An intimate safari retreat, &Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge is situated amongst densely wooded hills studded with aloes. Available as a sole-use private villa, everything guests need is right within reach – a dedicated game ranger and game drive vehicle, an interactive kitchen with a dedicated chef, a butler, a comfortable library with Internet access and TV, a sitting room with a fireplace for evening chats, their own swimming pool and even a private watering hole.
Cradled in a valley and surrounded by densely wooded hills studded with aloes, Zuka Lodge embodies cool, coastal bush style. Four thatched ensuite cottages cluster around a central guest area with an open, interactive kitchen, a large wooden dining table for friends and family, and a cosy fireplace for evening gatherings. Each bush cottage features a private sitting area and ensuite bathroom with an oversized bathtub perfectly situated in the middle of a circular stone bath chamber. With all views pointing towards a nearby watering hole where herds of antelope may well be settling in for the night or an opportunistic owl may be making a meal of the insect life attracted to the floodlight that shines on the water, guests are guaranteed never to run out of experiences to share.
When booked for sole use, a private butler, chef, ranger and tracker are ready to indulge guests’ every need and an open 4×4 safari vehicle is provided for exclusive use.
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.