Covering about a quarter of KwaZulu Natal, the region known as Zululand / Maputaland draws it's lifeblood from the network of waterways and rivers that etch their way from the towering peaks of the KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg Mountains on the south western boundary, across the heart of Zululand to the shores of the Indian Ocean. In the north east the Zululand / Maputoland region is bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland.
The largest Zululand river is the Tugela River. In it's long, winding journey from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Indian Ocean, the Tugela River leads the traveller through a destination set apart by the Majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the Big Five found in the world renown Zululand game reserves of Umfolozi Game Reserve, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Phinda Game Reserve, Mkuze Game Reserve, Itala Game Reserve and the internationally famous Wetlands of Lake St Lucia (a world heritage site)
Zululand / Maputaland Culture
Witness Zulu Dancing and a traditional Zulu healer communing with the spirits.
Visit an authentic Zulu village and overnight in a traditional beehive hut and learn how this proud nation and it's culture is still much a part of life in Zululand (Maputaland) today.
Many Zulu families earn their living by performing Zulu dancing, making and marketing beautiful baskets, carvings and intricate Zulu bead work - these are sold at roadside stalls. Zulu cultural villages offer visitors the opportunity to experience the authentic culture of the Zulu people, their customs and the Zulu way of life. This is Zululand (Maputaland) the home of The Zulu - The people of heaven.
Zululand / Maputaland activities and Zululand Birdlife
For the energetic there are hiking trails and wilderness rides on horseback as well as snorkling, scuba diving some of the best coral reefs in Africa. In addition, bird trails, canoe safaris and off road adventures for the 4x4 enthusiasts are popular Zululand activities. 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.
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 nature's 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 Nut Vulture and breeding place of the Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles. Palm Nut Vultures are spotted more frequently in the town of Mtunzini.
Zululand / Maputaland wildlife
Imagine the thrill of game viewing the big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) from an open safari vehicle.
In addition, you can opt for self-drive visits or guided tours to the numerous Zululand game reserves, world heritage sites and wildlife attractions.
The oldest inhabitants of Zululand are reed buck, bush buck, nyala, impala, water buck, grey duiker, red duiker, warthog, kudu and blue wildebees.
Due to the strong conservation ethics, Zululand / Maputaland is home to the worlds largest concentration of white rhino. One of the most exciting achievements has been to save the white rhino and black rhino from extinction. Elephant, giraffe and zebra abound throughout Zululand whilst the reintroduction of lion has resulted in a healthy lion population in Umfolozt Game Reserve. The occasional cheetah can also be spotted.
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. These Zululand elephants were left to freely migrate back and forth over the border. However, due to poaching, they have since been fenced in at the Tembe Elephant Park.
The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, where thousands of migrating flamingos flock, and one of nature's marvels, totals half the estuary area in South Africa. A visit to this land of Zululand lakes, dunes, pelicans crocodiles and hippos is an experience to be cherished forever. At Sodwana Bay, Cape Vidal, Kosi Bay and Lake Sibaya, angling, fishing and scuba diving are the main attractions.
Here five ecosystems - ranging through rivers, lakes, freshwater pans, mangrove forests, reed and sedge swamps, water grasslands, coastal dunes and rocky barrier reefs - are proving to be a compelling draw card for those who yearn for the real African experience. To the west of Lake St Lucia, lies False Bay unique for its abundance of marine fossils and ammonites.
Zululand / Maputaland accommodation
Accommodation in Zululand / Maputaland varies from luxury game lodges to rustic tree top hideaways and tented beach camps and from Zulu beehive huts to beachfront cottages. And whilst the type of Zululand accommodation might differ, the Zululand hospitality you receive is always warm and friendly.
Zululand Accommodation in Zulu cultural beehive huts has proven to be a favourite amongst foreign tourists. Although the appearance of the beehive hut accommodation seems to be rustic (from the outside) some Zululand lodges are 4 and 5 star graded and pretty luxurious. Bushlands Game Lodge focuses much attention on giving their guests the ultimate Zulu cultural experience. The author has personally stayed at Bushlands Game lodge and rate it as one of her favourite Zululand hotels / Zululand game lodges.
