Rocktail Bay, Elephant Coast

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 cannot even dream into reality. This is Rocktail Bay.

Situated in the far off north eastern parts of the KwaZulu-Natal Elephant Coast, Rocktail Bay lies in the very far reaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, just beyond Lake Sibaya. Not only is this the site of some of the most densely forested sand dunes but the chance to snorkel and spot turtles, large shoals of fish, dolphins and whales makes it a more than worthy destination, despite the distance you might have to travel.

The beaches here are renowned throughout the world as a vital turtle nesting sanctuary. Endangered loggerhead and giant leatherback turtles lay their eggs in the dunes and, if you time it right (between October and March) you may be able to watch these beautiful beasts come to shore at night when the tide is low.

It is an amazing sight to watch the leatherback turtle - on average between one and a half to two metres long and weighing in anywhere between 250 kg to 750 kg - make its way up the beach to a level above the high tide in order to dig a hole to lay up to 110 eggs at a time, and then make their way back again.

If you miss the October to March egg laying time, then be there to watch them hatch from January to the end of March. This unspoilt coastline is, at any time of the year, a wonderful destination in the heart of lush vegetation, effortless beauty and a slowing of time.

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