Keywords:

Category:

Star Rating:

Location:









&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve  Hot Featured
Hotels 4 Green Stars
  
Information
Eco Stars: 4 star
Stars: unrated
Location: Africa
Country: South Africa

&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, Forest Lodge at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve fuses unique architectural design and conservation. The creation of this award-winning safari lodge was an exemplary exercise in building eco-sensitive structures with a light footprint (not one tree was felled during construction).

Inventively designed in Zulu Zen style, each handcrafted, glass-encased suite is a combination of glass, wood and minimalist design incorporating high-gloss wooden floors, richly tactile fabrics and crimson Zulu artefacts. These 16 private stilted suites each feature luxurious ensuite bathrooms with slate hand basins, and viewing decks where guests can awake to the sight of graceful nyala and duiker outside the glass walls.

Unwind in the lodge’s sparkling rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the Lodge sitting areas with expansive viewing decks affording panoramic views of the game-filled plains. Visit the Safari Shop with its unique and colourful local Zulu artefacts. Dine in the traditional African boma, under a romantic canvas of stars, candles and lanterns.

Meaning “The Return” in Zulu, “Phinda” is an exemplary example of successful responsible tourism – firstly restoring misused farmland to its pristine state over 16 years ago, restocking it with the Big Five and other wildlife and developing it into an award-winning ecotourism destination; and now returning the land to its ancestral owners. Phinda’s pioneering land-claim settlement proves that if the communities surrounding conservation areas truly feel the benefit of ecotourism, they too will support ongoing conservation and biodiversity of pristine reserves for the benefit of future generations.


Green Star Rating Results:
For more information on how these work click here
Overall Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Special Achievements:
2009 – Phinda Private Game Reserve listed in Condé Nast Traveler US Gold List of the World’s Best Places to Stay (Africa & Middle East category)
2008 – Phinda Forest Lodge named one of National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine’s Top 50 Ecolodges
2008 – Phinda Mountain Lodge included as one of US Elite Traveler magazine’s 101 Best Suites in the World
2008 – Phinda Private Game Reserve earns #4 position in Condé Nast Traveler US Reader’s Choice Awards (Top 50 Resorts in Africa)
2008 – Phinda Private Game Reserve wins Condé Nast Traveler US World Savers Award for Best in Wildlife Conservation
2008 – Phinda Private Game Reserve wins Zoological Society of Southern Africa’s Corporate Award
2007 – Phinda Private Game Reserve listed in Travel+Leisure’s Top 500 List of the World’s Best Hotels
2007 – Phinda Forest Lodge listed in Condé Nast Traveler US Gold List

Energy Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - At &Beyond Phinda we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched. All Phinda lodges seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
&Beyond runs our own internal environmental management system, which was designed five years ago to change behaviour as opposed to gather accreditation. All of &Beyond Phinda’s lodges are totally committed to the company’s core ethic of “Care of the land; Care of the Wildlife; Care of the People”, and strictly adhere to our Sustainable Tourism Checklist on a regular basis. Phinda’s previous eco audits highlighted energy consumption (gas, paraffin, wood and fuel) as a concern and the following initiatives were launched to address them: Energy Consumption:
a. Appliance audits
In order to effectively manage power consumption it was necessary to determine what Phinda’s major power consuming appliances were and how they could manage each one in order to minimize and reduce usages. A comprehensive audit was undertaken at the lodges in order to establish a benchmark to rate future efforts against. Cut out switch’s have been fitted too two rooms at Vlei and one at Forest Lodge. This enables all the electricity to be turned off (except for the bar fridge) when the room is not occupied. The switches can be used remotely. Two meters were installed – one in a staff room and the other in a guest room to trial the energy saving of these devices. A complete electricity audit was done for Phinda in 2008. DB boards were cleaned up, all electrical installations checked, phases balanced, transformers repaired or maintained, hot connections checked and all illegal installations removed. The motive was to make all electricity installations safe and reduce electricity demand. b. Air-conditioners
From the appliance audit Phinda established that air-conditioners were a major source of power consumption (141 across the Reserve). After research with various suppliers, Phinda realized that they had been installing air-conditioners of limited capacity which increased power consumption as the compressors were being overworked. They are now installing larger compressors, despite the higher initial cost, in order to have more energy and cost efficient machines in the long run. The minimum temperature settings have been set for 20-21 degrees instead of 16 degrees. Air cons in Zululand cannot cool a room to 16 degrees and therefore will run non stop. By setting the temp higher the room will reach the required temp and the air con will cut out. Thereby saving energy. c. Generator monitoring
Phinda’s generators weren’t monitored effectively in the past but more focus has been placed on monitoring hours and fuel usage and comparing this with power usage in order to establish whether their machines were operating at best capacity. d. Light bulbs
All light bulbs in the lodges that could be replaced with energy saving light bulbs have been changed. e. Firewood
Phinda consumes a large amount of (140 tonnes) firewood for outdoor boma dinners, bush dinners and for fireplaces in the lodges in winter. Historically wood was harvested from the reserve. This had a number of undesirable effects, primarily related to environmental impacts of harvesting. The additional daily consumption of fuel for three vehicles from each lodge in collecting guests was also a concern. Given the large demand for firewood, alternative sources of wood were looked for and finally a reliable and sustainable source of black wattle was found in the escarpment. Black wattle is an alien invasive and the trees they are utilizing are grown commercially for their bark. Trees are then felled and left to decompose in the plantations. Phinda has also created permanent employment for five community members who are responsible for harvesting the timber. This is at source. Phinda also employs 4/5 community members to cut the wood into smaller pieces once it has arrived at Phinda. This is approximately 30 days work for 5 community members. f. Environmental Awareness
Rangers who were inspired by the film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ held a number of environmental awareness evenings where a dinner was held and the film screened followed by discussion sessions with the staff. This brought the reality of global warming home to a large number of staff who are from our local communities and who prior to this had little or no understanding of the concept of global warming and very little exposure to the issues of the urban and “developed” world. One of the aims of these workshops was to also educate our staff as to how they can make a positive contribution to the planet and the company by carrying out simple functions such as switching off lights and electrical appliances that do not need to be used. g. Gas Supply
Zululand Gas has audited and pressure tested all gas installations on Phinda. All repairs necessary were carried out and the systems are all leak free. All legal requirements for gas have now been met at all lodges on Phinda.

