Like American dude ranches that are developed beside federal national parks and wilderness areas, many of South Africa’s finest game viewing and wilderness experiences are in similar private reserves. The PHINDA RESERVE is unique, the only major private reserve located on the Indian Ocean coast.
Most of the enormous 57,000 acres is quite a distance from the sea, however, comprising woodlands, forested hills and scenic rocky landscapes. But the reserve is notable for its access to the federally protected St. Lucia wildernesses and wetlands. This means that an incredible range of habitats and scenery is available within this single reserve.

Like in many private reserves, most of the seed game was imported when the reserve was developed about 20 years ago. But today the wildlife is self sustainable, truly wild and includes all the big five. It includes both black and white rhino and the rarer nyala. It’s one of the best places in South Africa to view cheetah. An exceptional 415 bird species have been recorded here.

The reserve is managed by &Beyond which operates four lodges within the reserve, all extremely luxurious and placed in two completely different habitats. Access is normally from Richard’s Bay on the coast.