Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

&Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge


Uninterrupted Mountain Views

Perched on a hilltop, Mountain Lodge has spectacular views of the Ubombo mountain range and the surrounding Zululand bush within the 28,000 private hectare reserve.

The lodge has 16 suites, three family cottages, and the exclusive family suite, all offering breathtaking views of the reserve below. The suites themselves are light and luxurious with large glass windows, elegant ensuite bathrooms, a bar and a sunken lounge to relax in. While the spacious veranda and plunge pool outside make the most of the magnificent views all around.

At the heart of the lodge, the bar links the pool, spa and gym, and a yoga deck with a view. Delicious meals are served in the dining area that features an interactive kitchen and pizza oven, or under the stars in the traditional Boma. The rim-flow pool elegantly follows the contours of the hill, with magnificent views of the Lebombo foothills.


At a glance

  • 16 luxurious suites and three cottages

  • One exclusive family suite

  • Infinity pool

  • Gym & Spa


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    Game drives

    Join professionally-trained guides on morning and late afternoon game drives. Phinda is home to a magnificent variety of wildlife, including the Big Five, but is best known for its large population of cheetah and black rhino.

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    Nature walks and big game viewing walks

    Join your ranger on an interpretive nature walk around the lodge. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the fascinating flora here, read animal tracks and see smaller wildlife up close. Engage all your senses as you try your hand at tracking, picking up on the nuances of every sound, scent and visual clue.

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    Ocean adventures

    Adding to Phinda’s wildlife charms, the marine diversity of nearby Sodwana Bay is easily accessible, with exceptional scuba diving, fishing and even turtle watching listed as some of its main attractions.

Community & Culture

There are several community led initiatives, in collaboration with Africa Foundation, which focus on education, healthcare and small business development running for those who live in communities around the reserve. Tertiary bursary programme Community Leader’s Education Fund supports promising local students and 373 bursaries have been granted since 2019.

Artisans and crafters can also participate in a three-year skills development programme with Africa Foundation’s Artisans and Crafter job creation initiative. The foundation also offers an ECHO education programme that focuses on conservation and environmental engagement.


The reserve forms part of the Mun-Ya-Wana Conservancy which is privately-owned by members of the local community and is actively managed by the Phinda conservation team. The rhino population here is considered to be globally important and there are a variety of measures in place to protect them, including the reversible strategy of dehorning them. Black and white rhinos have been monitored here since 2005.

To date, 58 cheetahs have been translocated to reserves in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa to help supplement declining populations.

The Pangolin Reintroduction Project is working on reintroducing Temminck’s ground pangolins to an area in which it they haven’t been seen for decades. The information this project gathers will be vital to protecting one of the most trafficked animals in the world.


The lodge’s waste is recycled using a local waste management company and thanks to the reserve’s water bottling plants, almost 150,000 plastic bottles are eliminated every year. In addition, the property actively conserves water, with recycled grey water being used to replenish waterholes. In general, &Beyond has a set of group goals aimed towards reducing their carbon footprint. This is monitored through annual lodge audits.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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