St Lucia

This subtropical northeastern region of South Africa offers coral reefs, great beaches, estuaries and also some fine game reserves with an interesting diversity of bushveld habitats. At its core are the extremely well-run national parks managed by KZN wildlife, which include a clutch of reserves now included in the Greater iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This is a fantastic wetland system, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the most southerly coral reefs in Africa. Turtles lay their eggs on the beaches here in the summer months, and it’s an immensely beautiful place. Once again, there are camps run by KZN Wildlife as well as some excellent private reserves including Phinda. In this area, don’t miss the Hlhuhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest wildlife area in Southern Africa—it was here that rhino were brought back from the brink of extinction in the 60s and 70s by the legendary conservationist, Ian Player. Birders will find the small reserves of Ndumo and Mkuze to be among the most productive areas in South Africa. We can highly recommend this area for photographers, especially if they choose an itinerary that combines some of the privately operated wildlife areas with the provincial parks.

Kosi Bay Forest Lodge

This 20-bedded lodge built from wood and natural materials has a swimming pool and dining area and is set in thick sandforest in the northern part of Isimangaliso Wetland Park at Kosi Bay. Part of a World Heritage Site that covers 4 lake systems, coastal forest and marine reserves, it includes the Maputaland
Centre of Endemism, which is a botanical hostpot. Thonga people use fishing practices here that date back some 700 years.


Makakatana Bay

Makakatana Bay is the only private doge on Lake St Lucia. It offers a variety of activities including game drives and boating and has excellent birding. There is a mix of habitats and species and sea turtles and humpback whales can be seen in season. Scuba, snorkeling and fishing is also on offer.


Thanda Game Lodge

Thanda is situated near Hlhuhluwe in rolling hills on private land that has been under conservation for close to a decade. Safari Lodge has 9 suites each with a private plunge pool, air-conditioning and lavish, spacious interiors. The simpler Thanda Tented Camp has 14 tents which are also extremely comfortable, a dining room, bar and boma area. Thanda also has a private villa.