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.
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
This tastefully decorated 2 bedroom, 1full suite cottage is very spacious and idea as a family unit, it offers many comforts including : Sea view, Dstv, Air conditioning, over head fans
This intimate, luxury 12 suite lodge is nestled on the pristine coast of Maputaland, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park - an internationally recognized World Heritage Site. It's the ideal place to explore unspoilt, ...
Pelican's Nest Holiday Home St Lucia is a beautifully decorated, spacious, comfortable and relaxing, three bedroom, two bathroom, air-conditioned self catering house situated in a quiet street with easy access and walking distance to the beach, restauran
Basangoma Game Ranch offers a luxury chalet with spectacular views of the surrounding bush and mountains from both the covered patio and the open plan kitchen / lounge.
At Intibane Lodge we have 6 beautifully structured self catering units, each accommodating 4 people. Each chalet is just like a home away from home, offering you a comfortable overnight stay. All of the chalets are fully furnished and identical
If you have a love of the outdoors or love to explore nature and a sense of adventure, St Lucia 14 on 103 McKenzie is the one for you! This 6 sleeper luxurious, self-catering, air-conditioned chalet is perfect for families looking for an active scenic hol
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.
A Kings View Boutique Guesthouse stands majestically overlooking natural forest, ambling hills and the Indian Ocean in the distance. Stunning panoramic views fit for royalty. First-of-its-kind in Eshowe, our Guesthouse is Boutique in every sense of the wo
We offer spacious, luxury, en suite rooms, air conditioning, tea and coffee maker and satellite TV. Towels and linen are supplied. You will enjoy our delicious breakfasts, sundowners by the pool or on the peaceful outside terrace. Wonderful ...
The Amakhosi Safari Lodge is situated in the Amakhosi Private Game Reserve, on the banks of the Mkuze River, right in the heart of Zululand. It boasts six luxurious river and two honeymoon suites, in complete harmony with their surroundings. Amakhosi also
Bushlands Game Lodge is centrally situated in Zululand and surrounded by 300 000 acres of National Parks, including Hluhluwe/Umfolozi, Mkuzi, Nduma, Sodwana Bay and St. Lucia.
The central lodge complex includes a tastefully furnished lounge, bar and restaurant. Meals may be served at the lounge viewing deck, the indoor dining area, the traditional boma during Zulu dancing or on request at your room.
Raphia on Sea is a lovely self contained apartment with a lounge and kitchen, 2 bedrooms one with a king size bed the other with 2 beds. Full cable/ DStv with aircon, fully serviced.
All our 4 spacious guestrooms have a private entrance and terrace; the uniqueness of the design and layout provide guest convenience and privacy. We offer 2 rondavel styled rooms in front of the house with en-suite bathroom
At Triton we offer all levels of scuba diver training from junior diver to advanced trimix diver and instructor courses plus all the different speciality courses and our instructors are certified with both the CMAS and PADI agencies.
Situated in the heart of Sodwana Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find Mseni Beach Lodge - the place of happiness, where laughter and joy resounds! Here at Mseni, we aim to provide friendly service & an excellent experience to compliment our a