Forget the Discovery Channel. If the idea of watching a real-life wildlife documentary from the comfort of a private plunge pool sounds appealing to you, head to &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge. With six Thatched Suites (each with an en suite bathroom, dressing room, and private deck) and the wilderness as its garden, this intimate safari lodge allows guests to witness herds of zebra and a sounder of warthog against the backdrop of the African bush in comfort.
The lodge’s setting on the outskirts of a grassy vlei (or wetland) in the Phinda Private Game Reserve allows close-up views of the wild: twice-daily game drives, rhino-tracking walks, and riverboat cruises along the Mzinene River are offered at no additional cost. Lions, cheetahs, elephant, buffalo, and leopards can easily be spotted.
Phinda is also a paradise for bird-watchers, with 200 water-bird species among many others. Trips to the Maputaland coastline, where you can spend the day scuba diving or swimming with sharks, can also be arranged. After a day of adventure, indulge in Pan-African cuisine from the comfort of your private deck or on the social dining deck.