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Phinda Zuka Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve 

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Phinda Private Game Reserve
South Africa
Tel: 27 11 809 4300
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
This book-it-all-or-nothing camp that accommodates up to eight people in four thatched cottages is in the western corner of the 43,000-acre Phinda Private Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal Province. The reserve adjoins the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, and is 19 miles west of the Indian Ocean's white-sand beaches. One of five affiliated small-scale lodges in the reserve, Phinda Zuka is ideal for family gatherings and for travelers who don't like to follow the herd (or to cozy up to strangers at boma dinners). A private ranger, tracker, butler, and chef—plus your own 4x4—means you can make your own plans, whether for game drives and canoe trips or bush walks and scuba-diving safaris. Guests can view cheetahs, dolphins, elephants, rhinos, turtles, and whale sharks—all in one action-packed day. While meals can be taken anywhere, it's fun to gather in the café-style kitchen, which lies at the heart of a communal relaxation area that has Internet access, a library, and a pool.—2005 Hot List

When to go: March through September, for the best game viewing.

Which room to book: All four cottages have verandas overlooking a busy water hole

Amenities: Pool

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