Situated on the Zululand coast 360km north of Durban, and 580km from Johannesburg, Maputaland has so much to offer and should arguably be listed in the top 10 destinations for South Africa.
The jewel of Maputaland is Sodwana Bay, from the freshwater lake of Sibaya to one of the richest coral reefs in the world. This is a diving and fishing mecca, and within easy reach of a number of top game parks for added variety.
The following extract is courtesy of KZN Wildlife’s Rhino Club:
Sodwana Bay lies in the cultural heartland of KwaZulu-Natal’s Elephant Coast and is globally renowned for its biodiversity, both on land and below the ocean’s surface.
The spectacular coral reefs are amongst the southernmost tropical coral reefs in the world and the shallowest sighting of a living “fossil”; the coelacanth was filmed and documented in the off-shore canyons.
Nearby Lake Sibaya which is South Africa’s largest natural freshwater lake is situated 20km north of Jesser Point. It is a Ramsar Site with a high bird count including the rare Pel’s Fishing-owl, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Storks and the majestic Fish Eagle with its evocative call.
The only population of the orchid, Vanilla roscheri, occurs near the lake, while another orchid, Oecevelades decaryanum was collected at the Lake for the first time in the country. There are also resident populations of hippopotamus, crocodiles and the largest population of the freshwater goby – Silhouetta sibayi.