Surrounded on all sides by a rare dry sand forest, Phinda Forest Lodge is as eco-friendly as it comes – not one tree was cut down during construction. The design is called ‘Zulu Zen’ for its perfect blend of local and Asian influences, and each suite is handcrafted and encased in glass – with stunning wooden floors, tactile fabrics and Zulu artefacts lending local flair. Phinda Forest Lodge has only sixteen private stilted suites, all with ensuite bathrooms and private viewing decks to watch the abundant game stroll by. Take a dip in the rim flow swimming pool after a long, hot South African day, or unwind in the communal sitting areas that offer panoramic views of the main attraction: the vast array of game.
Phinda Private Game Reserve is home to an impressive seven habitats, which results in a rich variety of game, from the Big 5 to incredible birdlife and smaller, more intimate sightings like the tiny suni antelope that graze between the stilted glass suites.
The advantage of a glass suits is, of course, that it provides a reflective space to be able to watch the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Even the oversized bathtub looks out over the forest, with huge glass windows offering another chance to see nature at play. Despite the floor to ceiling windows, the seclusion of the forest offers a sense of privacy rarely seen in safari lodges. Meals are taken on the open air dining deck, another opportunity to get up close and personal with nature.
Phinda Forest Lodge is, in a word, remarkable. Unlike any other safari lodge, it offers African safari luxury, the Big 5 and a unique experience, all in one.
Steve is a keen photographer who has travelled to Southern Africa a few times. Liesl put together a safari intensive itinerary to ensure that he got up close to the wildlife.