Rocktail Beach Camp

Gauteng & Mpumalanga, South Africa

On Request

Close AFSA151_1_5.jpg

Rocktail Beach Camp

Rocktail Beach Camp is set in the lush Maputaland Coastal Forest covering the ancient dunes that make up the edge of South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal coast. With the beach a brisk 20-minute walk from the camp, there is world-class diving, snorkelling and unspoilt beaches for you to explore.


We Love
  • Rocktail Bay Lodge assists the Natal Sharks Board in monitoring and understanding what drives the arrival of this species in the area.
  • The Camp was one of the first joint ventures in South Africa between community, a conservation authority and ecotourism.
  • More than 2% of the community in the immediate settlements (1,500 people) are permanently employed at the Lodge
Need to Know
  • Children of all ages are accommodated and partake in activities with all other guests.
  • There are scheduled transfers from Coastal Cashews (Manzengwenya) to the camp.
  • The Manzengwenya access gate into the Reserve is open between 06:00 and 18:00. You will not be able to gain access to the Reserve outside of these hours.
  • The Camp has 220 volt electrical lighting and solar-heated water.

The Review

The Rocktail Beach Camp is unique from a scuba diving perspective. Not only is the diving conducted within a Reserve and World Heritage Site along unspoiled reefs, but divers have the luxury of knowing that they alone have access to these sites and are the only underwater visitors along this stretch of the coastline.

The camp consists of 17 rooms all of which with en-suite bathrooms, open-feel indoor shower and overhead fans. Seven of these are family units with a shared bathroom and two bedrooms for two adults and two children. A honeymoon unit has wonderful views over the ocean and dune forest.

There is a central dining and lounge area with large wrap-around veranda and a raised deck with wide views extending out to the ocean. A large pool, curio shop and children’s playroom complete the main area.

As the camp is situated within a coastal forest reserve, this is not a traditional terrestrial game viewing area, but birding is excellent while red duiker and reedbuck are found. Dolphins can be seen offshore and reef diving is outstanding. October to March sees loggerhead and leatherback turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs. June to October produces wonderful sightings of humpback whales during their annual migration.

World-class diving is conducted along coral reefs accessible only to Rocktail guests. Other adventures include birding, swimming and walking in the forest and along remote beaches. Excursions are available (at extra cost) to Lake Sibaya, the surrounding communities and quad biking is also on offer.

During summer guests can accompany nightly research drives to monitor turtle nesting numbers and behaviour. The sight of a 750kg leatherback turtle heaving herself up the beach to lay eggs is a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

Getting There

Rocktail Beach Camp is located in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The Camp can be reached by air from Johannesburg in 1 hour 50 minutes, from Durban in 1 hour 30 minutes and from Nelspruit in 1 hour. It is also connected with Sabi Sands and Skukuza, both reached in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Rocktail Beach Camp Gauteng & Mpumalanga, South Africa

Rocktail Beach Camp

Rating                          Adventure Camp
Type                            Safari Lodge
No of rooms                  17
Max Occupants              48 guests including children
Interests                       Wildlife, Nature, Birding
Location                       Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Standard Tents
There are ten standard tents which are made up of five twin bedded tents, four double bedded tents and one double bedded honeymoon suite.

Family Tents
There are seven family tents with one double bed and two three-quarter beds in an adjoining room. Each family room can accommodate two adults and three children. Each family tent shares a bathroom.

Honeymoon Tent
The honeymoon unit has a wonderful view over the ocean and dune forest.

Room details
The Rocktail tents have en-suite bathrooms with an open feel indoor shower. Bath towels, hand towels, pool towels, torch, laundry bag, mosquito coil, soap, shampoo and insect repellent are supplied. There is a fan and safe in the room.

Camp Description
The main area consists of a dining room, bar and lounge with a large wraparound veranda. There is a large swimming pool and children's playroom with games, etc. There are shade shelters and loungers on the beach. Menu of massage treatments (at an additional cost) can be conducted in the privacy of the guest’s tent and there is a wine cellar. An iPod is available in the camp’s main area for guests’ enjoyment.

Electricity & Water
Electricity 220 volt power; some 220v electrical appliances can be utilised. Video battery recharging facilities available; please bring your own charger. Plug points are available in each tent so that sleep apnoea machines may be used but guests must advise camp of this in advance. Solar-heated water.


Beach and forest walks
Surf/rock fishing (no equipment provided)
Trips to Lake Sibaya
Guided trail (beach and forest)

Scuba diving (Must bring dive cards and/or log books. No card - no dive)
PADI scuba diving courses (A range of courses offered from beginners to more advanced)
Snorkelling is possible at Lala Nek
Swimming (at own risk as there are no life guards)

Excursions to Black Rock (60-foot fossilised sand dune with spectacular views)
Turtle research drives (Mid-October to Mid-March)
Game drive and brunch at Tembe Elephant Park (booked and paid for at the camp).

