Being in the events space we need to work with properties that can accommodate groups. Over the
years Phinda has worked well for us, as this vast property is made up of 6 luxury safari lodges, allowing it to accommodate groups while still retaining an aura of intimacy.
Aside from the practical aspects of this property we enjoy the incredible back story that is Phinda – The
Today it’s almost impossible to imagine that this conservancy had endured almost a century
dominated by pineapple, cattle and sisal farms leading to severely overgrazed and degraded land
and its naturally occurring wildlife long since deserting the area.
This story goes back to 1991 and is thanks to a group of “of responsible travel visionaries who wanted to make the world a better place”. Their vision remains unchanged to this day: to strive to Care for the Land, Wildlife and People through the delivery of extraordinary guest experiences. However, luxury lodges and wildlife hotspots aside, they acknowledge that their mission would have been impossible without equal partnership with the local communities that surround our conservation areas and, at the heart of it all.
As Community member, Gladys Zikhali, explains in The Return, “The rural communities bordering
Phinda were ordinary people. They never thought that one day they could have better jobs and the
opportunity for tertiary education. When Phinda started, for the most part, they did not think that
changing a pineapple farm and cattle ranch into a game reserve was a good idea. “They believed
that there was every chance that the dangerous game would destroy their farm stock, and perhaps
even worse. We couldn’t believe that this belief would change so quickly and so easily. But this is
what happened when our people started to work there.
This for us goes right to the root of what sustainability is all about, a positive environmental impact
that also generates economic benefits for local communities.
This is the power of tourism in the South African context, many lodges have similar beginnings which
We believe is testimony to the importance of making positive choices that commit to real change in
our country and in our industry.
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