Kwa Zulu Natal
Makakatana Bay Lodge

Makakatana Bay Lodge, named after a Zulu chief, is the only privately-owned and managed game lodge within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which combines densely populated land and marine environments to create a truly unique safari experience. Experience this magnificent region from the comfort of your spacious room, set on a raised deck within the wilderness of the game park.

Offering an intimate and memorable experience, your stay is designed around exciting adventures which will enable you to explore this amazing sanctuary, whether on an open game drive vehicle, on the private pontoon boat, or with your feet in the warm Indian Ocean.

Facilities & Activities

The main lodge is the heart of Makakatana – a welcoming space, adorned with the owner’s personal artwork and designed with relaxation and comfort in mind. The library is a favourite place for curling up with a book and drink in hand and the pool, positioned on the edge of Lake St Lucia is the perfect spot to unwind and freshen up post game-drive.

Of course, with a location as stunning as this, the focus is very much on exploring on foot and by safari vehicle. You can stay on a self-drive basis if travelling with younger children, but most guests stay on a fully-inclusive basis which includes activities. Wetland Safari Drives offer fascinating insights into the wetland ecosystem and the chance to spot giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, hippo, crocodile, serval, porcupine, genet, leopard, elephant as well as White and Black Rhino. In contrast, the boat trips on Lake St Lucia Estuary ensure an exclusive opportunity to explore the wetland narrows, viewing pods of hippo and crocodile from the water and rounded off with a delicious picnic lunch before an afternoon spent relaxing at the pool, in the lodge or on your private deck. The Beach Safaris meanwhile allow you to explore the Western Shores and on to the Eastern Shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. You’ll visit Perriers Rocks – the perfect spot for walking, swimming & snorkelling and then enjoy a picnic lunch in the sand dune forests followed by a game-drive back to the lodge. For a different experience, guests can also visit the Hluhluwe/ Umfolozi Game Reserve about an hour away. The oldest reserve in Africa, it is home to the Big 5 and what better location to enjoy a tasty bush brunch, prepared in the park by your ranger.

As well as the above, there is also whale-watching (mid-May until mid-Nov), deep-sea fishing, horse-riding, visits to Dumazulu Cultural Village and the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre.

Get In Touch

Feeling inspired? Start planning your next adventure by contacting us today.


Guests stay on a full board (self-drive basis) or fully-inclusive basis (which includes activities). All meals are served on either the raised deck which wraps around the lodge, or at the boma alongside. There is a bar and well stocked wine cellar, affectionately called the ‘old crab house’,


There are 5 bright and spacious rooms with contemporary comforts aplenty. The Standard Rooms can be configured as either a double or twin, and are equipped with a private viewing deck, en-suite bathroom, spacious outdoor shower and bath, telephone and a sleeper couch suitable for a third person. Set in the dune forest, the grounds surrounding the suites are frequented by warthog, red duiker, nyala, bush babies, and a variety of bird life.

The two Family Rooms sleep a maximum of 4 guests each. The main room has a king-sized bed, and the inter-leading room has twin beds. There is a spacious indoor bathroom with a shower that opens onto an outdoor bathroom with a bath and outside shower.

The Honeymoon Room, complete with outdoor shower and bath for two, is situated privately with views out onto the vlei. Romantic and intimate, it’s the perfect retreat after a day spent in the bush or exploring the magnificent coastline. Private dining on your deck can be arranged.

All rooms enjoy air-conditioning, fans, a mini-bar, tea and coffee station and private deck.

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Children aged 6-12 years are welcome and enjoy special rates if sharing with 2 full paying adults. The Standard Rooms can accommodate one child, sharing with adults, subject to availability of stretcher beds.

If you are travelling with younger children, please enquire as it may be possible to accommodate them with the owner’s consent – especially if there is a group family booking. However, please bear in mind that children aged 6 and younger are not permitted to dine in the boma but instead enjoy an early dinner at 6pm in the main lodge dining rea.

In terms of dining, there is a kid’s menu which must be pre-booked. Should parents wish to dine with their children, parents are to advise of the time they would like to eat and a table will be set in the main building for the family.

For full or half-day childcare, the Lodge requests baby-sitting is pre-booked well in advance of arrival.

All guest children should be under supervision of their parents at all times, not least because the swimming pool is un-supervised and unfenced.


Makakatana are conscious about the environment and the effects we have on it, they are involved in a Water Wise conservation program as well as a recycling initiative. They also support African Wildlife Vets which is a non-profit organisation in Zululand – this has a big focus on the rhino poaching dilemma in South Africa. They are also involved in community projects such as Destiny House Children’s Home and Vukunyane Development Project – which is about raising environmental awareness in local communities.


Makakatana Bay Lodge is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, just 3 hours north of Durban. The park is a vast wilderness area incorporating a pristine marine reserve, lakes, coastal dune forest and five ecosystems. It is home to a breath-taking array of wildlife including over 526 bird species, many of whom are particularly drawn to Lake St. Lucia’s estuary and the glorious coastal beaches on the eastern shores of the park.

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