Located in KwaZulu-Natal, the Elephant Coast is a strip of beach-side land that stretches from Cape Lucia to the edge of Mozambique. Visitors flock to the area to get their wildlife fix since the coast is home to the pristine iSimangaliso Wetlands where sea turtles lay their eggs, and both Nile crocodiles and hippos thrive. But where can you stay during your visit to the region? We highly suggest treating yourself by staying a night or two in some of these lavish hotels with a stunning view of the ocean, forest or wetlands. Get ready to book that room you’ve been needing to unwind in, here are the most fabulous hotels in South Africa’s Elephant Coast.
Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa
Looking for a place that has its own panoramic view of the coast? Then look no further than Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa in Jozini. The hotel rests at the riverbank of the Pongola River (part of Lake Jozini) with mountainous ranges in the backdrop. The hotel has plenty of space and has up to 70 guest rooms per night including family lofts and suites. A luxury pool overlooks the water and guests can enjoy the perks of having a spa within steps of their rooms. Amenities include boat rides, fishing, easy access to hiking, birding trails, and more.
Ghost Mountain Inn
In Mkuze, Ghost Mountain Inn is a 4-star hotel with a legendary tale attached to it regarding the mummies of the Ndwandwe tribe (hence the name). Despite its spooky background, the inn is nestled on a breathtaking piece of land surrounded by a lush garden, outdoor dining, and an exotic pool with swaying palm trees. Before booking your room, research which rooms are ideal for you since many of them have their own personalities such as the Mountain View Room, Tshaneni Room (pictured), Gaza Suite and more. The hotel offers safaris as well, making it easy for guests to see the wildlife hot spots of the area without too much planning on their own.
At Heritage House
For a more intimate spot, consider At Heritage House in St. Lucia, a cozy bed and breakfast inn with all the convenient access to the wetlands and beach. Guests enjoy the colonial-style interior throughout the inn and the Big 5 Safari Packages available include a half day trip and a full day trip. The safari game drives will take its guests to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, where they can see a wealth of wildlife like lions, rhinos, crocodiles and plenty of other exciting species.
Umthiba Bush Lodge
For guests who wish to be closer to the safari park than the ocean, Umthiba Bush Lodge is a highly-rated bush accommodation where upscale meets rustic. Guests will be given safari rides around Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve to see some of the big game animals from their lodge. The lodge has an outdoor pool, cozy patios with a built in fire pit, and colonial-style furnishing throughout the facility to give guests a glimpse of the early days of wealthy travelers in South Africa.
Avalone Guest House
Tucked in the wilderness of St. Lucia, Avalone Guest House is the ideal spot for nature lovers. The guest house borders the wetlands, meaning visitors will be surrounded by the same foliage and vegetation, plus enjoy dining al fresco in its open-air patio. Amenities at the guest house include a swimming pool, easy access to the beach, hiking trails, and if it’s the season, guests will be invited to watch baby turtles hatch on the coast. Reserve your room as soon as possible as there are only 10 rooms available per night, but it’s well worth the wait.
Kosi Forest Lodge
Stay in this exclusive private lodge in the heart of Kosi Bay Nature Reserve in the Elephant Coast. The Kosi Forest Lodge is surrounded by the wetlands so you’ll experience a true “glamping” experience with untamed wilderness and a luxury room to retreat to. The lodge is on the small side, meaning you’ll want to book your room as soon as possible as there are only six rooms and two family rooms per night. But once you book a stay in the lodge, you’ll experience an isolated vacation shared by a few others in the midst of the wilderness that becomes your temporary playground. From the lodge, you can enjoy some of the many amenities like guided canoe trips, boat rides, Raffia Forest walks, or a day trip to Kosi Bay.
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