Experience a very luxurious private safari holiday with a completely flexible schedule at The Homestead at Phinda - an award-winning villa in the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s intriguing kwaZulu-Natal province. The Phinda Reserve is home to no less than seven different ecosystems, each offering a unique landscape and array of wildlife and plant species. It is also a conservation success story as old pineapple plantations are slowly returned to thriving bush and game like elephant, black rhino, elephant and giraffe once again roam free. This is also good place to find leopard and, being completely private, boasts low traffic and visitor numbers. The 70 560-acre reserve is especially renowned for up-close cheetah sightings, a boon for keen photographers looking for the perfect shot.
The Homestead has been configured as a modern ‘bush home’ that combines quirky details like 80’s-inspired design with local elements such as Nguni cowhides, Zulu crafts and traditional beadwork. Even the marble basins in the four en bathrooms are shaped like traditional Zulu pots. In addition to four double bedrooms (including a fifth room suitable for an au pair, pilot, guide, chef or independent teenagers), The Homestead has a library, an interactive kitchen, a gym, its own boma and an infinity edge pool bordered by a sun deck and a fire pit. Safari-loving families and friends will revel in having the space all to themselves, including a secluded spa treatment room a short walk away. The garden is unfenced, which means nyala and bushbuck might come to graze nearby, and elephants may decide to sip from the pool on very hot days.
Spend your days on relaxed, informative game drives in a private open-air safari vehicle with expert guides or stretch your legs on bush walks with an armed ranger; water-lovers may choose to take a guided canoe excursion down the Mzinene River to look out for thirsty wildlife on the river banks. Birders will train their binoculars on 436 recorded species and there are plenty of specialist activities on offer such as rhino notching and tracking, a sleepout under the stars and a visit to a traditional Zulu village. If you want a classic bush-and-beach vacation, then The Homestead is an easy segue to marine activities along the Maputaland coast such as seasonal night turtle drives and ocean safaris.