A week ago today, Warrick, his parents and I were very fortunate to visit Phinda Private Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal for Warrick’s oldest friends’ wedding weekend.
We have always wanted to visit Phinda as we have only ever heard great things about it. And it could not have been more perfect to visit this place for the first time to celebrate Mark & Nicci’s wedding as the couple both met each other whilst they were working at this magical Game Reserve.
All guests of the wedding were allocated to different lodges around the Reserve. We stayed at the beautiful Forest Lodge. As suggested by its name, the lodge is situated in a sand forest and is claimed to be one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges. All the chalets are uniquely laid out in the forest with their own walkway and full privacy. Each chalet has a very modern earthy look and feel with incredible attention to detail.
We were treated to some of the finest food I have ever tasted during our stay at Forest Lodge. You certainly will never go hungry as they serve you breakfast, lunch, high tea snacks and dinner every day and the food is delicious. Also included in your stay is the option of two game drives per day – a morning and evening drive.
On our first evening game drive we were not even 2 kilometers out from the Lodge when our ranger was notified that there was a cheetah walking down the road. We couldn’t believe our luck as it is always a treat to see a cheetah and to have it literally walking straight passed the vehicle was awesome.
As part of the wedding weekend plans, our first game drive included sun-downers at a big dam in the Reserve where snacks and drinks had been prepared and all the guests could get together and socialize. Warrick had also been given special permission to fly his Phantom 3 Drone at sun-downers to get some aerial photos of this special occasion for the wedding couple.
- Photograph taken with the Phantom 3 Drone at sun-downers in Phinda Game Reserve
The next morning we were woken up bright and early as the sun was rising and made our way to the Forest Lodge lounge area to grab a quick coffee and a rusk before heading out onto the game drive vehicles for a morning drive. We had the most incredible sightings on this morning drive which included one of the biggest elephants I have ever seen; off-roading to find a pride of lions and lastly one of my best sightings of my life a Cheetah mother with her four cubs.
After an awesome morning drive, we went off to have breakfast followed by a late morning nap and then it was time to get dressed up into our bush chic outfits for the wedding ceremony. The logistics for this wedding were very impressive as all the guests had to be driven to the secret wedding location which was in a forest in the middle of the bushveld. After the beautiful wedding ceremony we all had snacks and drinks whilst the wedding couple and the bridal party had photos taken at sunset. We were then transported to the wedding reception which was taking place at the Phinda Zuka Lodge. And then later in the wee hours of the morning we were transported back to Forest Lodge.
Upon arriving at Zuka, we were welcomed by the sounds of drums and Zulu tribal dancers which just added to the incredible atmosphere of the whole day. The wedding reception was a fantastic celebration and definitely one to remember.
After having had only 3 hours of sleep, Warrick and I could not miss out on one last game drive before having to head back on a 6 hour drive to Johannesburg. On this morning drive we had a great sighting of a pride of lions by an Nyala kill they had made the night before.
All in all, we had a superb wedding weekend away at Phinda Game Reserve and cannot wait to visit this special place again in the future. If anyone is looking for the perfect luxurious bushveld getaway Phinda definitely ticks all the boxes.