Rest Your Head

Stretching for 800kms along the east coast of South Africa, the country’s KwaZulu-Natal province is divided into eight, distinct geographical destinations, centred around the capital, Pietermaritzburg, and its largest city, Durban. The three coastal regions and their beaches bordering the Indian Ocean comprise the thin lowland strip of the South Coast, dotted with resort towns stretching towards the Eastern Cape; the North Coast – also known as the Dolphin Coast – between the Umdloti and Tugela Rivers; and the more remote Elephant Coast with its internationally important wetland parks.
Formed in 1991 and located in the latter, between Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, Phinda Private Game Reserve boasts a rich diversity of ecosystems, and is situated in an area of KwaZulu-Natal that is home to many protected parks and reserves which are among the best in Africa, and offer unique opportunities to see the Big Five, as well as many rare and endangered species.
Tucked into the edge of a dappled forest, sole-use safari lodge AndBeyond Phinda Homestead re-opened on 28,555-hectare Phinda Private Game Reserve just a few months ago after a completely rebuild, following a devastating fire in December 2016.
Inspired by the lodge’s natural surroundings and local Zulu culture, interiors are furnished in clean lines and earthy tones, highlighted by burnt clay, aloe and red. Traditional Nguni hides, intricate basketwork and colourful craft pieces – all sourced directly from local communities – are featured throughout the property, paying homage to the area’s proud and vibrant heritage and the reserve’s past as a cattle and pineapple farm.
An interactive kitchen brings the lodge’s private chef into the center of the guest experience. Homegrown herbs enhance the hearty fare prepared for guests. Inviting guest areas, open to the cooling breezes, blend perfectly into private bedrooms and spacious bathrooms, where oversized deep-soaking tubs look out onto beautiful landscape and the surrounding bush. The overall result is an elegant yet warm contemporary bush home, and the perfect base from which to explore the thousands of surrounding hectares with the lodge’s dedicated ranger, tracker team and safari vehicle.
Game drives as well as meal times are completely tailored to guests’ wishes, giving you the rare opportunity to completely personalise your safari experience. And after a long game drive, guests can relax in the sparkling swimming pool or indulge in a therapeutic massage. Other on-site facilities include a library, sprawling outside timber deck and a gym.