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.
15 The Bridge is an air-conditioned, 3 bedroom self-catering luxurious apartment located in a prestigious gated secure holiday resort on the main street of St Lucia, situated within walking distance of the beach, shops and restaurants.
Waterbessie no 71 is a secure duplex unit on Kitefish road in Meerensee, there are 24Hr security guards on the property, and there is a communal pool. It is within a kilometre to the beach Alkantstrand, the Richards bay Ski boat club .
Marlin Lodge St. Lucia is a 3 star B&B situated in the tranquil and tropical village of St. Lucia in Kwa-Zulu Natal. St Lucia lies on the banks of the St. Lucia estuary, and is unique as it is totally surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Afr
Via Lalicia 11 is a luxury fully air-conditioned and secured townhouse . . Three bedrooms , 2 bathrooms and double garage. Open living area. Wheelchair-friendly .
Maphelane is situated on the south bank of the Mfolozi river mouth. It is the southernmost camp in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. There are 10 five-bedded, fully-equipped log cabins. There are 40 camp and caravan sites, with modern ablution blocks availab
Fish Eagles boasts 3 separate self catering cottages nestled in a beautifully landscaped garden skirting the golf course with lagoon and beach views.
Facilities in the hotel include an airy dining room and terrace offering lovely views of the garden and pool areas. Buffet breakfasts and dinners as well as a la carte dinners are served
Experience the only Game Viewing and Tiger Fishing Houseboats in South Africa on one of its largest dams, Lake Jozini (aka Pongolapoort Lake), on the KwaZulu- Natal North Coast, 3.5 hrs drive from King Shaka International Airport, north of Durban..
Our Toad Tree Cabins provide a number of different accommodation options for couples and families - to suit your romantic needs or your family getaway. With a choice of 5 double cabins and 2 x 4, 6 or 8 sleeper family cottages Toad Tree Cabins...
Ndumo Game Reserve is situated in Maputaland near Tembe Elephant Park on the Mozambique border. The Usuthu River forms its northern boundary, and the Pongola River flows through the reserve to its confluence with the Usuthu River. The reserve is 10 117 ha
Villa Beryl Guesthouse, is your home away from home. It is one of Vryheid's surviving classic old South African homes, with its sandstone foundations, Oregon pine floors, high ceilings and wide verandahs.
Guests can enjoy an unrivalled ethnic experience by staying in DumaZulu Lodge which consists of ethnic units resembling the different tribes of Southern Africa on the exterior while the interior is modern and tastefully decorated in ethnic fabrics
Cape Vidal falls within the St Lucia Marine Reserve and is situated north-east of St Lucia within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. This pretty bay is supported by a variety of accommodation set back in the dunes.There are 18 five-bedded
Come to St Lucia, in KwaZulu Natal and find out what the "sweet life" is all about. Tastefully decorated 3 bedroom cottage/self catering, sleeps 8 /fully equipped. Welcome to La Dolce Vita No.1!
Turtle Bay Lodge is the ideal beach and bush break-away, with a swimming pool and a cocktail bar for our guests to enjoy after a day of exploring. We offer SELF CATERING FACILITIES which includes a scrumptious breakfast. There are 7 bedrooms on suite ...
Our thatched guest house in the village of St. Lucia within a World Heritage Site (Isimangaliso Wetland Park) is surrounded by koi ponds and water features, creating the perfect atmosphere for you to totally relax.
Comfortable overnight facilities are available at Ezulwini Lodge, and there are choices between either one of six self-catering units detailed under the Rates section below. Breakfast and dinner are being served in a central kitchen-lapa.
The house consists of 4 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms. The house is fully air conditioned - the main bedroom is air conditioned, ceiling fan, en-suite with a queen bed, bedroom 2 has a queen bed with air-con.