Maputaland Coastal and Marine Reserve

KwaZulu Natal is extremely proactive in preserving its exceptional natural heritage and the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve of the north-east corner of South Africa, is a World Heritage Site.

The reserve stretches all the way from the Mozambique border in the north to Sodwana Bay in the south. This sub-tropical paradise encompasses pristine forests and wetlands with strings of lakes and marshes, and marine ecologies including deserted beaches and coral reefs.

Incorporated in the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve are a number of small protected areas:

Lake Sibaya Nature Reserve contains the largest freshwater crystal clear lake in South Africa and is separated from the coast by impressive sand dunes rising to 536 feet (165metres). The lake contains some crocs and hippos, and there are boats (with skipper) for hire for fishing trips. The pristine coastline of this reserve stretches for 62 miles (100km).

Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is a coastal reserve with a string of four lakes and a wide variety of terrain and unique eco systems in the fig tree and palm forests, mangrove swamps, freshwater lakes, sand dunes, pristine beaches and coral reefs. It is home to the Tonga people who use ingenious fish traps made from reeds, to make their daily catch in the tidal lagoon.

The lakes contain crocs and hippos, while antelopes inhabit the dry inland parts of the reserve. The mouth of the lake system is considered to provide some of the best snorkelling in South Africa. But the areas is most famous for its leatherback turtles, that lay their eggs in the soft beach sand from the end of October through to January. Turtle viewing is allowed with wildlife rangers.

Rocktail Bay is a (40km) stretch of unspoilt, undeveloped, pristine coastline where a sophisticated conservation model has been successfully implemented, between conservation authorities, local communities and Wilderness Safaris tour operator. A small number of visitors stay at Rocktail Bay Lodge and can experience nature walks into the coastal forest, watching turtles laying their eggs, boat trips out to sea, scuba diving and snorkelling. This eco-friendly tourism project is successfully helping to preserve the area and create jobs.

The warm sea of this coastline attracts a great diversity of marine life including loggerhead and leatherback turtles, ragged-tooth sharks and enormous whale sharks, bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales, plus a myriad of colourful reef fish and other sea creatures.

SEASONS
Rainy Season: the climate is hot and humid in the rainy summer months of October to March.
Dry Season: The dry season lasts over winter from April to September and the temperatures are very pleasant with warm days and cool nights.

MAPUTALAND MARINE RESERVE SPECIALITIES

· Egg laying turtles
· Pristine deserted coastline
· Exceptional snorkelling and diving
· Fishing on Lake Sibaya
· Whales, dolphins and sharks

FACTS
This is a malarial area

Articles

Find More  

Safari Seasons

These occurrences like the great wildlife migration in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara, seasonal floods in the Okavango Delta, the Cape spring flower displays, the sardine run or the times when whales visit the African shores, draw a great deal of interest. Popular Safari Travel seasons are also influenced by a number of factors. Besides the natural wildlife occurrences, most …

Continue reading  

Private Safari Concessions

A concession gives the operator the exclusive rights to make the area private, beyond the access of the general public. Vast tracts of the most sort after wildlife areas are divided up into manageable blocks and allocated into concessions for private and commercial use. Private companies are awarded the privilege of operating luxury safari establishments and exclusive activities, based on …

Continue reading  

Traversing and your Safari Experience

Some Safari lodges and camps occupy relatively small territories and need to make an arrangement with the larger land owners to extend their game drives into the adjacent area. This special permission is highly monitored and strictly controlled. Traversing rights come at a high cost and are based on vehicles having access within a quota arrangement. Most of the sorts …

Continue reading  

Safari Activities

Game Drives All game drives are undertaken in an open sided 4×4 drive vehicle with a driver / naturalist who has experience and knowledge of the area, and is thus an expert on game movement and other ecological aspects of the region. Drives usually depart in the early morning and late afternoon when it is cooler and there is a …

Continue reading