KwaZulu Natal DestinationsRiverview, Zululand
In the midst of Zululand, just south of Mtubatuba, lies the little village of Riverview, sometimes written also as River View. The little town is convenient for a number of reasons, not least because it lies just east of the N2, making it an easy stopover venue and a good place to base yourself because of its proximity to a number of major tourist attractions of Zululand.
Riverview is close to both the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (more commonly known as St Lucia despite the World Heritage Site's renaming), and the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve - both but a fifteen to twenty minute drive - whilst remaining virtually untouched itself by development and industry, if you discount the sugar mills just south of here. It lies in the midst of typical Zululand vegetation with rolling hills and little to disturb the peace and quiet of bird calls.
iSimangaliso is one of the most incredible places to visit in the country. It is a complex system of swamps, lakes, beaches, wetlands, coastal forests and coral reefs that support an amazing array of land and marine life. It stretches all the way from the nearby town of St Lucia up to Kozi Bay in the north. It has a 60 kilometre river mouth, the world's highest forested sand dunes, the largest estuarine system in Africa, and a feast of wildlife.
Which means that Riverview can claim effortlessly long, sandy beaches, protected wetlands and the Big 5 on its doorstep. It also helps that Riverview is perched on the outer edge of the Dukuduku Forest - one of the few remaining tropical coastal forests.
Although incorporated into the Isimangaliso Wetland Park since 2000, the forest is under pressure of deforestation, but the butterfly population is said to be one of the best and during summer one can see the black mamba swordtail, laumans and novices. Look out for the Isiphaphalazi Butterfly House, run by the local community.