andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge South Africa
andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
andBeyond is owned by two major shareholders, Yellowoods (the Enthoven family) and the Getty Family Trusts.
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
Clinton Jardine joined the andBeyond family in 2009, and with over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, he brings a wealth of knowledge as well as a passion for delivering guest delight.
5 star luxury safari lodge
In order to continuously deliver on the exceptional guest experience we are renowned for, andBeyond constantly reviews every aspect of our operations, from food and activities to hospitality and the upkeep of our facilities, giving our guests more for less.
andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
History & Story
andBeyond designs personalised high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America, offering discerning travellers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be. Operating 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations in Africa and South America which enables us to positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land and 3 000 kilometres of coastline. Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place than we found it through our care of the land, wildlife and people, and the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences.
Located in the Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal South Africa, encompassing an impressive 28 555 hectares of prime wilderness land offers a magnificent tapestry of seven distinct habitats to guests. Just 17 years ago, this land was largely dilapidated, degraded and bankrupt under agriculture and poor land management. Today it is regarded as one of the country’s most remarkable conservation successes, bringing together a pioneering partnership between private enterprise, conservation ideals and the neighbouring communities. Phinda includes six distinctive lodges (Forest Lodge, Mountain Lodge, Vlie Lodge, Homestead, Rock Lodge, Zuka Lodge) providing discerning international guests with unparalleled standards of hospitality and game viewing and the stability of this game reserve laid the foundation for the surrounding region, which now boasts a World Heritage Site, as an ecotourism hotspot.
Phinda Forest Lodge was designed to limit the environmental impact to an absolute minimum, and still stands alone as one of the most credible examples of how development can be environmentally and socially responsible. The lodge is perfect for travellers looking for a diversity of wildlife and habitat, those looking to combine beach and bush, birding enthusiasts, families and photographers
Annual ‘soft’ refurbishments by andBeyond’s Internal Creative and Design Teams
Date added extensions
In 2010, the guest areas were re-built and the existing 16 glass suites refurbished.
Main Strengths, Special Touch
Set within the 1 000 hectares of Africa’s remaining rare and beautiful dry sand forest, Phinda Forest Lodge is one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges. Floor to ceiling windows invite the forest in and allow close-up views of small animals and birds, but the dense canopy provides privacy and seclusion.
Offering a rich wildlife viewing experience and a spectacular setting near the northern KwaZulu-Natal coastline, andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve boasts a variety of habitats and high density of game, including some rare and less easily spotted species. The reserve is home to a magnificent variety of wildlife, including the entire Big Five, but is best known for its large population of the elegant cheetah and the endangered black rhino, both of which are less easily spotted at other game reserves. Guests are able to get involved with a variety of conservation initiatives and activities.
With seven distinct habitats, andBeyond Phinda is a magnificent tapestry of landscapes, from woodland to grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, river courses, marshes and pans.
Home to the unique ecosystem of a large portion of the world’s remaining rare sand forest, andBeyond Phinda is situated close to the unspoiled beaches and marine reefs of the Indian Ocean, with a combination of bush and beach adventures possible from the reserve.
Since its inception, andBeyond Phinda and community development partner Africa Foundation have been working with the communities surrounding the reserve, supporting projects in the local villages. Guests are also able to do community visits to gain an understanding into their cultures and contribute if they wish.
Key sites/activities in the area
Twice-daily game drives, nature walks and tracking adventures are included. At an additional charge are a variety of Phinda Adventures including Zulu village tours, beach adventures, ocean safaris, night turtle drives, scuba safaris, black rhino tracking on foot, specialist walking safaris, and an awesome ‘sleeping under the stars’ experience. Guests are also able to glimpse the daily lives of local communities on community excursions with the Africa Foundation. A variety of participative conservation initiatives are available as well as a newly launched set-departure Impact Small Group Journey that allows guests behind the scenes access to ranger training and wildlife research.
Phinda has 520 hectares of the world’s only remaining dry sand forest.
Phinda is famous for its long list of conservation firsts, pioneered over more than 25 years
In 2007, in a pioneering move for land distribution in South Africa, andBeyond and the leaders of the Makhasa and Mnqobokazi communities, signed a mutually beneficial deal resulting in the restoration of 9 085 hectares of land to those communities, its ancestral owners.
andBeyond is renowned for having some of the most highly trained, professional, passionate and knowledgeable guides. We run three full-time ranger training schools, one of which is on Phinda.
Children will have the opportunity to embark on our very exciting WILDChild programme, which is filled with fun, interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures at our lodges across Africa. Adventures include beading, vehicle painting, frogging, baking in between game drives, tracking, fishing and impala dung spitting competitions.
Children above 16 can participate on Walking Safaris; children aged 6 to 11 are permitted on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion.
Number of Rooms 16 | Maximum Guests 32
The 16 glass suites are built on stilts and appear to float between the forest floor and the towering torchwood trees. The suites feature luxurious ensuite bathrooms and viewing decks where guests can drink in the sight of graceful nyala and duiker in the shade of the forest. The lodge’s rim-flow swimming pool, as well as the expansive decks in its seating area, looks out onto panoramic views of an open meadow where animals frequently graze. A traditional African boma is enclosed with a wooden fence and offers lantern-lit open-air dining beneath a canvas of stars.
All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, air Conditioning, hairdryer, insect repellent, torches, extra blankets, ponchos, umbrellas, gumboots, bathrobes, slippers, an in-Room Safe, and a personal bar. The bathrooms are equipped with a bath, seperate W.C, indoor and outdoor shower, and all have a range of Healing Earth products including shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
The lodge has a rim-flow swimming pool at the edge of the forest, and a safari shop. Laundry is included, while in-room massage, Gym in a Bag, and private 4×4 safari vehicles are available at extra cost.
Restaurants & Bars
The guests’ stay is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks. Pan-African dinners by one of the best chefs in the industry can be enjoyed alfresco on the deck, privately or in a group, in the bush, or in the traditional boma for open air dining. At breakfast a continental buffet will be served from our interactive kitchen with hot dishes available à la carte. Lunch is served on the main deck with individual tables and guests can order from the menu.
Massages are available in-room or from the deck of the rim-flow swimming pool at the edge of the forest.
Corporate & Celebration Events
The lodge has a maximum of 32 guests, sharing 16 suites we are able to make the rest of the reserve available on an exclusive use basis (122 beds). We welcome large groups, with specific conferencing facilities available at Mountain Lodge. We love celebrations (birthdays, weddings, blessings) and welcome corporate incentives and team buildings. We would be happy to create a tailor-made programme for any event.
Extra Notable Features
Guests can now embark on a journey of discovery with a privately guided 7-day Phinda Impact Small Group Journey that aims to highlight conservation and community development activities, which underpin the andBeyond ethos of “leaving the world a better place than we found it”.
We offer a variety of Specialist Safaris such as birding, photographic, family and private safaris.
Hotel and Restaurant Awards
- American Express The One Hundred (Finest Restaurants in South Africa) in 2016
- Travel + Leisure 2017 World’s Best Awards – #8 in The 10 Best Safari Lodges in Africa & #44 in The Top 100 Hotels in the World
Number of employees
There are approximately 200 staff on the Phinda Reserve