Rocktail Beach Camp enjoys a setting within iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park) on the beautiful KwaZulu Natal coast. This coastline is largely untouched and unspoilt and is the location of a turtle research project. The camp has stong links with the local community with a special focus on educating local children about their environment and its wildlife.
Accommodation comprises 17 tented rooms, 7 of which cater for families and all have en-suite bathrooms. They are set on raised wooden decks and have large guazed windows which let in the sea breeze.
Communal facilities include a a lounge with an attractive veranda, a dining room and bar under a high roof cooled by ceiling fans. Most meals are served on the veranda or the deck by the large swimming pool. The scenery is varied and includes forested dunes, sandy beaches, freshwater lakes and woodlands and is all waiting to be explored. The forest around the camp can be explored with a guide or independently.
The beach is about a 20 minute walk, or a 5 minute drive, from the camp. Swimming and snorkelling are popular and this is an excellent area for diving, with an acredited dive centre on site. The Maputaland Marine Reserve lies offshore, with its coral reefs, shoals of fish, dolphins and whales. The beach is used by loggerhead and leatherback turtles from October to March to lay their eggs, which you'll feel privileged to watch.
Open: Rocktail Beach Camp is open all year.
Location: Rocktail Beach Camp is set about a half hour walk from the beach in the Maputaland Coastal Forest. The nearest airstrip is Manzengwenya, 10 minutes’ drive away. The camp is about a 5 hour drive from Richards Bay, 6 hours from Durban and 7 hours from Johannesburg.
Rooms: There are 17 tented guest rooms, all en-suite. 7 of the rooms are designed for families with 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom and there’s also a secluded honeymoon unit. Sliding glass doors open out on to private balconies, with superb views of the forest or the ocean. Rooms are cooled by ceiling fans and the gentle breeze.
Activities: With the beach close by you’ll be able to go snorkelling, diving (there is a diving school nearby) and boat rides and there’s an on-site pool for swimming. In season (October to May) you can watch as loggerhead and leatherback turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs, while between June and october you can see whales offshore. The camp is set in the forest and there are lots of opportunities for walking, guided or unguided, watching out for animals and birds. You can also visit Zulu and Tonga communities.
Facilities: The main area of the camp comprises a dining room, bar, lounge with comfy sofas and chairs and a wide, shaded veranda plus a raised viewing deck. Buildings are made of wood and are linked by wooden walkways. There is a large swimming pool surrounded by a deck with sun loungers, a playroom for children, a gift shop and a cellar selling a broad range of wines. Massages can be arranged. There is a free laundry service.
Dining: Meals are served at individual tables, indoors or outdoors on the veranda, as you prefer. Barbecues are often served by the pool. Private dinners can be arranged on the beach.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. There are special family units, a playroom and a babysitting service. During school holidays activities such as nature trails and treasure hunts can be organised for youngsters.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in public areas.
Rocktail Beach Camp is part of the Wilderness Safaris group, but is also partly owned by the KwaMpukane Community Trust, which receives some of the income from the lodge. This multi-award-winning eco-camp also strongly backs the turtle nesting conservation of leatherback and loggerhead turtles. The natural habitat is protected and rehabilitated by the lodge, and the owners are all firmly of the opinion that the amazing ecotourism here is stopping less sustainable industries, such as mining, getting a foothold here. Wilderness Safaris operates on the premise of Commerce, Conservation, Community, Culture.
"A very nicely laid out camp. The rooms were nice with balconies overlooking the treetops and very nice casual bar/dining-room area. The staff and guides were all very sweet. The food was good. The management were always around to organise guided tours, dives, weather reports, tide information etc."