Destinations & Attractions in Elephant Coast, in Durban

Elephant Coast Destinations & Attractions

The Elephant Coast is the simply spectacular region that stretches from Kosi Bay (almost on the border of Mozambique) to Lake St Lucia, showcasing some of the most beautiful stretches of South African coastline imaginable.

Lake St Lucia is the largest estuarine lake in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its being part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (also known by its former name as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park). This park covers 280 kilometres of the coast and comprises just under 3 300 square kilometres of natural ecosystems. It is these ecosystems that earned the park the title of being a World Heritage Site, as they are so diverse and even unique that they make for a truly impressive destination. It is home to leopards, hippos, rhinos (both black and white), elephants, whales, dolphins and turtles, amongst others. In addition, around 1 200 Nile crocodiles can be found within the park’s borders.

The Elephant Coast is a bustling hub for eco-tourists, as it has so much to offer in the way of natural beauty and impressive wonders.

This region got its name from the sizable herd of African Elephants that have lived on these dunes for centuries. In fact, this is the country’s largest herd, and their gentle antics, despite their enormous size, continue to impress even the most seasoned of visitors.

The Elephant Coast includes the Lebombo (or Lubombo) Mountains. This exquisite range is narrow, but stretches on for 800 kilometres, extending into Mozambique and Swaziland. The world-famous Kruger National Park is also part of this mountain range.

Because the Elephant Coast is just so beautiful, there is a huge variety of things to do and see for those that relish being left to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of nature. The landscape is littered with mangrove swamps, dune forests, rocky stretches of shoreline, woodlands, and beautiful beaches. This makes it the ideal destination for those that enjoy exploring a new place on foot, whether they choose to go on formal hikes or just want to amble at leisure.

Whale watching is a particularly popular pastime along the Elephant Coast. Between the months of July and December, many Humpback and Southern Right whales pass the coast, often amusing onlookers with their antics. They create impressive blows or sprays, or they lobtail and breach at the water’s surface.

Because its waters are teeming with beautiful and interesting species, the Indian Ocean off the Elephant Coast is a hotspot for snorkellers, paddlers and scuba divers. A fortunate few have even been able to watch the turtles laying their eggs. Cape Vidal is one of the spots that is well loved for its fishing and whale-watching opportunities, but is also known simply for its beauty.

Well known areas and attractions of the Elephant Coast include Kosi Bay, Sodwana Bay, Hluhluwe and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

For more information about the Elephant Coast, click here. Additional details about the towns in this region can be viewed below, together with links to help you find accommodation. Alternatively, to view all of the accommodation options in one go, click here.

Hluhluwe

The village of Hluhluwe is in the heart of Zululand on South Africa’s east coast, home to the Zulu kings Dingiswayo and Shaka, who allegedly prompted the very first conservation laws and the oldest game reserve in the country - ...

Ingwavuma

Ingwavuma is a small rural town, nestled deep in the countryside of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Part of the Umkhanyakude District Municipality, Ingwavuma enjoys the hot, humid conditions typical of this part of ...

Jozini

Jozini, a small town in North Eastern KwaZulu Natal on the main route to Mozambique, is synonymous with the dam of the same name - the Jozini or Pongolapoort Dam. This huge dam, on the Pongola River, provides a rather ...

Kosi Bay

The lakes and estuary of Kosi Bay add an enormously scenic element to this idyllic part of KwaZulu-Natal, as do its magnificent beaches. With such natural wealth, it is no wonder that Kosi Bay entices an array of fauna to make ...

Kuleni Game Park

Kuleni Game Park is wonderfully situated in the heart of Southern Maputaland. Within a 1/2 hours drive you can be anywhere you choose. On the beautiful beaches of Sodwana Bay or the famous Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big "5" Game Reserve. ...

Lake Sibaya

With a surface area of almost 80 square kilometres, Lake Sibaya is South Africa’s largest fresh water lake. During the dry summer months, many of the shallower water sources dry up, leaving Lake Sibaya as the only source of water ...

Mabibi

Part of the gorgeous Kosi Bay Coastal Forest Reserve, Mabibi is a remote getaway. Although somewhat secluded, it is well known amongst divers, being the only tropical dive site in the country, and boasting a stunning reef, full ...

Manguzi

In the rural heartlands of KwaZulu-Natal, bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland is the Umkhanyakude District Municipality. This district is home to Manguzi, which is also known as kwaNgwanase, and was formerly the town of Kosi ...

Mbazwana

The small town of Mbazwana is a settlement that covers just over 10 square kilometres in the uMkhanyakude District. It falls under the uMhlabuyalingana Municipality in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is home to ...

Mkuze

Mkuze may be just a little village, but it represents all that is Africa. It is set within vast, unspoilt plains, in which massive bodies of water are frequented by wildlife like hippos. This is a great place to visit all year ...

Mkuze Game Reserve

A place of great beauty and high contrasts, Mkuze Game Reserve is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers with more than 420 bird species on record. The Mkuze River curves along the reserve's northern and eastern borders with a fine ...

Mtubatuba

Having been flooded and almost completely destroyed, the little settlement of Mtubatuba was only officially resurrected as a town in 1950. It is the ideal place for nature-lovers to base themselves while exploring nearby ...

Ndumo

Right on the northern-most border of the South African province of KwaZulu Natal lies the little settlement of Ndumo. It is bordered by both Swaziland and Mozambique, enjoying the subtropical climate of this exquisite part of the ...

Rocktail Bay

This is one of those remote beach experiences that reminds one rather of a film set for a desert island, complete with perfectly warm waters, miles and miles of endless sandy beaches and forested sand dunes. A more consummate ...

Sodwana Bay

Sodwana Bay is part of the World Heritage Site, the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. It is a coastal area that yields fantastic deep water diving sites, boasting coral reefs that are breath-taking in their beauty and the fauna ...

St Lucia

St Lucia is a small town with a big job – it is the base of choice for many that visit the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in which the town is situated. It exudes a peaceful ambience that sets its visitors right at ease, the ideal ...
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