The following activities are prohibited in the reserve: surfing, boardsailing, the launching of any type of boat, lighting of fires, driving of vehicles on the beach.

Activity times are flexible and depend largely on the tides and weather. Times for walks are arranged at the camp on request.

Not all activities are included in your cost. Please check.

    Low Season: 01 February 2013 to 31 March 2013 & 01 May 2013 to 30 June 2013 & 01 September 2013 to 30 November 2013
    High Season: 11 January 2013 to 31 January 2013 & 01 April 2013 to 30 April 2013 & 01 July 2013 to
    31 August 2013 & 01 December 2013 to 10 January 2014


Child Policy
    Children of all ages are accommodated and partake in activities with all other guests.
    Children up to 16 years must share with an adult/s in the same room.

Other Policies
    Drinks are not included in the nightly tariff and must be settled direct.
    Daily laundry service is available.
    Extras can be paid for by cash, MasterCard, Visa, Rand Travellers Cheques and foreign currency. Cheques and debit cards are not accepted.

Taxes and fees
    All taxes and fees imposed by the property, unless otherwise noted, will be added at the time of purchase on AwimAway.
    Guests are responsible for all incidental charges during their stay (e.g., room service, minibar, in-room movies, etc).
    A 10 percent per night service charge will be collected at the AwimAway checkout.

Additional Services
    Rates quoted for additional fees and services are subject to change due to currency conversion.
    Please indicate any requests for additional services to include, airport transfers or city tours in the ‘Tell us more’ field on the contact us page or call on 0208 350 6199.

Check in & Check out
    Check in:           2:00 PM
    Check out:       12:00 PM
    Minimum stay:      1 night


iSimangaliso Wetland Park — Rocktail Bay

Rocktail Bay is situated in Maputaland on KwaZulu-Natal's north-eastern seaboard, a diverse region of forested dunes, wetlands, sandy beaches, woodlands and warm seas. It lies within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of South Africa's World Heritage Sites which spans a range of ecological zones. Situated offshore is the Maputaland Marine Reserve which offers an additional sanctuary with extraordinary diving and snorkelling encounters with prolific marine life, spectacular coral landscape, and dolphins and whales.

Few sections of the South African coastline are as unspoilt and secluded, and the area is known for its superb, pristine dive spots as well as the Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles that come to lay their eggs and hatch on the beaches. The land is a low-lying coastal plain, lined with ancient coastal dunes that are considered to be amongst the tallest vegetated dunes in the world and are swathed in lush green forest with a variety of animals, birds and plant life that provide a natural counterpoint to the bushveld.

Common reedbuck frequent the marshes and grasslands, red duiker live in the forest areas, hippo are found in freshwater lakes and whales and dolphins are often seen offshore. Birding is outstanding, with a number of typical coastal forest species — Green Twinspot, Green Malkoha, Grey Waxbill, Purple-crested and Livingstone's Turacos.
Gratuity Schedule
The following is the suggested gratuity schedule only and is subject to service standards:
Guides – £6.00 per person per day
General Camp Staff – £3.00 per person per day
Specialist Guides (if applicable) – £6.00 per person per day

When to go

The best time to go on safari in the Kruger, Madikwe, Pilanesberg and KwaZulu-Natal  regions is during the dry season, from May until November; the African winter when the animals are concentrated around water sources and are easier to spot in the thinned-out bush. The dry season also means fewer mosquitoes, so there's less chance of catching malaria.

The African summer between October and April is either best avoided, if you are camping or best enjoyed, if you are planning a beach holiday around Cape Town. For safari enthusiasts wanting to catch a glimpse of the young, try November and December, when most young are born.

Whale watching around the south-western Cape is between June and November and best in September when the numbers are at their peak. The KwaZulu-Natal coast has year-round sunshine, a beautifully mild winter and warm ocean temperatures so any time is a good time.

For tourist visits, visas are NOT required by citizens of UK, the USA and most European Union countries and certain other countries. However, a full valid passport is required for entry into South Africa.

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while travelling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Check with your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.

Please note:
There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa, however, there is a certificate requirement. There is a high risk of malaria in South Africa in the low altitude areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo which border Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This includes Kruger National Park. The areas bordering these are low risk. There is also a high risk of malaria in northeast KwaZulu-Natal as far south as the Tugela River. The areas bordering this are low risk.

Getting There

Rocktail Beach Camp is located in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The Camp can be reached by air from Johannesburg in 1 hour 50 minutes, from Durban in 1 hour 30 minutes and from Nelspruit in 1 hour. It is also connected with Sabi Sands and Skukuza, both reached in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Manzengwenya Airstrip is a 900m x 15m tarred surface located 10 minutes drive from the camp. It is suitable for aircraft with a max weight of 5,700kg including King Airs, Caravans, Pilatus and all light twin engines (but take-off weights on King Airs and larger aircraft need to be minimized in order to clear obstacles approximately 500m from the runway thresholds).
Manzengwenya coordinates: S 27.16.00, E 32.45.00