Main Attractions

Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve

The Hluhluwe Umoflozi Game Reserve is Africa's oldest proclaimed reserve and is undoubtly one of Southern Africa's most beautiful parks. The park is only 20 minutes drive from the lodge and offers prolific wildlife and stunning scenery.
Famous for its conservation efforts for saving the white rhino from extinction the park is the home of the rhino capture unit that to this day successfully runs an anti-poaching and relocation program.

The park now boasts the largest population of black and white rhino in the world, and also hosts the Big Five and endangered species like the wild dog. The park was proclaimed a game reserve in 1875 and guided game drives are offered since 1930.

Entrance to Game Reserve:
Summer: Nov to Feb from 5:00 to 19:00
Winter: Mar to Oct from 6:00 to 18:00.

Wildlife species:
Elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, black rhino, white rhino, giraffe, Burchell's zebra, cheetah,
spotted hyaena, hippo, crocodile, warthog, bushpig, black wildebeest, blue wildebeest, serval, large spotted genet, civet, caracal, African wildcat, wilddog, chacma baboon, samango monkey, vervet monkey, sidestriped jackal, blackbacked jackal, porcupine, striped polecat, antbear, aardwolf, Cape clawless otter, white-tailed mongoose, banded mongoose, water mongoose, dwarf mongoose, slender mongoose, thicktailed bushbaby, pangolin, honey badger, springhare, scrub hare and rock dassie.

Antelope – species:
Nyala, eland, kudu, waterbuck, mountain reedbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, impala, red duiker, blue duiker, common duiker, llipspringer, tsessebe, steenbok and Africa's smallest antelope the suni, weighing a mere 5,5 kg.

Isimangaliso  Park (St Luicia Wetland World Heritage Site)

In December 1999 the existing St Lucia game reserve with 35 000 ha lake as well as the adjacent coastal areas was declared a world heritage site, recognizing this magnificent conservation area's global importance.

The park stretches for more than 220 km from the Mozambique border to St Lucia and incorporates:
• False Bay Park
• St Lucia game and Marine reserves
• Cape Vidal
• Mission Rocks
• St Lucia estuary
• Bhangazi lake
• Charter's Creek
• Fani's Island
• Sodwana Bay
• Lake Sibaya
• Mkhuze game reserve

The site encompasses five major ecological zones:
• Marine ecosystem sea, coral reefs, fish, whales and dolphins.
• Eastern shores ecosystem sandy beaches flanked by some of the highest vegetated sand  
  dunes in the world, grassy plains and a variety of wetlands.
• Lake St Lucia - Africa's largest natural estuary, populated by hippopotamus, crocodiles and
   water birds.
• Mkuze swamps a reed and papyrus wetland.
• Western shores - dry savannah and thornveld  with rich deposits of fossils.

False Bay Park

Situated only 2 minutes drive from the lodge is False Bay Park, part of the St Lucia Wetland Park. This park has a beautiful lake, with lovely picnic spots.
Guests can reserve a picnic basket from the lodge and enjoy lunch next to the lake with spectacular views of Hell's Gate peninsula.
Giant trees such as the Strangler Fig and the Lebombo Wattle provide the perfect scenery for hiking. You will find fossils, pectin clams and fossilized worms when exploring the park or visiting the display room, since this rare sub tropical forest grows on ancient coastline.
This 4000 ha game reserve was proclaimed in 1944 to conserve its diversity of plant life and tremendous variety of insects and birds.

Birding

Well over 460 bird species have been identified in 11 major habitats, with one third of the species being waterside birds. This is over 80% of the total number of bird species found in the whole of the province.
The area also has 29 Red Data listed birds (birds facing possible extinction) and sightings of some of the rarer birds that are endemic to the area such as the Neergaards sunbird are fairly common. Two rare species in the region are the Pel's Fishing Owl (the only fishing owl) and the Palm Nut Vulture.
St Lucia lake boasts the only breeding colony of pink backed pelican in South Africa as well as the largest water bird, the Goliath heron. There are islands on the lake that are highly protected bird sanctuaries, recognized as globally important Bird Area (IBA) and a Ramsar site.
Flocks of flamingo's and pelican make homes on the islands in the lake when the plankton levels are high. Two species of flamingo are found here. The Lesser Flamingo feeds by filtering microscopic algae and diatoms food from the surface, whereas the Greater Flamingo submerges their entire head in the water and feed on larger crustaceans, molluscs and dipteral larvae.

Special sights - Secretary bird, ground hornbill, pink throated longclaw and Narina rrogon.
Some waterbirds - hammerkop, fish eagle and African jacana
Other interesting birds - The gorgeous bushshrike, purplecrested loerie, African broadbill, green coucal, and woodlands kingfisher.
Smallest bird in the region - The brown bat mannikan - 9 cm in length.

Pineapple Tours Done on Ezulwini

This Elephant Coast is renowned for its pineapple farming. 90% of South Africa's pineapple cultivar is produced in this region.

Zulu Culture

One of the most notable differences between the area and other destinations is the nature of the people who live in it. The Zulu culture is an intrinsic feature of the Elephant Coast that was once the hunting ground of the famous King Shaka.
Guests can purchase top quality carvings, beadwork and pottery at local craft markets, nearby the lodge. Not to mention a wide variety of baskets (weaved from the leaves of the lala palm) that are internationally renowned.
Tours in the area offers guests fascinating insight into the diverse ethnic and cultural customs of the Zulu nation, applied in the past and present. Witness their craftsmanship, see a traditional healer and architecture of a kraal design, or partake in the brewed sorghum beer and Zulu dancing, while learning about the rich history of the people.