Named after the muddy Maputo River that flows through southern Mozambique, Maputaland is a medley of clear, beige beaches, lakes, grassy marshlands, sand forests and mangroves. Small farmsteads and fishing communities dot the unspoilt landscape, adding to the laid-back ambience of the region.
Its coastline, extending eastwards to the shores of the Indian Ocean Islands, is a breeding ground of the leatherback turtle. Track these gentle giants’ progress as they make their way up the sandy beach to lay their eggs.
The area is encamped within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, (the third largest protective area in the country), along with the diving mecca of Sodwana Bay and the Maputaland Marine Reserve. Water enthusiasts can swim, snorkel and dive along the 50km coral reef or canoe and fish along Lake Sibaya. The area is known for its proliferation of birdlife and butterflies. Birds in Maputaland include the large Pel’s fishing owl, the endangered palm-nut vulture, fish eagle and the wading goliath heron. Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park and Phinda Private Game Reserve are home to herds of elephant and buffalo, big cats and an array of different antelope species. This is a malaria risk zone and visitors should take the necessary precautions.
- Leatherback turtle tracking will bring visitors closer to this impressive and mysterious creatures
- Sodwana Bay is a diving mecca with a 50km reef waiting to be explored
- Maputaland is home to a variety of butterflies and birdlife, including the large Pel’s fishing owl and endangered palmnut vulture
- Phinda Private Game Reserve and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park are home to big game such as elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and a variety of antelope