This 220km stretch of protected coastline is home to some of the most fascinating and oldest animal and plant species in Africa. It shares its border with Mozambique and Swaziland and it can best be described as the convergence of natural Africa.
This celebrated land was declared a World Heritage Site and affectionately given the name, “iSimangaliso”, meaning “something miraculous” in Zulu. And that’s exactly what this Eden is – a miraculous collection of all the beauty one imagines on a holiday in South Africa.
Over 2000 plant species live in this perfect oversized garden which is surrounded by the highest forested dunes in the world. You will be spellbound as these massive 180 metre high dunes welcome you along your path. They have seen 25 000 years of African history to tell and secrets to share about the Tsonga people who inhabit the land.
There are plenty of game reserves found along the Elephant Coast such as Phinda, Ndumo, Tembe Elephant Park and Mkuze. In between the verdant forests, orchards and hanging orchids from the trees, you’ll find yourself on the edge of rivers and swamp forests where you’ll encounter hippos, crocodiles and an abundance of bird life.
The area is also home to the famous Marula trees of Africa, which are celebrated once a year during the Marula festival. This is just one of the many pieces of tradition and history you’ll find in this area which is also filled with fossils and caves.
The Elephant Coast is found along the Eastern border of South Africa.
The Elephant Coast is accessible via the N2 from Richards Bay or the N2 from Piet Retief.
Best time to visit
This verdant green expanse is lush all year round while winter sees the waters rise and the pans fill up enabling visitors to view 700-year-old fish traps and traditional fish drives.
An intimate family-run hotel and spa in northern Kwa-Zulu-Natal, perfectly placed for an action packed family holiday.
A private beach lodge nestled on the shores of a lake on the forest edge with an abundance of activities and a relaxed, rustic atmosphere.
Set high up on a ridge overlooking the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve with spectacular views and interesting game viewing.
Perfectly positioned on the edge of the forest, this 17 bedroom family friendly beach lodge is the perfect place to explore the ancient coastal forest, snorkel in the crystal clear waters or visit a local elephant sanctuary.
Beautifully positioned between the forest and the sea, family friendly Thonga Beach Lodge is the place to be for an adventurous, relaxing but incredibly action packed holiday. Turtles, dolphins, birds and sub-tropical fish take centre stage here. A diver, bird-lover, sun-worshiper, marine enthusiasts idea of heaven.
The Best of South Africa Travel map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.
Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.
When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.
A wonderful 7 night break to South Africa
We have just come back from a wonderful 7 night break to South Africa. We were incredibly well looking after from the second we stepped off the plane, by a lovely representative of Best of South Africa Travel - who met us and escorted us through customs and immigration literally behind the pilots. It was very efficient, and we felt very ...