Phinda Game Reserve safaris, tours & holiday packages
Top quick-fix Big Five viewing
This prestigious 230-square-kilometre private reserve reliably produces good sightings of lion, cheetah, elephant, rhino and other wildlife over the course of a couple of days
Phinda, the largest private reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, provides an exclusive guided game viewing experience comparable in style and quality to the legendary private reserves bordering the Kruger Park. All the Big Five are present, including the endangered black rhino. Phinda is also home to plentiful white rhino, but the biggest local specialty is cheetah, which tends to be very habituated, allowing for great close-up behavioural viewing.
Popular Phinda Game Reserve safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five
per person10 days
Start your trip in South Africa and finish in Mauritius. Experience the stunning beaches and the Big Five in the Phinda Private Game Reserve.
per person11 days
Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and an elegant Big Five safari for a stylish South African holiday
per person11 days
Over three visits to Phinda, I've been rewarded some of my most memorable cheetah viewing anywhere in Africa - mothers with several cubs on two visits, as well as attempted hunts, and males prowling their territory. The classy lodges and well-trained guides are a pleasure too.
More on Phinda Game Reserve holidays
Phinda has an unusual history. Situated on the eastern border of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the reserve was forged from a tract of neglected farmland in 1991, following a massive clean-up operation in which 15 tons of scrap metal was removed. The management then embarked on an ambitious programme of reintroductions. Lion, elephant, cheetah, rhino and buffalo were relocated to the reserve to supplement the then-skittish resident populations of leopard and various antelope.
Guests spending two nights in Phinda can reasonably expect to see all the Big Five (except perhaps leopard, which are quite erratic and skittish). A handsome local specialty is a nyala, a spiraled-horn antelope endemic to the eastern coastal belt of southern Africa. Other common ungulates include giraffe, zebra, greater kudu, impala, while a rare patch of sand forest protects the diminutive suni antelope and red duiker. Phinda's varied ecosystems are reflected in a bird checklist of 415 species, with raptors particularly well represented.
Guided bird walks in the sand forest offer the opportunity to seek out several localised specials, including Neergard’s sunbird, pink-throated twinspot and African broadbill. As with most private reserves, Phinda is closed to day visitors and all game viewing activities in from open-sided 4x4s driven by expert guides. The reserve management operates six stylish lodges, ranging from small and upmarket to tiny and ultra-exclusive.
Phinda Game Reserve Map
Phinda Game Reserve's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Phinda Game Reserve
The best time to visit the Phinda Private Game Reserve is during the dry winter months of May to September - which provides excellent game viewing opportunities as the wildlife will congregate around the water sources. go there.
Reviews on our Phinda Game Reserve safaris
We went on Safari to Phinda Game Reserve which was our choice as was the choice of two nights on the Rovos train.Our agent was quite happy with helping us with anything we requested. We worked out dates of where we wanted to be and when and…
Madeline & Raymond Goodman
We went on Safari to Phinda Game reserve which was our choice as was the the choice of 2 nights on the Rovos train.Our agent was quite happy with helping us with anything we requested. We worked out dates of where we wanted to be and when…
Madeline & Reymond Goodman
Excellent combination of calling to chat about plans and details, followed up with emailing of detailed information. Made all arrangements easy for us from the actual booking to payment procedures, exchange rate recommendations, visa advice,…
from South Africa
The offer... Book a three-night stay or more at &Beyond Phinda Forest, Mountain or Vlei Lodge, between 15 April and 30 June 2018, and receive a 25% discount on your stay. &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is home to seven extraordinary… read more
Imagine for a moment having a sumptuous breakfast in the midst of a pride of African lions or a herd of gigantic rhinos with the glowing, rising tropical sun in the backdrop. How about swimming with the dolphins just after a heavy lunch… read more
Snorkelling, diving, game watching, cultural learning and beautiful accomodation are the hallmarks of the Phinda Private Game Reserve. This small but powerful reserve is home to facinating wildlife species and a unique ecosystem that never… read more