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Maputaland Coastal Forest Highlights

KwaZulu Natal is exceptionally proactive in protecting its magnificent natural heritage, which is evident in the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve of the north-east corner of South Africa - a declared World Heritage Site.

The reserve stretches all the way from the Mozambique border in the north to Sodwana Bay in the south. The area offers an idyllic haven consisting of pristine forests and wetlands with strings of lakes and marshes and marine ecologies including remote and untouched beaches and beautiful coral reefs.

Sun Safaris Says

  • The reserve stretches all the way from the Mozambique border in the north to Sodwana Bay in the south.
  • Pristine forests and wetlands with strings of lakes and marshes, and marine ecologies including deserted beaches and coral reefs.
  • Some of the attractions of the area are the egg laying turtles, exceptional snorkelling and diving, fishing on Lake Sibaya, sightings of whales, dolphins and sharks.

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Safari Lodges within Maputaland Coastal Forest

Thonga Beach Lodge

Thonga Beach Lodge is ideal for nature lovers and families looking for an outdoor adventure holidays with activities including snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, guided wilderness walks, turtle tracking and fishing.

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Rocktail Bay Lodge

Rocktail Bay Lodge offers a private location along Maputaland's spectacular coastline; guests can expect and untouched wilderness area with pristine endless white beaches and incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities.

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Rocktail Beach Camp

Rocktail Beach Camp is a family-friendly safari camp magnificently situated in the Maputaland Coastal Forest. This reserve offers fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities with huge shoals of fish, dolphins and whales.

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Maputaland Coastal Forest on display

Top Destinations

Thonga Beach Lodge is situated only metres from the beach and a 10 minute drive from Lake Sibiya (Southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake), which is part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, now internationally recognised as a World Heritage Site.

Rocktail Bay Lodge is one of the most private and romantic getaways in South Africa with nature drives through the park, beach picnics and lazy strolls in search of the perfect secluded spot are always on offer.

Rocktail Beach Camp is situated onshore of the Maputaland Marine Reserve, which is a prolific marine life sanctuary for coral reefs, huge shoals of fish, and various dolphin and whale species. Few sections of the South African coastline are as unspoilt and secluded as this 40km stretch of beach.

How to Get there

Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights or private charters for visitors into Richard's Bay or Durban airports from most major airports in South Africa. Road transfers will be arranged by Sun Safaris once you arrive. For guests who wish to self drive, a 4x4 vehicle is required; you will drive to a designated area from where the lodges will do a road transfer. Sun Safaris will make the necessary arrangements for you and maps and directions will be provided.

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Maputaland Coastal Forest Game Viewing and Activities

The warm Indian Ocean attracts a large diversity of marine life including loggerhead and leatherback turtles, ragged-tooth sharks and enormous whale sharks, bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales, plus a myriad of colourful reef fish and other sea creatures.

The lakes play host to crocodiles and hippos, while antelopes can be found in the dry inland parts of the reserve. The mouth of the lake system provide some of the best snorkelling in South Africa and Kosi Bay is well known for its leatherback turtles that lay their eggs in the soft beach sand from the end of October through to January. Turtle viewing is a highlight in the area and only permitted with wildlife rangers.

Seasons and Climate

The area offers 2 definite seasons - The Rainy Season offers a hot and humid climate in the wet summer months of October to March; and the Dry Season occurs during the winter months of April to September when the temperatures are pleasant with warm days and cool

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Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

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Just like the spots on a leopard's back, each of our tailor-made itineraries is unique. Every journey has a personality, carefully designed to match the desires and expectations our clients bring to the table. Every element is taken into consideration to stitch together a personalised safari experience, grown from seed and cultivated to embody the perfect adventure. Our tailored itineraries are your safari dreams, defined.