The African Ad­ven­ture

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings - - Essentials - and­be­

&Beyond Phinda Rock Lodge

There’s noth­ing like an edge of wild­ness to bring a height­ened sense of romance to your hon­ey­moon. And there are few places on earth more ex­otic than &Beyond Phinda Rock Lounge. Set in the heart of Zu­l­u­land in South Africa, the lux­ury lodge is perched on the evoca­tively named Leop­ard Rock cliff face, look­ing down at the teem­ing plain be­low. And the usu­ally elu­sive leop­ard is the or­der of the day at Phinda, with signs dom­i­nat­ing the walk­ways warn­ing guests to watch out for the most beau­ti­ful of all the big cats. If you’re not ex­chang­ing glances with a leop­ard, you’ll be watch­ing a herd of ele­phants play in the mud, a pride of li­ons snooze or a badly be­haved troop of ba­boons scout for food. And when you’re in need of a bit of sleep and sus­te­nance your­self, few places could be more re­lax­ing than the lodge it­self, with its earthy tones, deep com­fort­able beds and ex­pan­sive ve­ran­dahs.

Why it’s per­fect:

Like most game lodges of this cal­i­bre, morn­ings and evenings at Phinda are spent in jeeps look­ing for wildlife, while days and nights are spent at the camp in the lap of lux­ury. But for hon­ey­moon­ers, that glam­our goes one step fur­ther. In­stead of your morn­ing game drive, you can em­bark on a walk­ing tour with your guide that will end in a cham­pagne break­fast for two in a de­serted grove. Noth­ing quite pre­pares you for the ex­pe­ri­ence of walk­ing in the bush—the sights, sounds and smells seem so much more charged when you’re at eye level with the an­i­mals, rather than en­sconced in a metal Jeep. And af­ter all that ex­quis­ite ten­sion, a quiet mo­ment alone in the wilder­ness with your new spouse seems won­der­fully nec­es­sary. An­other ex­cit­ing op­tion is spend­ing a night in one of the lodge’s tree­top beds: Set high in a Marula tree, you’ll be safe from the wildlife and free to fall asleep in each other’s arms, lis­ten­ing to the sounds of the bush.

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