The Elephant Coast, or Maputaland, is one of the unspoilt areas of our coastal region, stretching from the iMfolozi river in a narrow band of about 60km to 80km all the way up to Mozambique, some 200km in total. Rich in diversity the area boasts no fewer than 21 different ecosystems.
Whether its unspoiled golden beaches, pristine estuaries teaming with life, to unpolluted lake systems and natural forests, this is an area that is as timeless as ancient Africa, and where man has lived mostly in harmony with his environment.
With the second highest population of Elephants after Kruger, Kwa-Zulu Natal offers visitors the Tembe Elephant Park, Hluhluwe/iMfolozi Game Reserve as well as the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands as a teaser of what to expect.
Also in the mix is Sodwana, arguably our top dive destinations in the country, with diving conditions suitable for year round enjoyment. If you are lucky you can catch the annual migration of the Humpback and Southern Whales, who probably bring their young to nurse in these warm and sheltered waters.
During the summer months is turtle season and this has to be a highlight watching these ancient creatures of the ocean coming on land to lay their eggs.
The region can be broken up into the following topography and its natural assets:
- Lebombo Zone
- Pongolo Zone
- the Ndumo game reserve
- Sand Forest Zone
- the Tembe Elephant Park
- the Mkuzi Game Reserve
- Mozi Swamp and Palm-belt Zone
- Coastal Lake Zone
- Kosi System
- Kosi Bay Nature Reserve
- Lake Sibaya
- Lake Sibaya Tribal Game Reserve
- Mgobezeleni Lake System
- Sodwana Bay
- St Lucia Estuary and Lake System
- Coastal Zone
- Maputaland Marine Reserves
But this is a paradise under pressure, with poverty and rural degradation becoming an ever increasing problem and conservation is in danger of becoming a secondary issue. Organisations such as Ezemvelo KZN WIldlife are crucial in the long term conservation of our regions so rich in this biodiversity, and allow visitors access through their world class resorts, bringing in much needed funds.
Head over to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to find out more.
KZN WILDLIFE RESERVATIONS
Telephone: +27 (033) 845 1000
Fax: +27 (033) 845 1001
P.O. BOX 13053
KZN WILDLIFE TRADE DESK RESERVATIONS
Telephone: +27 (033) 845 1003 / 845 1058 / 845 1064
Fax: +27 (033) 845 1004 / 845 1007
CENTRAL RESERVATIONS OPENING HOURS
08h00 to 16h30 Monday to Friday
Telephone Reservations extended hours 16h30 to 17h30 Monday to Thursday
08h00 to 13h00 Saturdays
Public Holidays are excluded in these operating times