Truly luxurious accommodations are hard to come by in South Africa’s subtropical dry sand forest, but the lodging at Phinda Private Game Reserve is a lavish exception. The property—owned by andBeyond, a company that specializes in high-end experiential travel and safaris—has just six lodges spread out over a sprawling 23,000 hectares. The reserve offers an upscale oasis for travelers—and ample opportunity to co-exist with free-roaming wildlife from big cats like cheetahs, lions and leopards to the rare black rhino. But which of the six lodges is considered the hottest commodity? For the answer, we turned to Kevin Pretorius, andBeyond’s Regional Director of South Africa.
Most requested lodge in the hotel:
“Our andBeyond Phinda Homestead, situated in the north of the reserve. It blends seamlessly into the surrounding trees and bush.”
What makes it special:
“There are six lodges on the property, but the Homestead is a private residence, which is relatively rare on safari, and it’s super luxe. It has four spacious suites featuring sliding panel windows with sweeping views of the surrounding bush. The emphasis is on outdoor spaces and the expansive central living areas opening up directly onto the landscape.
“Traditional materials of thatch, gum-pole and stone tile are used throughout the lodge. And the Homestead comes complete with a dedicated ranger and tracker team, private butler and chef, private gym and its own 4×4 safari vehicle.”
Your personal favorite:
“All four suites are equally magnificent!”
“The whole villa is private and all rooms overlook a watering hole and surrounding bush, often bringing with it some spectacular game viewing.”
R52,000 per night (about $5,100)
“Earlier this year, andBeyond Phinda conducted the first private game reserve donation of rhino to another country and translocated six white rhino from the game reserve to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The rhinos were released in April and are happily acclimating to life in Botswana—so well, in fact, that one of the rhinos recently gave birth to a calf, the first baby of the translocated rhinos. These translocations are fundamental in securing the ongoing survival of endangered species, and this project aims to increase Africa’s declining rhino population.”