Phinda Resource Reserve | South Africa Travel Tips & Reviews | Africa Point
Phinda Resource Reserve
Cheetah, Phinda R.R., South Africa
Phinda Resource Reserve
White Rhinos, Phinda R.R., South Africa
Phinda Resource Reserve
Elephant Herd, Phinda R.R., South Africa
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Phinda Resource Reserve


The haunting cry of the Fish Eagle echoes from the verdant green river banks as your riverboat glides soundlessly past loitering Crocodiles and wallowing Hippos. Back on land, the distant roar of a lion reminds you that it is sunset and the start of the hunt...


Welcome to Phinda Resource Reserve!


Best Time to Visit:

All year around - April to October are the cooler and drier months.

Average Visitor Rating:

5 out of 5 'Pawprints' Based on 0 Review(s)
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Conservation and Preservation at Phinda

Phinda Resource Reserve is something of a relocation and conservation miracle; the name “Phinda” means “return to the wild” and prior to 1990, the land on which the Reserve now stands was an area of degraded farmland, hardly able to sustain the local residents. In one of the world’s largest private game relocations, 34,600 acres of this useless land was turned into a pristine wildlife reserve with a strong emphasis on conservation and community involvement. Alien vegetation was removed and most of the original game species that used to walk these lands were re-introduced. Ownership of the land was returned to the local Zulu tribes from whom it is now leased, and today Phinda is an award-winning private game reserve where you can enjoy the ultimate wildlife adventure in the very lap of luxury. Take a look at what is in store for you when you visit Phinda Resource Reserve.


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The Big Five, Several Endangered Species, Sea Turtles and Other Highlights

The Big Five

Phinda occupies a unique region including seven distinct ecosystems, often referred to as the “Seven Worlds of Wonder” which together provide the perfect living environment to a wide diversity and abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five, a major draw card. There are herds of elephant which are easily spotted as they glide silently thorough the bush and because all the predators are very well monitored and tracked on a daily basis, good sightings of all the Big Five are just about guaranteed.


Endangered Species

Most people would not consider Cheetah to be endangered, but unfortunately their numbers are dwindling mainly due to loss of habitat in regions that have become farmland. At Phinda their conservation efforts have been rewarded with a thriving cheetah population which is well monitored and you stand an excellent chance of getting to see these remarkable big cats up close. The Reserve also has several rare Black Rhino to seek out.


Sea Turtles

Phinda enjoys an amazing location between the iMfolozi Game Reserve in northern Kwa-zulu Natal and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, and is in close proximity to the breeding grounds of the highly endangered Sea Turtle. If you visit at the right time of year you could even be lucky enough to witness the hatchlings make the perilous journey from egg to ocean, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Birding Paradise

With over 400 species of resident and migrant birds to observe, Phinda is a veritable paradise for twitchers.  



Safaris in the Phinda Resource Reserve

It is your game drives at Phinda that will make a visit to this Reserve such a special and unique experience. Because you are on a private Reserve the rangers and trackers have the freedom to go off-road and take you right up close to the animals. All the predators are tracked and monitored on a daily basis and the extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable rangers know just where to find them! You will be taken to within a few meters of Lion, Cheetah, Rhino and Elephant if the opportunity presents itself, instead of having to peer through thick bush as is the case in many other parks where vehicles have to remain on the roads. Morning and evening drives take about 3-4 hours, giving you plenty of time to track and observe, and if you have a special interest in a particular animal the guides will do their best to find it for you. The evening game drives return to camp after dark, giving you the opportunity to seek some of the nocturnal residents on your way back or possible follow a hunt.

Phinda offers several specialist safaris including a “7 wonders in 7 days” package which gives you an in-depth look at each of the 7 ecosystems in the park. Birding Safaris, Bush Skills Safaris, Leopard Research Safaris and several more options are available.



Other Activities

Snorkelling and Diving Package

Phinda is the only Game Reserve in the country that can include a full Marine wildlife package! Their proximity to the coast means that you can enjoy a beach excursion for snorkelling and scuba diving on a magnificent coral reef, deep-sea fishing and even turtle viewing. Getting to the beach will include a quick flight from the Reserve.



Canoeing along the Mzinene River is a great opportunity to get really close to Crocodiles, Hippos and many rare aquatic birds. If this sounds a bit too adventurous for you, see it all from a riverboat instead.


Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris are a great way to get a different view of all the flora and fauna, and walk off some of the great food! Your guide is ready and willing to share his knowledge with you, and is there to protect you from the wildlife if necessary.


Relaxing by the Pool  

At some of the luxury lodges each suite has its own private mini-infinity pool with a view out over the bush!



Accommodation at Phinda

There are 6 luxury lodges to choose from at Phinda. The two larger lodges can accommodate between 30 and 50 guests. Then there are two small lodges with 6 suites each (very exclusive- each has a private plunge pool) and two exclusive-use villas for up to 8 guests. All the accommodation is spacious and beautifully decorated with great attention to detail, to ensure the very best African bush ambiance. Meals at Phinda are a treat!  You will dine al fresco and be served excellent contemporary cuisine with an African slant. Of course there is also a wellness Spa for pampering.



How to Get There

You can drive to Phinda in about 3.5 hours from Durban, or 6.5 hours from Johannesburg. The quickest way to get there is to fly to Richards Bay  (one hour from either Johannesburg or Durban) and then either drive to the Reserve or make use of the light aircraft shuttle between Richards Bay airport and Phinda.



Best Time to Visit

Phinda is a true year-round destination with something for everyone at any time of year. Winter, from June to August, is the dry season and best time for game viewing, and it is also cooler; (Jan/Feb can be very hot indeed in this sub-tropical region). The best time to see the Turtle hatchlings is around late May/June, while baby animals are most common in spring, around October/November.

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