Lake Sibaya accommodation - The actual Lake Sibaya is not located on the beach, but is a popular inland destination. Accommodation at Thonga Bush Lodge which is on the Zululand dunes and only a few km from Lake Sibaya is a favourite and certainly worth investigating. Thonga Bush Lodge forms a part of The Isibindi Hotel stable.
Bask in the therapeutic atmosphere and enjoy the comforts of well appointed Zululand hotels and cosy Zululand bush lodges. Zululand resorts offer a wealth of activities. Wilderness trails, bush camps, exclusive game lodges, game drives and hunting safaris offer visitors a close and unforgettable encounter with nature.
Zululand / Maputaland is a unique experience - Discover it for yourself.
Lai-La Log cabins is a rustic peaceful experience; offering our guests 6 x 2 two bedroom self catering wooden log cabins with braai area.
We are self catering luxury log cabins with air conditioning. We have 4 chalets that sleeps four people, 1 five sleeper and 1 two sleeper. There is a microwave, fridge with freezer, kettle, toaster and hob in each chalet. There is one bathroom in ...
Relax in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom in the verdant and peaceful town of St. Lucia, just minutes away from South Africa’s first World Heritage site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Escape to a rejuvenating oasis at Natal Spa Hot Springs & Leisure Resort, situated on the road between Vryheid and Paulpietersburg on the Battlefields Route.
From JHB: Take N12 to Witbank, turn off to Ogies. Go through Bethal, Ermelo, Piet Retief, Pongola. Continue south along the N2, past Mkuze and Hluhluwe. Take turn-off left to Mtubatuba and St Lucia signboard, the R618
St Lucia Estuary is situated within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the springboard for exploring the wonders of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.
ZEEKOEPAN River Lodge & the Chalets is situated within a network of Big 5 properties and offer the ONLY SELF-CATERING facility within this larger Big 5 area. The Lodge and Chalets are situated on the banks of the picturesque Mkuze River.
Welcome to Shonalanga Lodge St Lucia - South Africa. We are situated in the heart of St Lucia, a small town in the World Heritage Site. Shonalanga Lodge and Tours is within the proclaimed Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Reserve, the largest lake in Africa.
DWEBA LAPA consists of 4 self-catering chalets, communal lapa with braai area and swimming pool. The chalets sleep 26 people in total. (6, 6, 6, and 8)
All guests can be assured of a comfortable and relaxing stay. For those who want to break away from the day to day routine we can offer scrumptious meals at our restaurant.
Our beautifully furnished en-suite rooms offer the perfect countryside stay. We have 26 en-suite rooms & can easily accommodate 55 guests if sharing. 3 of our classic rooms have the potential to be converted to family-friendly rooms upon request.
Celebrate the exclusive luxury at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offering exceptional safari experiences in the heart of Big 5 territory. Rhino Ridge is ideally situated for conservationists, wildlife enthusiasts and tourists.
No.9 The Bridge. Recently refurbished, 2 bed ground floor unit, sleeping up to 6 - double bed in main room and 2 singles in the second with a sleeper couch in the lounge.
The moment you arrive at the Sugar Hill Manor Guesthouse in Eshowe you will feel welcome and at home. Set in a large, 100-year-old Victorian home with magnificent country views.
St Lucia, home to Flamboyant Self Catering Holiday Flats and South Africa's first and largest Natural World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Situated on the main street in St Lucia, McKenzie Street. We are in walking distance to all shops, rest
This is a sun filled , immaculately clean and neat unit , with Air/Conditioners (3) , fully equipped kitchen, 2 1/2 bedrooms, two full bathrooms, lounge with colour TV and DSTV , stoep with built in braai facilities and a private patio
The lodge boasts 22 beautifully constructed wooden chalets. Each chalet is fully equipped for 3 to 5 people, some with a loft room for the children, and each offers a private sundeck with a barbeque area. A large sparkling swimming pool and ...