Rocktail Beach Camp
is set back in and shaded by the sanctuary of the lush Maputaland Coastal Forest covering the ancient dunes that make up the edge of South Africa`s KwaZulu-Natal coast. With the Maputaland Marine Reserve just offshore and the beach a brisk 20-minute walk from the camp, there are plenty of seaside adventures just waiting to be experienced.
Each of its 17 rooms has an en-suite bathroom and an open-feel indoor shower. 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. The main area boasts a central dining room, bar and lounge with large wrap-around veranda, a raised viewing deck, wine cellar, large pool, curio shop and children`s playroom.
Accommodation at Rocktail Beach Camp:
This camp accommodates 34 guests and 14 children, subject to concession numbers and/or concession availability.
17 x units in total comprising:
- 05 x twin-bedded canvas tented rooms each with two three quarter beds
- 04 x double-bedded canvas tented rooms each with one king-size bed
- 07 x family canvas tented rooms each with 01 x king-size bed in the main bedroom and 02 x three quarter beds in the second
bedroom. Each family room consists of 02 bedrooms, sharing the same bathroom, common area and entrance.
- 01 x honeymoon canvas tented room with a king-size bed.
- A total of 06 mattress converters are available that transforms twin beds into king-size beds. To be arranged prior to arrival
- Canvas tented rooms on a raised deck, with sandy pathways (a small stretch of elevated wooden walkways near rooms). With
canvas roll down blinds for all weather conditions
- En-suite facilities with an open feel indoor shower, electronic safe, tea and coffee making facilities, writing desk and chair, and hairdryer (available on request).
- No air-conditioning, however, a ceiling fan is provided in each of the rooms.
- Liquid soap, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, tissue dispenser, washing powder, umbrella, torch, room spray and a
mosquito coil are supplied in each tent.
- During winter months hot water bottles and extra blankets are provided.
- Camp is linked to the national power grid with generators for backup.
- 220V electrical lighting is provided.
- There are 220V plug points in the rooms which can be used to charge batteries and for sleep apnoea machines, hairdryers or
electric shavers. All equipment needs to be able to accept 220V power or have an adaptor to convert the 220V to 110V.
Please bring spare batteries and charging unit.
- While due to the limited amount of power available, it is possible to use appliances such as hairdryers or electric shavers in your room, however, this is dependent on the national power grid being on. Should the mains power not be on and generator power is being used in camp, then the use of hairdryers and electric shavers will not be possible.
- While some camps can supply adaptors (3-prong round, 3-prong square, 2-prong round, 2-prong flat) it is advisable that you
carry your own. Power points are available in each tent.
- 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 tent.
- The minimum age for scuba diving is 08 years in the pool and 10 years in the open sea.
- While we do not have an age limit for the turtle drives, these research drives take place only at night and during low tide, with the duration of the drives being entirely dependent on what turtles may be seen. It is, therefore, not recommended for very young children.
Highlights of Rocktail Beach Camp
- One of the best places in the world for scuba diving and snorkeling.
- The pristine golden beaches are a perfect family playground.
- During summer, sea turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand.
Example of a Typical Day
Although all arrangements will be made the night before with staff.
- Early morning wakeup call.
- Light breakfast before departing on the morning activity.
- Return to camp for a meal and rest period.
- Meet for afternoon tea before departing on the activity.
- Return to camp – freshen up or meet for drinks, followed by dinner and thereafter, perhaps a nightcap.
Rocktail Beach Camp design and facilities:
- Dining room, bar and lounge with a large wraparound veranda.
- An iPod is available in the camp’s main area for guests’ enjoyment.
- Pool in main area with deck.
- Hammock and loungers on the pool deck.
- Guest toilet in main area.
- Small curio shop.
- Children`s playroom with games and scheduled activities (these change on monthly basis).
- Shade shelters on the beach.
- In-room massage treatments (at an additional cost).
- Dive centre (courses will be conducted in Rocktail Camp’s pool in the main area).
- During winter months gas heaters are stationed in the main area and knee blankets are provided during dinner.
- Fire pit.
- Pizza oven.
Wildlife at Rocktail Beach Camp:
The coastal forest reserve around Rocktail is not a traditional game viewing area, but still abounds with a variety of life providing a natural contrast to the bush. Red duiker and reedbuck are found and birding is outstanding, with a number of special coastal forest species. The reef systems are prolific with soft and hard corals, and abundant fish species such as butterflyfish and triggerfish, rockmover wrasse, various eels, sharks including the iconic whale shark and ragged-tooth, dolphins and of course turtles.
Things to do at Rocktail Beach Camp:
At Rocktail, ocean and beach are the focus, along with coastal forest exploration, cultural interaction and pure holiday relaxation.
Snorkeling in the tropical waters of Lala Nek reveals magical tidal life in the bay. Lala Nek boasts an emerged sedimentary rocky reef with a safe shore entry, and brims with diverse marine life, making it ideal for guests of all ages.
In the summer season (October to March)
, take the opportunity of a lifetime to witness loggerhead and leatherback turtles coming ashore to dig a nest and lay eggs. Watching the hatchling turtles make their way to the ocean is another moving experience. *This activity is at additional cost.
