Phinda is a 55,000 acre private game reserve run by &Beyond, the leading safari/wilderness outfitter in Africa. Phinda features several lodges, each of them exquisite and luxurious in their own right. I spent two nights at Rock Lodge, a cluster of just six private villas tucked in to the mountainside overlooking miles of wild bush. The best part? Soaking it up, literally, from the comfort of your very own personal plunge pool.
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Cheetah Sightings at Phinda
Not only does &Beyond's Phinda Private Game Reserve boast the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino), it also is home to the elusive and beautiful cheetah. Over the course of four days, we were lucky enough to come across these two brothers (on the hunt for a dinner of impala and wildebeest), as well as a mama cheetah and her three cubs.
If you want to treat yourself to a luxurious safari experience in South Africa, Phinda is the place to go. The private reserve has several lodges on the grounds, and I stayed at both Rock Lodge and Forest Lodge. The latter is more contemporary than the former (although both are equally fantastic), with floor-to-ceiling glass bungalows scattered amidst the sand-floor forest. Lie in bed, or soak in the deep tub and watch birds, nyala and other small creatures wander past the windows.