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Makakatana Bay Lodge

When To Visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park:
When To Visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park:
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We recommend Makakatana to travellers seeking one fabulous location for both bush and beach activities on holiday! Children aged 6 years and over are welcome.


Makakatana Bay Lodge is privately owned and run. It’s named after a Zulu chief! The lodge has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, as well as the title ‘Best Value Establishment 2018’ from Afristay. The accommodation can be booked on a half-board or full-board basis, with the latter including activities. Children aged 6–12 years sharing a room with their parents incur a reduced rate, and a childminding service is available at cost. Also at cost, transfers from a range of locations can be arranged.


The lodge is situated in Makakatana Bay, on the beautiful banks of Lake St Lucia. It can be accessed via road transfer from Richards Bay (1½ hours), Durban (3 hours), or Johannesburg (6½ hours). The property has a lovely location amidst dune forests and close to the lake. Constructed mostly from wood, it blends seamlessly into the landscape.


Guest accommodation consists of five standard rooms, two family rooms, and one room for honeymooners. All rooms are accessed along wooden walkways and spaced well apart for ample privacy. Each standard room is air conditioned and features a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a separate seating area, wildlife wall artwork, and sliding doors out onto a private veranda – here, you can relax and enjoy spotting bush babies, nyala, red duiker, warthog, and lots of birds! The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, bathtub, and outside shower. Additional amenities include a telephone, a tea-and-coffee station, and a mini-bar. Both family rooms benefit from all the features of the standard room type, as well as an additional bedroom with twin beds. The honeymoon room has a particularly secluded location, with sufficient space on the veranda for private dining – please contact us for further details.

Makakatana’s communal lounge and dining areas are found in the property’s timber lodge building. The lounge contains plenty of comfortable sofas and armchairs around a central coffee table, as well as a few occasional tables and a selection of reading material. This space flows through to the dining area, where guests eat together at one large table. There’s some wildlife artwork throughout the lodge, in addition to plants, flowers, and a few rugs. You can also tuck in to delicious snacks and meals on the property’s wraparound deck, or within the traditional boma. There’s a bar too, and a wine cellar within a concrete block house constructed by the owner’s grandfather during the early 1900s. This building was used as a store for fish and crabs, and to this day it’s known as ‘The Old Crab House’! Makakatana also has a lovely swimming pool, close to the edge of the lake.


An exciting variety of activities is available at Makakatana Bay Lodge. Full-day trips, including expertly guided vehicle safaris, are offered in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Game Reserve.

  • Here, you can expect to see all Big Five species – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! The reserve is home to numerous smaller predators and herbivores too, not least cheetah, spotted hyena, jackals, giraffe, blue wildebeest, zebra, an assortment of antelopes, and a few primates.
  • Nile crocodile and hippo may be viewed in the rivers, and the Hluhluwe River Flood Plain attracts all sorts of waterfowl such as three types of longclaw.
  • Birdlife elsewhere in the reserve ranges from Wahlberg’s eagle to little bee-eater and crested barbet. The lodge also offers opportunities for guests to embark on beach-and-bush excursions, travelling from west to east along the shoreline in the company of a knowledgeable guide.
  • In addition to viewing a wealth of land mammals, depending on the season you’ll also spot whales and dolphins off the coast! Boat cruises on Lake St Lucia can be arranged too, as can watersports such as snorkelling and kayaking. And in between activities, you can simply relax on the beach and soak up some sunshine.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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