Water Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - 1. Grey Water Plant – Forest Lodge at &Beyond Phinda:
Phinda Forest Lodge is situated in a rare Dry Sand Forest which is important to preserve. A new waste water plant was recently installed at the Lodge for all waste water from the kitchen, laundry and septic tanks from the staff village and Vlei Lodge. It is then cleansed before being discharged to the natural pans in front of Forest Lodge. The abundance of a wide range of frog species in these pans is testament to the success of this project. 2. Waste Water Wetland System – Mountain Lodge at &Beyond Phinda:
Phinda Mountain Lodge has also just installed a new wetland system comprising three separate reedbeds and a settlement pond has been constructed in order to deal with the issues of their previous waste system. This wetland will undoubtedly become a favoured water bird hotspot for Phinda’s guests. 3. &Beyond Phinda has also distributed 233 Hippo Water Rollers to local community members (huge health benefits as water is traditionally gathered by women and children and often carried on their heads. Rollers mean less spinal damage and greater access to water for household and hygiene use)
4. The exotic Triffid Weed (Chromolaena odorata) is native to South America but has spread to South Africa where it is classified as one of the country's most noxious weeds. In the absence of any natural control mechanisms, this plant proliferates in savanna ecosystems and Phinda Private Game Reserve has embarked on an ambitious control program which uses fire, herbicide and mechanical clearing. Approximately 50 community members are indirectly employed on an almost permanent basis through this programme of eradication.
5. Water Conservation
23 meters have been installed across the reserve to measure the consumption of water. Checked every month they have spat out a figure of approx 60 million liters over the year. An incredible figure which has resulted in leaks been detected and water saving devices (water saving shower heads & tap restrictors) investigated and hopefully installed. Various water saving measures have been implemented based on these figures.
• Rain water tanks and gutters have been bought and fitted to many roofs to capture rain water
• Strict hose pipe ban implemented and enforced. Buckets used to wash game viewers daily
• Mountain trackers use water from ‘melted cooler box ice’ to wash their game drive vehicles
• Zuka discovered an 80 000 l storage tank which is being repaired for water storage at Zuka
• Mountain restricted staff too 2 l of drinking water (rain water) per day – issued at 14H00 daily
• Gutters have been repaired and channeled into water storage reservoirs at 3 of the staff villages
• Staff visitor policy introduced in December to reduce number of visitors to Phinda (R 15 per person per day fee goes toward water and electricity bill)
• Investigating a range of Water and Energy Saving products for guests and staff accommodation. Some of the measures will save 50% of water use.
• A major water saving and conservation awareness program across the notice boards and staff villages of Phinda
• Investigating the use of covers for all rim flow pools to reduce water loss through evaporation.
• Water leaks have become high priority with the maintenance department. Any leak gets fixed ASAP.
• Washing machines in the laundries are only started when they have a full load.

