Makakatana Bay

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stamp3Why photographers love Makakatana Bay

  • Only private lodge on Lake St Lucia
  • Variety of included activities including game drives, night drives and boating
  • Excellent birding
  • Mix of habitats and species
  • Seasonally, leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying eggs on the beach and humpback whales near shore
  • Add on activities such as scuba, snorkeling and fishing

How we rate Makakatana Bay

Wildlife  starstarstar
Wilderness  starstarstar
Lodge & Dining  starstarstar to star
Vehicles  starstarstarstar
Guides  starstarstar to star

Makakatana Bay at a glance

Accommodation is in 6 spacious, air-conditioned suites. Suites feature tea and coffee facilities, en-suite bathrooms, and outdoor showers. A central lodge area has a bar, pool overlooking the lake, dining room, boma for bush dinners, outdoor dining deck, wine cellar and Wi-Fi.

The concession

Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately owned lodge on the banks of Lake St Lucia–the largest natural estuary in Africa. It is within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The 328,000 hectare reserve includes several ecological zones–in addition to the lake, there are beaches, the ocean, wetlands, forest and savannah. Hippo, crocodile and water birds, including greater and lesser flamingo and pelicans, are prevalent in the lake. Buffalo, rhino and elephant can be seen in the savanna. Leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra are present too. The area is famous for birding and there are an estimated 367 species.

The seasons

Makakatana is a year round destination where each season has something special. Sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs between November and March. This is the rainy season when vegetation is greener. Whale season is May to November. June to August is the dry season and breeding season for birds.

What Makakatana Bay costs

Rates start at R3,950 per person per night. Access is via 3 hour drive from Durban, 6.5 hour drive from Johannesburg or 1 hour drive from the airport in Richards Bay.

Photographers need to know

Makakatana is situated right on the lake, but to get access for boating and to the best wildlife area, it’s a short drive.