Boasting seven different ecosystems and bordering the iSimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park and Mkhuze Game Reserve, the 18,000 hectare Phinda Private Game Reserve is probably the best place in South Africa to see cheetahs plus the ‘Big Five’, antelopes and prolific bird life, particularly species favouring the rare sand forest habitat. Phinda Isilwane in Zulu means ‘the return of the wildlife’. This is very apt for this private game reserve which before 1990 was largely devoted to cattle contained by miles of fencing. The removal of the fences since 1990 and the reintroduction of native flora and fauna are a huge conservation success and an inspiration for other similar projects in South Africa. In the long term it is hoped to integrate this park with those nearby to allow the wildlife greater range. The reserve’s experienced rangers and trackers will guide you to on wildlife drives and walks and help with bird watching from the hide. Other activities include crocodile and hippo-spotting by boat, horse-riding, learning about Zulu culture and excursions to the coast for snorkelling and scuba diving and for the chance to see nesting Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles in season (South Africa’s summer months c. November-February). There are currently six luxurious lodges to choose from, each with a unique outlook and all with fabulous service.
Highlights of South Africa
Phinda Private Game Reserve