Elephant Coast, KwaZulu Natal
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KwaZulu Natal’s Elephant Coast stretches from the world heritage site of Lake St Lucia in the south to Kosi Bay, virtually on the Mozambique border.
It is an extraordinary, untamed area fast growing in popularity for its incredible variety of habitats and eco-systems that combine into an unforgettable blend of adventure, unspoilt scenery and unique experiences. Called the Elephant Coast after the country’s largest herd of indigenous African elephants that have lived in sand forests in this region for centuries, the Elephant Coast extends inland across to the Lubombo Mountains in the west, and includes the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest game park in Africa - home to the big five. It is not hard to understand why the Elephant Coast is regarded as the ecotourism mecca of the Zulu Kingdom. Sand dunes blend with swamps, coastal forests, rocky shores, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, woodlands, savanna grassland, and the largest protected wetland in southern Africa, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park).
Highlights of the Elephant Coast include Cape Vidal (wonderful beaches for deep-sea fishing and famous for whale watching); Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve (the mainstay of scuba diving); Kosi Bay (one of the most unspoilt regions with numerous lakes where you can watch local fishermen); and of course both the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park are highlights of the Elephant Coast, for obvious reasons.
Destinations / Towns & Suburbs of Elephant Coast
Where to Stay: Elephant Coast Accommodation
This is one of those remote beach experiences that reminds one rather of a film set for a desert island, complete with perfectly warm waters, miles and miles of endless sandy beaches and forested sand dunes. A more ... Rocktail Bay information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Elephant Coast
The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site on 1 December 1999. It is considered South Africa's third largest park and extends from Mapelane (Cape St. Lucia) in the South, to Kozi Bay in the North. The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park incorporates ... more information
The Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park is the only park under formal conservation in KwaZulu Natal where the Big Five occur. Established in 1895, this is the oldest game park in South Africa along with nearby St Lucia Reserve. Set in the heart of Zululand this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings ... more information
The Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is situated on the coast in the northern part of KwaZulu Natal and surrounds the Kosi Bay lake system. The system consists of four lakes and a series of inter-connecting channels which drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian ocean. It is home to a variety of birds and wildlife ... more information
Lake Sibaya is the largest fresh water lake in South Africa with a surface area of 77 km² and an average depth of 13 m. The lake was previously connected to the sea and with the closure of the estuary, numerous invertebrates and vertebrates were trapped in a fresh water enviroment. Lake Sibaya is a ... more information
Mapelane Nature Reserve is the southernmost reserve within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. The Mapelane Nature Reserve is situated on the south bank of the Umfolozi River where it enters the sea, opposite the little village of St Lucia. The reserve is an enchanting one offering splendid walks through tropical ... more information
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, known as one of the 'jewels' of South Africa's coastline and a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, is an incredible assimilation of beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, swamps, lakes, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands that used to be known as the Greater St Lucia ... more information
Situated in northern Zululand, this 40 000 hectare reserve was proclaimed a protected area in 1912. Mkuze Game Reserve constitutes the north western spur of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park a World Heritage Site. A place of great beauty and high contrasts, Mkuze is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers ... more information
Ndumo Game Reserve (adjacent to the Tembe Elephant Park) is a small but impressive game reserve. Proclaimed in 1924 Ndumo Game Reserve is one of South Africa's oldest reserves and considered to be one of the finest in KwaZulu Natal. Ndumo Game Reserve is situated in the Maputaland region of ... more information
Come face-to-face with lions and rhino before breakfast, swim with dolphins after lunch and catch a marlin before dinner - that's the Phinda experience, one of the most exciting safari destinations in South Africa. Located between the azure waters of the Indian Ocean and the lush waterways of the World Heritage ... more information
The Pondoro Private Game Reserve comprises a pristine malaria free wilderness area of some 2500 hectares. Access to the reserve is restricted, enabling guests at Pakamisa to enjoy the exclusive experience of natural African bushveld with its unparalleled abundance of wildlife and exotic vegetation. Guests can ... more information
The Pongola Game Reserve was first proclaimed in 1894 and is the second oldest reserve in the world and the oldest in South Africa. Pongola Game Reserve is a sanctuary to a large variety of wildlife, including elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hyena, buffalo, rhino and leopard ... more information
Travel inland in a north westerly direction from the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Heritage Site and you will reach the large Pongolapoort Dam, on the south-eastern shores of which lies the Pongolapoort Nature Reserve. In a nutshell this incredible reserve is a unique combination of contrasting eco-systems ... more information
The largest African elephants in the world, along with rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo and antelope species in a 300km² park on the South Africa / Mozambique border. Excellent birding opportunities exist and scuba diving on the nearby Tongoland reefs. Situated in Maputaland, the north-eastern region ... more information
Ubizane Wildlife Reserve boasts a variety of wildlife including white rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, most species of antelope, and over 350 species of birdlife. You can view the game from the comfort of equipped game viewing land rovers, on foot for a more thrilling encounter or on horseback for a ... more information
Weavers Nature Park is wonderfully situated in the heart of Southern Maputaland. Within a 1/2 hours drive you can be anywhere you choose. On the beautiful beaches of Sodwana Bay or the famous Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big "5" Game Reserve. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (a world Heritage Site) is just 10 minutes ... more information
The Zululand Rhino Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, was created in 1995 in a strategic partnership between the World Wildlife Fund, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and property owners, to provide a haven for the fast dwindling black rhino population. This has culminated in the creation and preservation of 23 000ha of ... more information
a small game farm, with sand forest vegetation. On the premises, you can walk with the wildlife including Impala, Nyala, Grey Duiker and other antelope. Birdlife is abundant. Emdoneni is a nature lovers paradise. The Emdoneni Cheetah and Serval Project cares for wild Cheetahs and Serval Cats, which have been orphaned or ... more information
Featured Things To Do in Elephant Coast