KwaZulu-Natal's Zululand / Maputuland
Zululand and Maputaland contain some of the most splendidly diverse and unspoilt wilderness areas in southern Africa, the undulating dunes, swamps, lakes, and bushveld echo the true spirit of Africa.
This region offers ideal climatic conditions for wildlife and is well known for it's success in breeding rhino, having supplied thousands to conservation areas throughout Southern Africa.
KwaZulu Natal is home to the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve, once the hunting grounds of the Zulu kings and where you will find practically every species of game including the 'Big Five' or 'Big Six' if you include the White Rhino. The white rhino, in particular, was once considered to be one of the most endangered animal species in the world.
The Greater St Lucia Wetlands, a patchwork of conservation areas, include forested dunes, swamps, islands and woodlands. Lake St Lucia, where thousands of migrating flamingos flock, has hippo and crocodile.
To the west of Lake St Lucia, lies False Bay unique for its abundance of marine fossils and ammonites.
The Mkuzi Game Reserve is excellent for game-viewing and birdlife is prolific. More than 400 species of bird have been recorded including the rare Pel's fishing owl. It is also home to South Africa's only breeding population of pinkbacked pelicans.
Further north, smaller game reserves can be found. These include the Pongola Game Reserve, sanctuary to a large variety of wildlife species which include giraffe, hyena, leopard and buffalo, to name but a few. On the border of Mozambique lies
Ndumo Game Reserve where rhino, giraffe, warthog, zebra, kudu, nyala and impala are found. Adjacent to this is the
Tembe Elephant Park. As the name suggests, this park is home to a herd of elephants that originated from Mozambique. The elephants were left to freely migrate back and forth over the border. However, due to poaching, they have since been fenced in.
Near to Tembe Elephant Park and only about 2kms from the Mozambique border, in the north eastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal, lies
Kosi Bay, one of natures last frontiers. It is in fact an estuary, combining a chain of lakes, marshes and swamp forests that stretch for 18kms. Teeming with fish, it is popular for surf angling, fly-fishing and boat fishing. There is abundant birdlife and it is home to the rare Palm Vulture and breeding place of the Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles.