Good news for those looking to try a South African safari: Federal Air is offering direct flights from Johannesburg to &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, making the reserve much more accessible. &Beyond is incorporating the new route into its Fly Me to Phinda package, which includes complimentary transfers to &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge or andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge.
Previously, the only way to get to the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve was via road transport from Johannesburg or King Shaka International Airport in Durban. The new flights depart four days a week from Johannesburg at 10:30 AM and from Phinda at 12:25 PM. Good to know: One-way rates start at $93.
&Beyond is also investing in its other properties throughout Africa, as we noted last month:
The suites at &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge are being elevated above their surroundings, looking out onto the channels and floodplains of the Delta. The lodge is now fully closed in order for the work to finish, which will continue until July. Guests can look forward to eight revamped guest suites, each raised above the papyrus beds with private plunge pools.
&Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is undergoing an extensive rebuild designed to enhance the camp's history and showcase the Masai Mara views. A total of 28 classic tents have been removed to make space for the same number of superior tents, although the camp's 12 luxury tents, which look out onto the Sabaringo River, remain open throughout this project. The camp's swimming pool has also been closed for construction.
&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp's 10 contemporary guest tents are being rebuilt to include a small butler's lobby for discrete service and privacy. Bathrooms are being reconfigured with al fresco shower towers made of natural stone. Guest areas are being updated with a new extended deck, creating more space for outdoor dining. Three rooms reopened last month, and another five are set to reopen this week.
&Beyond also has grand plans for &Beyond Benguerra Island, which was just acquired by the company in November 2013. The island is part of Mozambique’s tropical Bazaruto Archipelago, and the lodge is due to receive a brand new look this May, with further refurbishment scheduled for early in 2015.