One of the world’s first truly eco-designed luxury lodges, &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge is pure secluded bliss. After an action-packed game drive, guests unwind in their own ‘glass box’ deep in the rare sand forest. With floor to ceiling glass walls, towering torchwood trees, delicate, leaf-filtered light and rustling forest sounds combine to create a pervading sense of peace and calm.
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, Forest Lodge is a mass of exquisite contradiction. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls invite the forest inside, while the dense tree canopy shelters and provides privacy. Floating on stilts above the forest floor while tiny duiker graze below, 16 Zulu Zen suites blend into the dappled shade. Oversized bathtubs near huge glass windows offer yet another perspective on the play of leaves and light outside.
Wildlife tracks overlap on sandy pathways leading to shady decks that peep out from among the foliage, secluded from all but an occasional red tong squirrel in the treetops. Fresh duiker prints point the way towards the lodge’s rim flow pool, where guests can relax in the shade of the wooded canopy. As night falls, warm firelight plays on the branches from inside the boma, where the flavours and aromas of a hearty meal await.
A stronghold for the elegant cheetah and the endangered black rhino, as well as the famed Big Five, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses 23 000 hectares of prime wilderness land in KwaZulu-Natal. A birding haven, the reserve is described as Seven Worlds of Wonder, thanks to its seven distinct habitats, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest interspersed with mountain ranges, river courses, marshes and pans. Home to 1 000 hectares of Africa’s remaining rare dry sand forest, the reserve enjoys easy access to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular reefs of Sodwana, offering a unique combination of bush and beach adventures.
Guests at &Beyond Phinda experience unforgettable interpretive game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles, led by expert &Beyond-trained rangers and Zulu trackers, as well as exciting optional adventures in the water and on the beach.
&Beyond Phinda is accessible to guests in two-wheel drive vehicles. Phinda lies six hours by road from Johannesburg, three hours from Durban and an hour and a half from Richards Bay.
Federal Air operates a daily direct return flight from OR Tambo to Phinda. Sa Express offers daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay, followed by an hour and half transfer to the reserve. Phinda Airwing can also arrange private charters from anywhere in South Africa directly to the reserve’s airstrip.
Weather & climate
&Beyond Phinda has a subtropical climate with hot, humid and wet summers from September to April and warm to cool and dry winters from May to August. Rainfall averages about 1 000 mm per annum and much of it comes in the form of short, intense afternoon thunderstorms. Rain can be expected throughout the year.
Summer: Daytime temperatures may rise above 35˚C
Winter: Nights rarely drop below 10˚C
The currency is the South African rand.
Visas and documents
Nationals of other African countries often do not require visas for South Africa. Visitors must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of travel and should have two blank pages available in their passport.