Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

&Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge


An exclusive use safari retreat

Bordered by lush green valleys and densely wooded hills studded with aloes, &Beyond’s Phinda Zuka Lodge sits in the west of the 28,000 hectare reserve.

With just four thatched Zululand bush cottages clustered around a busy waterhole, this intimate lodge is ideal for family gatherings and special occasion safaris and can be booked as an exclusive use lodge or for individual room bookings. Should you choose the latter, you can enjoy your own dedicated ranger, tracker, butler, chef and safari host. Game drive times, as well as meals, are tailored completely to your preferences to create a fully personalised safari.

Guest areas include an interactive café-style kitchen, indoor sitting and dining areas, an intimate library and a swimming pool overlooking the surrounding wilderness.


At a glance

  • Four suites

  • Swimming pool

  • Interactive kitchen and bush dining

  • Can be booked exclusively

And Beyond Phinda Zuka Lodge 13


  • Phinda Vlei Lodge 21

    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.

  • Phinda ocean safari scuba

    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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