Phinda Forest Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve
Did you know?
The favourite food of crowned eagles is monkeys.
When you 1st see Phinda Forest Lodge, it may seem like a strange fairy kingdom, all set about with torchwood trees and wild vines.
Each exquisitely designed suite is perched delicately on stilts, is completely surrounded by forest, ensuring privacy, and is walled with wood and glass, allowing the forest in.
The suites are furnished in a minimalist, almost Japanese, style – Zen meets Zulu, if you like.
From your little glass palace, you can watch wild animals – the tiny suni antelope and delicate duiker nibbling at shrubs, and bush babies leaping from tree to tree at dusk. And you are surrounded by birdsong and leaf-filtered lights in the mornings.
Phinda Forest Lodge is set within an exceedingly rare ecosystem called sand forest.
Millions of years ago, the sea would have lapped at a shore nearby, and there were sand dunes. But the sea has long since retreated, and a unique forest ecosystem has formed here, distinctly different from normal forests. For a start, you won't see the moisture-loving ferns you'd normally see in a forest. And the leaf litter here disappears quite quickly, consumed by termites.
It also has certain plants that are found nowhere else, and is 1 of the best places to see the rare Neergard's sunbird. Also look out for the pink twinspot and Woodward's batis, along with the crowned eagle, which hunts through these forests on the lookout for monkeys.
You may also see the side-striped jackal and Tongaland squirrel.
But that's just the sand forest, which is only 1 of 7 ecosystems at Phinda Private Game Reserve. Apart from having a good chance at seeing the Big 5 here, you also stand an excellent chance of seeing cheetah.
And a very great part of Phinda's attraction is that it is both a bush and beach destination. The 23 500-hectare reserve neighbours the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and is only a 20-minute flight from some of the finest beaches in South Africa.
But if you'd like something a little closer, there's always the rim-flow pool nearby. Just follow the duiker tracks...
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Phinda Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)11 809 4300