Maputaland, in the north-eastern corner of KwaZulu Natal, is an unspoiled, authentic South African wilderness stretching from the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique in the north to Lake St Lucia in the south. The area is flanked by the Indian Ocean, and is blessed with coral reefs, pristine estuaries, lake systems and over 200 kilometres of untouched sandy beach (recently designated a World Heritage coastline). Behind lies a rich variety of unique habitats, including wetland and sand forest.
Among the highlights of Maputaland are its nature reserves, including Pongola, Ithala, Mkuze, Tembe, Ndumo; lakes, including Sibaya and St Lucia; and marine reserves at Kosi Bay and Sodwana. Each reserve has its distinctive attractions.
A new road and airstrips have now opened this isolated region to holiday makers. Sustainable tourism will play a vital part in the preservation of this extraordinary landscape in the 21st century.
The reefs in northern Maputaland have been dived for less than five years and are glorious. The best-known reefs are Illusive and M’bibi reefs. The Old Women Angelfish section of the M’bibi reef system is named for the shoals of fish that follow divers. This section is characterised by large pinnacles and collapse features, and abundant reef fish. Ragged-tooth sharks are sometimes encountered. Regal Reef is 15m deep, with huge swim-throughs, pinnacles, fantastic plate corals and one of the best concentrations of butterfly- and angelfish in Maputaland. To dive here, an open-water certificate is required. Minimum age: 12. Special shark, whale and dolphin diving courses are on offer.
The unique Kosi Bay lake system, part of an estuary that runs into the Indian Ocean at the Mozambique border, is one of the most pristine environments in Southern Africa.A long term favourite at Rainbow Tours, we recommend a two or three night stay. You can kayak, learn to trap and spear fish and snorkel with game-viewing in nearby Tembe Elephant Park.Accommodation is in simple en suite reed chale...
Ghost Mountain Inn is a stylish, privately owned four star, country hotel situated in Mkuze, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.It is just 500 kilometres southeast of Johannesburg and 300 kilometers north of Durban, the perfect situation to explore the abundance of wildlife as well as the coastal reserves in Maputaland and the Elephant Coast.The inn has 50 guest rooms to choose from, these include the 22 stan...
Kosi Forest Lodge is the only private lodge in the Kosi Forest Nature Reserve, part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern Maputaland.It is a small, comfortable wilderness lodge where you are assured of personal attention. The lodge provides opportunities to discover the pristine Kosi Lakes by boat and canoe; to enjoy snorkelling at Kosi Reef or fishing on Kosi Lake; or to watch Leatherb...
This privately owned safari lodge is located in the heart of Isimangaliso Wetland Park, now a World Heritage Site.Built in a dune forest on the banks of Lake St Lucia, this 4-star lodge has five private suites and one honeymoon suite.There is a pool, wine cellar and boma for bush dinners under the stars.Boat trips and game drives in the wetlands, Big-Five game viewing at Hluhluwe and trips to the ...
- Introduction to Environmental Awareness
- Learn about conservation and ecology
- Big five drives in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
- Boat trip in St Lucia
- Hike and explore the magical Drakensburg
- Delve in the history of the Battlefields
- Cruise on the Pongola River
- Search for big game in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Rocktail Beach Camp is one of the few places one can stay in the Coastal Marine Reserve, stretching for nearly 200 kilometres from Lake St Lucia to Kosi Bay. This secluded lodge is situated in a virgin environment, in the lush forest which covers the ancient sand dunes that line this coast. The camp is the very first in Africa to receive the Platinum Award in the stringent Green Leaf Environmen...
Thonga Beach Lodge is a romantic hideaway - just twelve luxury round chalets nestling beside the pristine wilderness beach of Maputaland, about 20 km south of Rocktail Bay. You can take advantage of the unparalleled diving, or simply walk for hours along the soft white sand without meeting a soul. The lodge is set in the coastal dune forest that lines Thonga’s sandy beach. The buildings ...
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