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Tembe Elephant Park

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Tembe Elephant Park is the largest elephant park in South Africa. The Big Five also find their home in this north-eastern region of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as more than 300 bird species and myriad other animals and plants.


Tembe Elephant Park at a Glance

Royal Tembe Suite: (1 unit)
  • Luxury safari tent on a wooden platform with a deck
  • 2 x Queen size beds
  • Inside basin & toilet en suite
  • Outside shower
  • Suitable for families
  • This unit is approximately 300m from the main lodge area.
Matriarch Suite: (4 units)
  • Luxury, spacious, safari tent built on a wooden platform with a deck
  • 1 x Queen size bed & single bed with space for an additional single bed
  • Inside shower, basin and separate toilet en suite
  • Suitable for families or special occasions - e.g. honeymooners, wedding anniversaries, etc.


Situated in Maputaland, with nearby access to the Tongoland reefs and scuba diving areas, and adjoining the Mozambique border, Tembe is home to the province’s biggest elephant herd and its only indigenous elephants.

The magnificent elephants - more than 220 in number including adults and juveniles - are Tembe’s main attraction and make for spectacular viewing. The larger adults are physically the biggest in South Africa and signs of their presence are everywhere, clearly evident through the broken branches and foliage left behind from their voracious foraging.

Tembe’s mosaic of sand forest, woodland, grassland and swampland, comprises an ideal habitat for highly-visible elephant spotting, enabling them to be observed at close-quarters from game-drive vehicles or from the discreetly located hides which overlook their watering holes.

At 300km2 size, Tembe is the third largest game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

Black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo, serval, eland, zebra, giraffe, hyena, jackal, wildebeest, nyala, kudu, water buck, reed buck, red duiker, warthog, and other small mammals thrive in abundance.

Tembe is also home to the rare and elusive suni antelope, one of the smallest and shyest species of buck in southern Africa, and the patient game-viewer is often rewarded with a sighting.

Tembe is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with more than 340 species recorded in the park - including the rare Rudd's apalis, the rufous-bellied night heron, the Natal nightjar and the Woodward’s batis.

This is an Africa that tourists seldom see, where an abundance of game and rare species live in an environment unchanged by time.

The Tembe experience will take you to a distant world of Africa as it once was - unspoilt, natural, and light years away from the pressures of civilisation.


The lodge comprises luxury en-suite and semi-luxury safari tents that blend unobtrusively with their natural surrounds and are tucked away in secluded areas around the lodge.

A swimming pool and open-air braai area lends itself to a rustic ambience and guests can enjoy campfire meals and the unforgettable experience of Africa under the stars.

All amenities are catered for and tariffs include accommodation, meals, teas, coffee, two daily game drives and transfers to and from the hide during the day.

Game drives are conducted by an experienced guide and are included at no extra cost.


Excursions that can be undertaken from Tembe Elephant Park:

  • Bird watching at Ndumo Game Reserve
  • Boat trips across the Kosi Lake System
  • Snorkelling and scuba diving at prime dive venues - Kosi Bay, Black Rock, Rocktail Bay,
    Mabibi, Sodwana Bay
  • Turtle watching along the coast from Kosi to Ponte de Oro (seasonal)
  • Exploring Lake Sibaya and the coastal forest

How to get there

By road
Tembe is a four-hour drive on a tarred road from Durban. You will be met at the entrance gate to the park and directed to the secure parking area where you can safely leave your vehicle for the duration of your stay. From there you will be driven in a 4x4 to the lodge.

Visitors requiring transport from Durban will be met at their hotel or preferred pick-up point and driven to Tembe in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle.

By air
If required, a return air service is available from Virginia Airport, just north of Durban, direct to the airstrip at Tembe or to the neighbouring Manguzi airstrip, depending on weather conditions.

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