Phinda Vlei Lodge

Kwazulu Natal & The North Coast, South Africa

On Request

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Phinda Vlei Lodge


Phinda Vlei Lodge is an elegant safari accommodation, set within Phinda Private Game Reserve, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This lush Maputaland region, encompasses seven distinct habitats sheltering an abundance of wildlife, including Africa's iconic Big Five. This exclusive eco-friendly, glass-walled lodge overlooks the vlei (wetland), where you are likely to see a dazzling variety of wildlife including herds of zebra and grazing antelope. The atmosphere here is personal, mixed with style and pure luxury.

Phinda Vlei Lodge offers six elegant thatched suites. Built in classic style with teak, glass and thatch roof, it overlook Phinda’s unique ’vlei ’, at the edge of the forest. These air-conditioned suites with private plunge pools, provide expansive views of the surrounding ecosystem where never-ending parade of wildlife come to drink from the watering hole. The ever-changing game viewing can be seen from any of the rooms fitted with ground to ceiling glass doors.

Located near the lush waterways of the Saint Lucia Wetland Park, Phinda Vlei Lodge is surrounded by Phinda’s prime conservation land. Encompassing seven distinct habitats, it shelters an abundance of wildlife, including Africa’s Big Five and over 380 bird species. Because of this unique location, guests of Phinda Vlei Lodge have the most exclusive safari experience. Add this with the nearby coast of Sodwana, rival to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and you have a perfect holiday.

We Love
  • Phinda Vlei Lodge is a romantic lodge in the bush with stilted glass suites
  • Excellent Big Five game viewing, including cheetah and rare black rhino
  • Overlooking an open wetland, or vlei, where animals come down to drink
  • Close-up sightings of wildlife even from the bedroom and bathroom
Need to Know
  • Phinda Vlei Lodge has six air-conditioned suites with private plunge pools
  • Located north of Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Activities include game drives, beach visits and scuba safaris 
  • Best for Adventure, Honeymoon, Wildlife, Eco/ethical tourism



Stay Phinda Vlei Lodge has six air-conditioned suites, decorated in a subtle blend of North and West African styles, with hints of a Balinese influence. Each of the six suites boasts a large, airy double bedroom with spacious en-suite bathroom and gorgeous free-standing tubs and a private plunge pool. The outdoor deck, overlooking the vlei, is ideal for watching wildlife, including herds of grazing antelope, giraffe, and zebra, as well as a variety of birdlife. 

The Camp Nestled below the Lebombo Mountains of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Phinda Vlei Lodge is an architectural gem full of light Asian inspired structures and warm African interiors. The atmosphere is exclusive and personal, with a private butler service who sees to every necessity and desire. Meals are served on the expansive outdoor deck in the main area around a roaring fire or in a beautiful and remote bush settings, to keep the safari experience alive. 

ChildCare Children of 8 years and above are welcome to stay at the Phinda Vlei Lodge, but there are no specific facilities available. Children aged 8 to 12 can participate in regular game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion.

Wildlife Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 23,000 hectares (56,800 acres) of protected wildlife land in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Showcasing one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, Phinda is home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), as well as 415 bird species. The Phinda Vlei Lodge is particularly well known for close-up sightings of the elegant yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino.

Experience Guests at Phinda Vlei Lodge experience unforgettable interpretive game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, led by professionally trained rangers and Zulu trackers, as well as a wide range of optional adventures in the bush and on the beach. 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 Vlei Lodge Kwazulu Natal & The North Coast, South Africa

Location Phinda Vlei Lodge lies within the northern region of the 56,800-acre Phinda Private Game Reserve. Situated 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 Vlei 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.