KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Elephant Coast
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.
The Elephant Coast 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 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).
Getaways to this coastline are rich in adventure, and if you’re not game viewing, birding, paddling, snorkelling, hiking, on a horse trail, or diving then you’re surely out on a boat to see dolphins and humpback whales, or watching turtles lay eggs on the beach.
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.
Popular Towns in the Elephant Coast
Overnight? Accommodation in Hluhluwe
Only a two hour drive from Durban and four hours from Johannesburg the entire area around the Hluhluwe Reserve, right down to the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, now a World Heritage Site, has been given over to animal conservation and game...
More information and photographs: Hluhluwe Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Ingwavuma
Ingwavuma is a small rural town, nestled deep in the countryside of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Part of the Umkhanyakude District Municipality, Ingwavuma enjoys the hot, humid conditions typical of this part of South Africa for some...
More information and photographs: Ingwavuma Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Jozini
Jozini, a small town in North Eastern KwaZulu Natal on the main route to Mozambique, is synonymous with the dam of the same name - the Jozini or Pongolapoort Dam. This huge dam, on the Pongola River, provides a rather dramatic doorway into...
More information and photographs: Jozini Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Kosi Bay
Kosi Bay is a rich network of lakes that stretches from Lake Zilonde, on the Mozambique border in the north, to Lake Amanzimnyama, in the south. Essentially it is a complex system of six large lakes, two smaller lakes and one of the best preserved...
More information and photographs: Kosi Bay Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Mabibi
The reefs off Mabibi are home to more than 1200 species of fish, and the warm waters attract schools of bottlenose dolphin, sharks, whale sharks and turtles. The turtles in particular are reason to visit Mabibi during February and March to...
More information and photographs: Mabibi Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Manguzi
In the rural heartlands of KwaZulu-Natal, bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland is the Umkhanyakude District Municipality. This district is home to Manguzi, which is also known as kwaNgwanase, and was formerly the town of Kosi Bay. This part of...
More information and photographs: Manguzi Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Mbazwana
The small town of Mbazwana is a settlement that covers just over 10 square kilometres in the uMkhanyakude District. It falls under the uMhlabuyalingana Municipality in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is home to fewer than 5 000 people...
More information and photographs: Mbazwana Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Mkuze
The little village of Mkuze lies in the shadow of the Ubombo Mountains just 18 km west from the entrance gate of the Mkhuze Game Reserve on the N2 north of Lake St Lucia. In this remote north eastern wilderness of Southern Africa, human presence...
More information and photographs: Mkuze Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Mtubatuba
Mtubatuba, which means ‘he who was pummelled out’, is a small town north of Richards Bay and close to the entrance of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. Initially established as a railway siding in 1903 in a swampland of reeds and papyrus...
More information and photographs: Mtubatuba Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Ndumo
Right on the northern-most border of the South African province of KwaZulu Natal lies the little settlement of Ndumo. It is bordered by both Swaziland and Mozambique, enjoying the subtropical climate of this exquisite part of the country...
More information and photographs: Ndumo Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Rocktail Bay
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 consummate scenario one...
More information and photographs: Rocktail Bay Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Sodwana Bay
Sodwana Bay, meaning ‘little one on its own’ in Zulu, lies within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, a World Heritage Site, and forms part of a continuous protected area stretching 150 km from the Mozambique border south to Cape Vidal and 3...
More information and photographs: Sodwana Bay Information
Overnight? Accommodation in St Lucia
The little town of St Lucia lies at the southern most entrance to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site that stretches all the way from Kozi Bay in the north, to Cape St Lucia in the south. Portions of this area have been a game...
More information and photographs: St Lucia Information