Phinda Private Game Reserve includes over 28000 hectares of protected wildlife land in KwaZulu-Natal and consists of 6 lodges. We stayed at Forest Lodge which is totally different from the others – a completely unique experience.
Set in a rare sand forest, the suites offer floor to ceiling forest views through glass walls. There’s a tranquil feel as antelope tiptoe around the well-camouflaged rooms. I love how dappled light falls onto each suite through a canopy of branches and leaves.
We were lucky enough to have Kerri as our guide with Thulani as our tracker. Together, they made a dream team! We were able to track and see lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo! We were short of just one of the Big Five by the end of our two-night stay.
However, what impressed me most was Kerri’s knowledge of the smaller creatures on the reserve. We watched with absolute amazement how a large African dung beetle fought with a smaller copper dung beetle for the same fresh ball of dung. At the end (with much cheering from the side-line) it was the little copper beetle who won.
As the sun set each evening and the stars began to shine, it was Kerri’s knowledge of the stars that once again impressed us and kept our girls enthralled!
Our girls were also spoilt with fabulous children’s backpacks at andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge. These were very useful during our stay, keeping all the kids’ game drive gadgets in one place on the vehicle. We were also impressed with the kids’ snack packs prepared for each drive.
Another special moment was when Thulani identified and picked a ripe black monkey orange from a tree! We’d never seen this fruit before, but soon got to taste it as Thulani cracked its hard shell open with his machete! The fleshy segments taste a lot like mango but be warned, the seeds can be toxic!
African bushveld is never dull and Phinda certainly proves this theory correct. Every day at Forest Lodge brought something new and fascinating. Memories made that will no doubt, last a lifetime.
By Bridget Gardiner