Maputaland Coastal Forest
The Maputaland coastal forest mosaic is an ecoregion of the subtropical, moist, broadleaf forests Biome, in Southern Africa. The southern limit is near Cape St. Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal, where the Maputaland forests transition to the Kwazulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.