Disposal Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - Waste Disposal:
a. Grey Water Plant – Forest Lodge at &Beyond Phinda:
Phinda Forest Lodge is situated in a rare Dry Sand Forest which is important to preserve. A new waste water plant was recently installed at the Lodge for all waste water from the kitchen, laundry and septic tanks from the staff village and Vlei Lodge. It is then cleansed before being discharged to the natural pans in front of Forest Lodge. The abundance of a wide range of frog species in these pans is testament to the success of this project. b. Waste Water Wetland System – Mountain Lodge at &Beyond Phinda:
Phinda Mountain Lodge has also just installed a new wetland system comprising three separate reedbeds and a settlement pond has been constructed in order to deal with the issues of their previous waste system. This wetland will undoubtedly become a favoured water bird hotspot for Phinda’s guests. c. Recycling of Mops
A true story of a small initiative put into practice by a quiet hero....Gideon Nxumalo, a Phinda Mountain Lodge employee, stopped ordering wicks for lanterns and paraffin flares and started the initiative to use strings from old mops to make his own wicks in order to minimize waste. This has now been adopted throughout the Reserve. d. Firestarters
The Phinda Mountain Lodge Green Team initiated a project to minimize the amount of paraffin used by making its own fire lighting bricks. Old candles were ground down and used paper reduced to a pulp, mixed together to form blocks and then soaked in a paraffin bath. The firelighters were unfortunately not as effective as the paraffin but it was a great initiative none the less. e. Monkey proof rubbish storage facilities
New monkey proof refuse storage facilities have been built at Phinda Forest Lodge in order to prevent monkeys scavenging and to facilitate recycling efforts. Refuse is transported daily to the refuse sorting and storage facility to further prevent monkey/refuse conflict. f. Refuse Recycling
Most recycling efforts undertaken in the past have only been partially successful as all refuse generated on the Reserve is sent to a central facility on Phinda where it is sorted and stored. Agreements with recycling companies such as Nampak (paper and packaging) and Consol (glass) have been made and waste is now collected by them. Four staff members have been employed to sort out all the dry waste; wet waste is provided to the local pig farmer for re-use but a worm farm is currently being developed so wet waste can be used to generate compost for the Positive Health gardens. (&Beyond’s Positive Health programme addresses issues such as HIV/AIDS in a positive manner, giving hope and practical assistance to people in rural communities so they can carry on living in a healthy way).
&Beyond Phinda has set up a new sustainable recycling centre in partnership with a local community member who has been removing their waste for the last 10 years. Recycling companies will only collect large volumes in order to make the processes sustainable. Strict controls exist with regards to the type of waste and their separation and Phinda needed a large area to store the various types and a suitable area to sort. This has been achieved and they are proud that they have found and implemented a green and environmentally sustainable option with an added social benefit too. The reason Phinda knows it is working....their first 8 tones of cardboard has been removed (addressing some backlog in the first 3 months), and the first 30 tones of glass is soon to be removed. Four people have been permanently employed to manage this process.

Eco-Active Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - Phinda runs eco audits/Sustainable Tourism Checklist on a monthly basis to monitor and improve best operating procedures. Phinda is also committed to continuous improvement through a dedicated maintenance team, Green Team and Positive Health Team who are dedicated to improving issues raised. Phinda also encourages their staff to carry &Beyond’s environmentally sound philosophy into their own lives and homes, and to participate in voluntary wildlife conservation activities.
In addition to Phinda’s groundbreaking land agreement with the communities, they have initiated the following successes in consultation with &Beyond Foundation – our community development arm:
Education
• Built over 90 new classrooms and renovated existing classrooms
• Built 3 Libraries
• Built 1 Science Laboratory
• Built ablutions at various schools
• Provision of playground equipment and toys to various schools and crèche’s
• Provision of educational aids, school supplies and stationery to various schools
• Provided over 150,000 books
• Built the Nibela Skills Training and Production Centre
• Facilitated the establishment of 19 Pre-Schools
• Facilitated the provision of electricity to one school
• Access to water through the provision of water tanks, guttering and a borehole at one school
• Implemented Edu-peg Educational Tools
• Implemented a Permaculture Vegetable Garden at one school.
• Conducted Career Guidance for high school students
• Granted university Bursaries/Scholarships – ongoing on an annual basis
• Established the Mduku DevCentre Project (Digital Eco Village); 70% of the people who have completed this course have managed to find employment in surrounding areas • Implemented computer training lessons through the DevCentre
• Conducted Conservation Lessons
Health
• Built 24-hour clinic in the Mduku community (serving 42,000 patients per year)
• Conducted HIV / Aids Awareness Workshops
• Distributed 233 Hippo Water Rollers
Income Generating Activities
• Built Mbhedula Market in Mduku; and provided Capacity Building & Product Development Training to the Market Committee
• Provided artisan skills training to 35 individuals from the communities e.g. tiling and construction skills
• Four local community members are employed to assist with the recycling plant
• All wet waste is provided to the local pig farmer

Protection Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - Established in 1991 with acute sensitivity to environmental impact and a commitment to conservation development, Phinda has initiated and completed many successful community empowerment projects and conservation victories and pioneered a partnership between private enterprise, conservation ideals and a mutual benefits for neighboring communities of Makhasa and Mnqobokazi. Furthermore the success and stability of this game reserve has laid the foundation for the surrounding region, which now boasts a world heritage site, as ecotourism hotspot. Income Generating Activities
• Built Mbhedula Market in Mduku; and provided Capacity Building & Product Development Training to the Market Committee
• Provided artisan skills training to 35 individuals from the communities e.g. tiling and construction skills
• Four local community members are employed to assist with the recycling plant
• All wet waste is provided to the local pig farmer

Contact Details

Name:
&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve
Address:
C/o &Beyond
Private Bag X27
Benmore 2010
South Africa
Telephone:
+27 11 809 4441
Website:
www.andBeyond.com
E-mail:
Click Here


  

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this item.

Add new review