Phinda Forest Lodge

Kwazulu Natal & The North Coast, South Africa

On Request

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Phinda Forest Lodge


Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the spectacular Phinda Forest Lodge fuses spectacular architectural design with the ultimate in conservation principles. The creation of this award-winning safari lodge was an exemplary exercise in building eco-sensitive structures with a minimal impact on its surrounding environment.

The main lodge is decorated in minimalistic style, open on three sides with its guest area leading out on to a deck that has views over an area of vlei immediately in front of the camp. The rooms are also decorated in the same style, reminiscent of Asian furnishing, but by using dark woods, to maintain an African feel. Phinda Forest Lodge also boasts a rim flow swimming pool to escape to in the heat and humidity of the day, whilst enjoying its panoramic views over the surrounding plains.

Phinda reserve 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. At the Phinda Forest Lodge, cheetah, lion and leopard are tracked on the reserve on a daily basis and guests have a high likelihood of encountering these magnificent animals.

We Love
  • Phinda Forest Lodge is one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges
  • Sensitively constructed in one of the world’s remaining rare sand forest
  • Floor to ceiling glass walls allow close-up views of small animals and birds
  • Seven habitats allow for much greater diversity in species and landscapes
Need to Know
  • Phinda Forest Lodge has just four luxury cottages
  • Located about three-hour drive from Durban
  • Activities include game drives, canoeing, rhino-tracking
  • Best for Adventure, Honeymoon, Wildlife, Eco/ethical tourism


Stay Phinda Forest Lodge has just four thatched bush cottages with 16 suites. These are built on stilts that appear to float between the forest floor and the towering torchwood trees. Inventively designed in a style affectionately known as Zulu Zen, each handcrafted, glass-encased suite boasts a minimalist flair that incorporates high-gloss wooden floors, richly tactile fabrics and brightly accented Zulu artefacts. The suites feature luxurious ensuite bathrooms with slate hand basins and viewing decks. 

The Camp The main guest area at the Phinda Forest Lodge has expansive decks with a spacious seating area and rim-flow swimming pool, offering panoramic views of an open meadow where animals frequently graze. Day meals are served in the on the open-air dining deck. A traditional African boma is enclosed with a wooden fence and offers lantern-lit open-air dining beneath a canvas of stars. 

ChildCare Children of 8 years and above are welcome to stay at the Phinda Forest Lodge, but there are no specific facilities available. Children aged 6 to 11 can participate in regular game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. 

Safari Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 56,800 acres of protected wildlife land in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. With its seven distinct habitats, Phinda is often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans. Phinda is also home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), as well as 415 bird species. The reserve is particularly well known for close-up sightings of the elegant yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino.

Experience Adventures at Phinda Forest Lodge include twice-daily game drives, bush walks and seasonal river cruises. Additional activities include cultural excursions, scuba safaris and specialist safaris such as canoeing on the Mzinene River, white-rhino tracking, rhino-darting, and game drives in your private 4 x 4 vehicle. The lodge is situated in close proximity to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, offering an unmatched combination of bush and beach adventures.

Phinda Forest Lodge Kwazulu Natal & The North Coast, South Africa

Location Phinda Forest Lodge lies within the 56,800 acres of Phinda private Game Reserve, in the Maputaland region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Neighbours the iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park – a World Heritage Site – to the east and is only 30 km due west of the white-fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean.

Getting There South Africa’s OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg, is the major gateway, offering both domestic and international connections. SA Express offer daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay, followed by a one hour and 30-minutes road transfer to the reserve. Private charters from anywhere in South Africa can be arranged to Phinda’s airstrip. Phinda Forest Lodge is three-hour drive from Durban. 

When to go Phinda has a subtropical climate; hot, humid and wet. Summers from September to April are warm. Game viewing is better during the drier months, beginning April when the weather is cool and dry till September. The wildflower season is generally from mid-August to mid-September while whale watching season runs from June to November. South Africa rains start end of October until March, with typical afternoon thundershowers in April.