East Coast, Maputuland-Elephant Coast
East Coast, Maputuland-Elephant Coast of KwaZulu-Natal borders Mozambique in the north, Swaziland and the Lubombo Mountains in the north west, the Indian Ocean to the east and ends roughly at the mouth of the Imfolozi River near St Lucia village in the south.
The Elephant Coast lies in the greater region of Zululand and extends from Lake St Lucia all the way to Kosi Bay near the Mozambique border, and inland to the Lubombo Mountains.
The region is a paradise of natural wonders with an incredible 21 different ecosystems. In fact, there are few areas in Africa with such an incredible diversity of fresh water ecosystems.
a Large portion of the Elephant Coast was declared a World Heritage Site, and named iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Broadly translated from the Zulu language, iSimangilso means ‘something miraculous’.
The Maputaland and St Lucia Marine Reserves are linked to each other to form a continuous protected area stretching 150 km from the Mozambique border southwards to Cape Vidal and 3 nautical miles out to sea.
These reserves are well known for their extensive golden beaches, clear water and the most southern coral reefs off the coast of Africa.
The area is a nesting site for loggerhead and leatherback turtles.
A spectacular feature of the reserves is their backdrop of tall, forest-clad coastal dunes.
Public access to the reserves is via the resorts of Sodwana Bay and Cape Vidal. These are registered ski-boat launching sites. Visitor use in the area includes scuba diving on the coral reefs, and fishing for bill-fish and other pelagic game fish. Shore angling is popular and the beaches and rock pools are used by holiday-makers relaxing in the sun and warm water. Some core areas are designated as sanctuaries where access is limited and no extraction of fish or other marine life is permitted.
The popular Two-mile Reef off Sodwana is visited by thousands of divers each year. This reef is 12 to 25 metres deep and here the divers experience the profusion of colours, shapes and textures of the coral ecosystem.
Diving is offered by several private dive companies who have the concession to operate within the protected area.
If you enjoy holidays where nature features strongly, you’ll love the Elephant Coast.
Scuba diving and snorkeling, game viewing, hiking, kayaking, or enjoying the site of whales playing in the warm waves and turtles laying eggs along the endless golden beaches – all these experiences and more await the visitor to this remarkable region.
Coastal forests with ferns, fig trees and giant orchards, mangrove swamps, sand dunes, coral reefs, woodlands, grasslands and wetlands – the Elephant coast is a unique blend of an astounding 21 Eco-systems. It receives high summer rainfall and has a humid, tropical climate.
Visiting the Elephant Coast awakens the child in you again as you are constantly amazed by all the hidden treasures you see and experience.
Elephant Coast Highlights
Cape Vidal – Wonderful beaches for deep-sea fishing and whale watching.
The Hluluwe ( Hilltop) and Imfolozi ( Mphila ) Game Reserves The oldest game park in Africa.
See the Big 5 here.
Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve has Outstanding scuba diving and snorkeling multi-coloured coral reefs
Tembe Elephant Park – You can’t come to the Elephant Coast and not go on an elephant safari!
This region is renowned for having the largest herd of indigenous African elephants in South Africa.
|Languages spoken||English, Afrikaans,Zulu,Khoza|
|Currency used||ZAR South African Rand|