&Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is the ultimate, romantic and totally private safari getaway. Its location amongst the trees on the edge of an open grassland offers fantastic game viewing, with each suite carefully positioned for a prime view of the animals coming out to drink.
Overlooking Phinda’s unique wetland system at the edge of the sand forest, &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge offers an intimate safari experience, with elegant and gracious spaces designed for quiet contemplation of the wilderness. The six elegant thatched suites look out onto an ever-changing parade of animals. Each suite boasts not only a private sitting area and ensuite bathroom, but also a dressing room and game viewing deck where guests can indulge in game viewing from the comfort of their private plunge pool or share it with a thirsty elephant.
Whether from the intimate guest areas or the seclusion of their own suite, guests watch the daily details of the bush come to life, from the antics of the monkeys and the prolific birdlife to the herds of zebra or families of warthog ambling along the open vlei. Dining takes place with an African twist on expansive viewing decks open to the night sky or in a beautiful and remote bush setting.
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.