Tembe Elephant Park, Elephant Coast, KwaZulu-Natal
Tembe Elephant Park is a 300 sq. km. Big 5 game reserve on the northern border between KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique. This is the legendary Ivory Route where the only truly indigenous elephant herds in KwaZulu-Natal roam. They are recognized as the largest tuskers in Africa. They used to be hunted mercilessly for their huge tusks but the reserve is very well managed now and since the war ended in Mozambique, it has become a safe haven for these gentle giants.
Although the elephants are the main attraction, the reserve is also home to the Big 5 as well as 340 bird species and many other animals – hippo, serval, eland, zebra, giraffe, hyena, jackal, wildebeest, nyala, kudu, water buck, reed buck, red duiker, warthog among many others. The diverse ecology of sand forest, woodland, grassland, and swampland, allows for excellent game viewing opportunities.
Tembe forms part of the new initiative to create the Lubombo Transfronteir Park, a 4195 sq. km. reserve straddling Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland and incorporating the Maputa Elephant Reserve in Mozambique and the Lubombo Conservancy in Swaziland. There are also plans to include the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Ndumo Game Reserve.
The area is the ancestral home of the Tembe people and they co-own and manage the Tembe Safari Lodge which comprises a number of luxury safari tents.
Getting there: From Durban, travel North on the N2 past Richards Bay, Hluhluwe and Mkuze. Stop to refuel at Mkuze as it is a long way to the next refueling point. Turn off the N2 to Jozini, go through the town and cross the dam wall. The park is 72 kilometres from Jozini and is well signposted.
|More info on the town of St Lucia||More info on the Elephant Coast area|