Forest Walks (Guided & Unguided)
Wander along a beach and forest trail with one of our guides and learn about the fauna and flora of the Maputaland Coastal Forest. Catch a glimpse of birds like green twinspot, green malkoha, purple-crested turaco, and a number of small antelope.
Rocktail is considered the premier dive site in South Africa, with pristine coral reefs and an incredible variety and abundance of fish to be seen, from manta rays and butterflyfish to whales and dolphins. Divers must bring dive cards to participate and log books are also recommended. This activity is at additional cost and weather and sea condition dependent.
PADI Scuba Diving Courses
There is a fully accredited dive centre and diving operation, so a range of courses are offered, from beginners to Open Water and more. Dive equipment can be hired here too. Courses are at additional cost.
Ocean Safari Experience
A “game drive” out to sea, we look for bottlenose dolphins, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. We then choose an appropriate snorkelling site to discover the wonderful fish life below. This activity is at additional cost with a minimum of four people.
At Rocktail, we offer a comprehensive range of activities for children, both at the camp and on the beach. These include specially guided nature walks, sand boarding, snorkelling, arts and crafts and baking - to name but a few.
Cultural Village Visit
Authentic aspects of Zulu and Tonga culture and tradition can be observed through architecture, food and traditional lifestyles in the local village. This activity is at additional cost.
Tembe Elephant Park Morning Safari
Situated only an hour from Rocktail, Tembe has big game including some of the largest tuskers in southern Africa. Depart 7am for breakfast at Masizwane Lodge, then a 2.5hr game drive in the Park before heading back to Rocktail in time for lunch. This activity is at additional cost.
- Located in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
- Midway between Kosi Bay to the north and Sodwana Bay to the south.
Approximate driving times to/from Coastal Cashews (no stops or other variables like weather, traffic, etc. taken into consideration):
- Durban Airport +/- 5.0 hours
- Richards Bay +/- 3.0 – 3.5 hours
- O.R. Tambo International Airport +/- 9.0 – 10.0 hours
For Coastal Cashews to Rocktail Camp a further approximate 40 minutes needs to be added to the above driving times. Making the total drive time from Richards Bay to Rocktail Beach Camp at approximately 4.5 to 5.0 hours.
All self-drive guests must have a confirmed reservation prior to arriving in camp. As Rocktail Camp is situated inside the
Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve, guests are welcome to participate in the twice daily scheduled camp activities on the daily rate basis. Alternatively, guests do their own self-drive activities with reference to park regulations.
Self-drive guests with their own 4x4 vehicles may drive directly into Rocktail Camp. Parking in camp at own risk.
Guests travelling in 2x4 vehicles, however, must make use of our scheduled transfers to/from camp, utilising Coastal Cashews as the pick-up and drop-off point. While the parking area at Coastal Cashews is fenced, guarded and secured at night, please note that all vehicles parked here are at the drivers own risk. There is no extra charge if scheduled transfers are booked in advance.
The scheduled transfer times are as follows:
- From Coastal Cashews to the camp at 10:30, 13:00 and 15:00 daily.
- From the camp to Coastal Cashews at 09:30, 12:00 and 14:00 daily.
Please note that the transfer vehicle will wait for approximately 15 minutes and if the lodge has not been contacted regarding a late arrival the lodge vehicle will depart. Another vehicle will be sent when available at an extra cost.
All 2x4 self-drive guests must advise reservations which arrival and departure transfer times ex Coastal Cashews they will be using, at least 72 hours prior to arrival in camp, to avoid the cost of a private transfer. Any transfers outside of these times or guests arriving without a confirmed Coastal Cashews scheduled transfer booked 72 hours prior to travel, will be charged the private transfer fee direct at camp should a pick-up and drop-off be required.
The Manzengwenya Park access gate into the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve is open from 06:00 and closes at 18:00, daily. It is not possible to gain entry into the Reserve, nor exit from the Reserve, outside of these operating hours. Due to park regulations, there can be no movement of vehicles (transfer vehicles or self-drive vehicles) outside of these times.
This gate is under stringent control by the National Parks Board and Rocktail Camp, therefore, has no control over this access point. Should guests be delayed for any reason, the only option is to turn back and arrange alternative accommodation for the night. The worst case scenario will result in an evening spent sleeping in the vehicle (in the bush) causing further repercussions on the journey. In order to avoid such circumstances, guests travelling on a self-drive basis to either the camp (4x4 vehicles) or the Coastal Cashews meeting point/parking point for pick-up (2x4 vehicles) need to have reached Hluhluwe or Jozini by 16:00, at the latest, as it is an approximate 2.0 hour drive from there to the park gate.
Should guests reach Hluhluwe or Jozini after 16:00, there will be insufficient time to reach the park gate and alternative
accommodation will need to be considered for the night. For the Hluhluwe route, we recommend the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe &
Safaris and for the Jozini route, we recommend the White Elephant Lodge or Jozini Tiger Lodge.
We enjoyed our stay. The rooms were excellent. At first the lounge and eating area looked a little shabby but it did fit in with the surroundings. The staff were all lovely and charming. I thought the location was beautiful and I loved the forest walk to the amazing beach. The breakfasts and lunches were good but the evening g meals were disappointing. I really did not rate your chef at all and if you were to change anything it would be the chef. Overall I thought it was very expensive but perhaps this is because of the location. Gibson was my favourite member of staff but the guide on the scorpion walk was also excellent and great fun