About Makakatana Bay Lodge
This lodge is not for everyone.
If you are looking for a game lodge where you wake up before dawn to head off and try and see as many animals as you can, come back, eat and then head off again that evening to do the same along with a sundowner, come back, eat, sleep, and then do it all again the next day and the next, then Makakatana Bay Lodge is not for you.
What you will get is much slower entry into the day, a unique look at the fauna and flora of the surrounding wetlands, river cruises and beach safaris amongst the game drives and the whole iSimangaliso Wetland Park with only Makakatana Bay lodge doing game drives!
It may not have as many animals as the more traditional big 5 reserves but it certainly makes up for that in it's unique approach to showing visitors as much of wetlands life as they can.
Unspoiled beaches, vast wetlands, game drives, and an unforgettable boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This family owned and run Lodge is situated on the western shores of Lake St Lucia, in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal. You will get to experience the home to more than 1000 hippo and 1200 crocodile on personalised, adventure filled safaris, exploring this treasured park. The passionate rangers take you on full-day safaris to explore the Wetlands, coastal dune forests, pristine beaches seeking out wildlife and over 500 bird species.
Makakatana recommend a 3 night stay and for good reason
On the day of arrival they offer an afternoon game drive into the Wetlands. (+/- 2h30 - 3 hours). There is also a morning game drive on the day of departure on the Western Shores. (+/- 2h30 - 3 hours)
Where there is a full day available (on a three night stay for example) they can offer a full day Boat Safari on one day (+/- 6 hours) and on the second full day they offer a Beach safari.
These activities are offered to allow guests time to explore this vast park. Having morning and afternoon drives would not expose guests to the beach or the estuary and they would miss out on a full wetlands experience.
Located on the banks of Lake St Lucia within South Africa’s first world heritage site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Makakatana Bay Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable KwaZulu Natal wildlife safari experience with its luxury game viewing rooms and excellent service.
Guests are accommodated in 6 bright and spacious rooms. Three luxury game viewing rooms are set in the dune forest and are frequented by friendly warthog, red dyker, nyala, bush babies, birds and hippo!
Two of the luxury game viewing rooms have stunning views onto the lake and water pans, while our popular opulent honeymoon suite has an incredible view over a wetland vlei.
Large windows and terrace doors open onto private viewing decks, skillfully combining luxury and integration with the environment. There is also an additional outside shower under the stars for those more adventurous guests who want to shower closer to nature.
Makakatana Bay Lodge promises a KwaZulu Natal wildlife safari with luxury game viewing rooms and all the amenities that will make your holiday in beautiful Zululand an unforgettable experience.
Fauna and Flora
On 27 april 1897 lake st lucia was declared a game reserve. The conservation area was a 35000 hectare lake with a 1km strip of land surrounding the lake. At a later stage other conservation areas were added. On 1 december 1999 unesco declared the lake and adjacent coastal areas a world heritage site. The 328 000 hectare reserve was south africa’s first world heritage site and encompasses 5 five major ecological zones.
June 2023 saw the implementation of solar power and no longer reolying on the "grid" for their power. By implementing solar power systems, Makakatana will reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the preservation of the areas pristine environment.
The Afternoon Wetlands Safari Drive is offered to guests on day of arrival.
A 2 hour morning game drive is offered to guests on the day of departure.
If guests only have accommodation for 2 nights, then one of the full day safaris will be offered. Management reserves the right to co-ordinate activities. All activities below are included in the fully inclusive rate.
Afternoon Wetlands Safari Drive: (16h00 -18h30)
Guests are taken on an afternoon Safari Drive into the wetlands. It is recommended that guests arrive at the Lodge by 15h00 in order to go on the drive.
Note - this activity is offered on the day of arrival
Beach Safari – Day Trip:
Depart after Breakfast & enjoy a leisurely safari drive to the Eastern Shores through the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Reserve. Guests are taken to the Beach for swimming & snorkeling and then enjoy a picnic lunch. This is a combination safari, which includes a game drive and beach experience.
Boat Trip, Wetland Exploration Day Trip:
Guests are taken on an exploration of the Wetland Park. This includes a 2 hour boat trip on the St Lucia Estuary or on the main Lake, subject to water levels. A picnic lunch is served before returning to the Lodge. The focus of this safari is to seek out bird life, hippo and crocodile on the boat and other animals and birds in the Wetlands.
- Air Conditioning
- Balcony / Deck
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Dressing Gowns
- Hair Dryer
- Laundry Service (Available)
- Lounge Area
- Mini Bar
- Outside Shower
- Tea / Coffee
Activities on Site
- Bird Watching
- Fine Dining
- Game Drives
- Game Viewing
- Game Viewing Hide
- High Tea
- Night Drives
- Animal Encounters
- Big 5
- Bird Watching
- Boat Cruises
- Catch-and-release Fishing
- Cultural Tours
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Game Drives
- Game Viewing
- Game Walks
- General Sightseeing
- Horse-back Safaris
- River Cruises
- Turtle Tracking
- Whale Watching