North & Elephant Coast


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.

Getting there

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.


We offer tailor-made holidays including ground transport for transfers, tours and multi centre trips.

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.


Mhondoro Game Reserve

An amazing trip to South Africa

My adult son and I recently returned from an amazing trip to South Africa organised by Ash of Best of South Africa.  It was a tailor made holiday staying in two different game reserves - Etali in Madikwe and Mhondoro in Welgevonden.  A couple of days before we were due to fly BA announced their pilots were striking and our …


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