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phinda reserve rhino

Experiences

An Immersive African Conservation Adventure

Take safari to the next level on a multi-destination experience in South Africa and Mozambique. Be part of a fully interactive rhino-focused safari joining a conservation team on a mission to assist with rhino registration and identification before moving on to Kisawa Sanctuary and relaxing on its pristine white beaches.

When to go
May-Sept
From price
£15,000 pp*
Ideal length
10 nights
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PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

Start your South African adventure at Phinda Rock Lodge. A truly immersive experience, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the bush (but with modern comforts to elevate your stay). Dramatically set into a cliff face, there are just six suites that all provide sweeping panoramic views of the Phinda Private Game Reserve.

RHINO CONSERVATION

It’s this reserve that you’ll spend your days exploring, being part of a huge conservation initiative and having the unique opportunity of touching an anaesthetised rhino during the notching procedure.

After a briefing with the conservation team, you’ll embark on an afternoon drive to learn all about rhinos before you work closely with the veterinary team the next day. The vets soar overhead in a helicopter in search of the rhino as you and your guide follow in hot pursuit in a 4×4 safari vehicle. Once the animal is located and darted, your guide will be alerted before you arrive on the scene.

Many of Phinda’s rhinos are in need of ear notches, and you’ll have the never-to-be-repeated opportunity to touch the anaesthetised rhino during the procedure. And it’s your choice to embark on this extraordinary experience that enables this integral work to be carried out, with all funds raised going directly towards the costs of running Phinda’s rhino conservation and management project.

RARE WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

And if one endangered species wasn’t enough, you’ll also get the opportunity to participate in a privately guided pangolin research and monitoring experience. As one of the most trafficked mammals in the world, you’ll work with a researcher as he locates one of the pangolins, does a general health check and downloads critical research data from each animal’s tag.

And while you’re not out assisting critical conservation work, Phinda Rock Lodge has some other excellent experiences for you to enjoy. The diverse ecosystem is home to an equally diverse array of wildlife (think cheetah, suni and red duiker), and there are a whole host of ways to get out there and experience it all. You’ve ticked off 4×4 in your rhino conservation experience, so spend a leisurely morning on a walking safari. Take it easy and connect with the African bush as you walk in the footsteps of zebra and learn about the stories behind animal tracks, or crank the adrenaline up a notch as you go searching for the Big Five.

SERENE SIGHTINGS

After a busy day out in the bush, come back to your suite to relax. Spend time in your private plunge pool overlooking leopard rock, or sit on your viewing deck and sight some of the abundant birdlife in the surrounding trees and the wildlife below. You’ll feel fully immersed in nature as you wake up to native birdsong and close the day dining alfresco under the South African stars.

KISAWA SANCTUARY

The first part of your African adventure has been full-on, so you’ll spend the second half relaxing at the aptly named Kisawa Sanctuary. Located on Benguerra Island in Mozambique, a destination famed for diving and snorkelling home to some of the world’s finest coral reefs, this 300-hectacre sanctuary has some of the richest and least explored subtropical ecosystems in the Indian Ocean.

Kisawa is the world’s first 3D-printed resort, but you wouldn’t know it (everything fits harmoniously into the natural surrounds and is completed with furnishings and decor from local artisans). During your stay here, you’ll have access to their 24/7 personal service team plus a colourful fleet of electric Mini Mokes so your days will be intuitive and self-directed. You’ll have complete privacy within your bungalow and its surroundings, so adventure at your own pace. Relax on the private beaches, dive in secluded and protected areas or enjoy the taste of Mozambique flavours in the restaurants.

Kisawa sanctuary Mozambique
Kisawa sanctuary Mozambique Kisawa sanctuary mozambique

MARINE CONSERVATION

Keep the conservation thread running through your trip as you work with Kisawa’s sister property, Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies. Africa’s first permanent ocean observatory, you’ll be working alongside the scientists to help tag marlins and sharks. From the deck of the research vessel, fish sustainably by tagging the creatures for research and monitoring purposes (a portion of the funds from each stay goes towards the conservation efforts here).

ADVENTURE

Kisawa offers a vast array of excursions and experiences, and you’ll have five days to make the most of them. For those who like to be in the water, spend your days kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or snorkelling among the famous coral reefs. Catch a glimpse of a rare dugong (sea cow), or get closer to the action with a PADI-certified private diving experience where you’ll dive alongside tiger sharks and manta rays. Or, for something calmer, catch the breeze in the resort’s purpose-built Dhow for a sunset sail along the cove.

Prefer being on dry land? No problem. Take a drive through the island towards crocodile lake to discover the elusive family that has been living there for the past 50 years. Hike the beautiful landscape with a nature guide and discover the hundreds of local bird species and gazelles. Explore the archipelago by air as you soar in a helicopter and observe the wildlife and the untouched ecosystems of this protected marine park. However you decide to spend your time here, with Pelorus it will be an experience to remember.

* Prices depend on level of experiences and accommodation.