The Elephant Coast stretches from the world heritage site of Lake St Lucia in the south to Kosi Bay, virtually on the Mozambique border. This area is popular to International Travelers, especially the Wetlands, which is why Tourism KZN is trying to change that narrative. If you have not been to this side of KZN, now is the time to do so. If you are one of the people that would rather know all there is to know about a place before they visit, this here is created just for you.
How is the Elephant Coast weather?
KZN weather is very humid and mainly warm all year round. However, as you move up north towards what is known to others as Zululand where the elephant Coast is situated, the weather changes to mostly sunny and less humid that Durban.
How to get there?
The Elephant Coast can be accessed from different fronts. Visitors can fly into Richards Bay or Durban and rent a car or take a shuttle to their respective destinations. It can also be accessed from the Mozambique border through Kosi Bay. We enjoyed the road trip from King Shaka International Airport. The road is wide and less busy, the views are amazing and most importantly; the municipality is doing a great job in sustaining the environment.
Furthermore, any mode of transport you can think of, that can be found in South Africa is available at the Elephant Coast. From Government busses to Taxis and Limited access to Uber and Bolt.
Will the accommodation options cater for people like me?
When I visited the Elephant Coast I was not sure what type of accommodation to expect. However, to my surprise the area boast a huge selection of accommodation options, from 4-star hotels to home stays. The most popular ones are the Tiger Lodge, at Lucia Cultural Village and Hluhluwe Protea Hotel, because they are the best in the area and have been welcoming visitors for decades. Only good things have been shared about them, with just a few areas of improvement. These boast comfy beds, clean leaving spaces, lovely set and ala-carte menus. They also cater for your special occasions too and will go out of their way to ensure that you get to enjoy all that your palate desires.
Is there a place I can go for a spa treatment?
Yes, Tiger Lodge Spa is open from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 20:00 pm and Sunday to Thursday and 10:00 am to 22:00 pm Friday & Saturday. They offer full day, half day and night spa experiences, and individual treatments. A steam room is also available. Treatments can be done in the spa, in-rooms and poolside.
Where can I go for a good swim?
The area might be in the coast but you need to apply precaution because Beaches along the Elephant Coast are not protected, and swimming is at your own risk, especially when the tides are turning; and at dusk and dawn. Swimming in rivers and lagoons is not safe due to most inland waters having resident hippos and crocodiles. Swim only in daylight. However, most accommodation establishments have huge swimming pools, therefore a safe swim is attainable.
Are there any weekend markets?
To mention but a few – Tucked away in St Lucia at the end of McKenzie Street you will find the St Lucia market, where a vast selection of curios and fresh produce like paw-paws, bananas, avocado pears, macadamia nuts can be found. Experience the local mix of South Africa and Mozambique culture at the Gate 6 informal Phuza market. The market is located at the Kosi Bay border post. If you are lucky to be there during lunch time you will get to enjoy indulging in a few of the local brews, or wander around the stalls that sell various food, crafts, curios and other materials.
Will I find anything to feed my adventure thirst?
When Visiting the Elephant Coast, spending some time at Mfolozi Nature Reserve, where you can enjoy either a sunrise or a sunset game drive should be on top of your list. My pick is the former as you get to see a lot of animals out and about looking for food. This is the time where they are most energetic and would put on a little show for you if you are nice. One of the highlights would be to go on a cruise at the Isimangaliso Wetlands. This is one of the UNESCO sights that cover a wide range of Animals, the most prominent being the Hippos. We were lucky to have been able to spot some of the game having fun in the sun and some sun bathing and enjoying the sun rays. When you enter the boat you are advised to not seat at the edges or dare to step out of the boat as Crocodile are also found in numbers there.
This is one of the beautiful coasts of South Africa, what you will not miss is the fact that it gives you the wild, scenic roads and beautiful dams and beaches. Each day is an adventure, and the people know how to make visitors feel at home.
There is no way you could ever miss out on the down time at Jozini’s Tiger Lodge, there you can either keep it simple indoors, with some dinning and spa treatments or take it outside for some lovely time in the pool area and a sunset cruise for some lovely two hours of leisure with an unforgettable sunset. You can also have a good time with some Canoes and Paddles.
All in all the Elephant Coast is full of beautiful suprizes, therefore it is guaranteed that you will get value for your money when you visit. Don’t forget to respect the animals and they will respect you back.