Phinda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal is not your average piece of bushveld. New species — the Phinda button spider, for example — continue to be discovered there; the reserve has a diverse habitat that includes the extremely rare sand forest; and it is home to a 1,500-year-old Lebombo wattle. It has also contributed to conservation efforts by relocating cheetah and endangered black rhino, among other rare species, to boost regional populations.

But Phinda holds another mark of distinction: it is the site of a land claim that has been a resounding success in a country littered with land restitution failures...

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