truly wild experience.

In the main lodge, the guest dining area has large fireplaces which then open out onto a shaded deck with sweeping views of the Lebombo Mountains and bushveld below and beyond.

If you are staying that the Rock Lodge, you are welcome to visit the African crafts shop at Phinda Mountain Lodge.

Phinda Vlei Lodge Game Viewing DeckPhinda Vlei Lodge

Vlei Lodge is situated in the rare Dry Sand Forest overlooks the wetland area on the reserve where from your room you can often see herds of antelope and zebra.

The Vlei lodge has 6 air-conditioned glass and thatch chalets that sit on stilts. They all have an en-suite bathroom as well as a personal bar and private plunge pools.

To make reservations at any of the lodges above, see contact details below

Map of Phinda & Surrounding Area

Below is a map showing the location of Phinda Game Reserve and other points of interest in the surrounding area including the other sections of St. Lucia.


Contact Information

Phinda Resource Reserve:

General enquiries: +27 11 809 4300.
Office hours are 08h30 to 17h00 (GMT +2) Monday to Friday.

Search the Safari Holiday Guide

St Lucia South Africa

Hippo, Lake St. LuciaOne of the seven World Heritage Sites found in South Africa, the Greater St. Lucia Wetland reserve has something for everyone: game viewing in any of the four game reserves, fishing, boating, scuba diving, hiking, horseriding, whale and bird watching. The reserve consists of a stunning variety of unique habitats: lagoons, swampland, mangroves, swamp forests, different types of thornveld and savannah, subtropical coastal forest, dunes and sandy beaches as well as coral reefs offshore.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park

White Rhino: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National ParkOnce the ancient Hunting Grounds of the mighty Zulu people and now with one of the largest populations of White Rhino in the world as well as Black Rhino and all the other of Africa's Bug 5 animals, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park is one of the best National Parks in South Africa... more >>

Cape Vidal South Africa

Beach, Cape VidalSet in a sheltered bay and located in the north eastern section of the Greater St Lucia Wetland reserve, Cape Vidal is the perfect place sport fishing, snorkeling, long ealks on the beach and, birdwatching as well as easy access to the stunning wildlife on the easter shores of Lake St Lucia. more >>

South-Africa FlagSouth-Africa

Steiner Safari BinocularsAfter your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday. So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> Binocular Reviews



Back to Top

Home | Contact Us | Sitemap

The African Holiday and Travel Resource