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Tembe Elephant Lodge is the largest elephant park in South Africa, along with rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo and antelope species in a 190 sq.mi. park on the Mozambique border. Excellent birding opportunities and nearby access to the Tongoland reefs and scuba diving areas.

Situated in Maputaland, the north-eastern region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, adjoining the Mozambique border, Tembe Elephant Lodge is home to the province`s biggest elephant herd and its only indigenous elephants.

The magnificent elephants, more than 140 in number - from massive full-grown adults to juveniles - are Tembe`s main attraction and make for spectacular viewing. The larger adults are physically the biggest in South Africa and signs of their presence are everywhere, clearly evident through the broken branches and foliage left behind from their voracious foraging.

Tembe`s mosaic of sand forest, woodland, grassland, and swampland, comprises an ideal habitat for highly-visible elephant spotting, enabling them to be observed at close-quarters from game-drive vehicles or from the discreetly-located hides which overlook their watering holes.

At 300 square kilometers in extent (190 square miles),Tembe is the third largest game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, home not only to the unique elephant population but to a profusion of wildlife - including the Big Five.

Black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo, serval, eland, zebra, giraffe, hyena, jackal, wildebeest, nyala, kudu, water buck, reed buck, red duiker, warthog, and other small mammals thrive in abundance.

Tembe Elephant Lodge is also home to the rare and elusive suni antelope, one of the smallest and shyest species of buck in southern Africa, and the patient game-viewer is often rewarded with a sighting.

Tembe is a bird-watcher`s paradise, with more than 340 species recorded in the park - including the rare Rudd`s apalis, the rufous-bellied night heron, the Natal nightjar and the Woodward`s batis.

This is an Africa that tourists seldom see, where an abundance of game and rare species live in an environment unchanged by time.

The Tembe experience will take you to a distant world of Africa as it once was - unspoilt, natural, and light years away from the pressures of civilisation.

A swimming pool and open-air braai area lends itself to a rustic ambience and guests can enjoy campfire meals and the unforgettable experience of Africa under the stars.

All amenities are catered for and tariffs include; accommodation, meals, teas, coffee, two daily game drives and transfers to and from the hide during the day.

Excluded from our rates:
Beverages from the bar & on game drives
Spa treatments
Gate fees

Tembe Elephant Lodge accommodation:
Tusker Suites (8)
(maximum number of guests per unit = 3)
One bedroom, safari tent on carpeted concrete. Each unit has two 3/4 beds with space for one additional single bed. Basin, toilet & dressing area within. Cordoned off outside shower attached to each unit.

Tembe Suite (Oldest unit) (1)
(maximum number of guests per unit = 6)
Safari tent on a wooden platform. This unit has two queen size beds with space for two additional single beds. Basin, toilet & dressing area within. Cordoned off outside shower attached to the unit.

Family Suite (6)
(maximum number of guests per unit = 6)
One bedroom, safari tent on carpeted concrete. Two queen size beds with space for two additional single beds. Basin, toilet & dressing area within. Cordoned off outside shower attached to each unit.

Suite 17 (1)
(maximum number of guests per unit = 2)
One small bedroom, safari tent on carpeted concrete. One queen size bed with no space for additional beds. Basin and toilet en-suite. Cordoned off outside shower attached to the unit.

Children policy
Children of all ages are welcome at the lodge provided they do not disturb the other guests, especially in the communal dining area. Children who are able to sit quietly for 3 hours are permitted on the game drives provided they do not disturb the other guests / animals. Should your child not be able to sit quietly on the game drives you may ask reception to organise a baby sitter for you at an additional charge. Alternatively you may book private game drives for your family at an additional rate. These are subject to availability of vehicles and guides.

Gate fee and conservation levy
Gate fees:
R 110 - per vehicle with 1 to 10 passengers
R 220 - per vehicle with 11 to 20 passengers
R 330 - per vehicle with more than 20 passengers

Conservation levy:
R 50.00 per adult
R 25.00 per child under 12 years

There are no card facilities at the gate so please ensure that you have cash for the gate fees and conservation levies.

Please note that the gate fees & conservation levies are subject to change anytime.

Community Levy
R 50.00 per adult community levy per night
R 25.00 per child community levy per night

Wi-Fi Access
R 50.00 per unit for Wi-Fi access.

While we endeavour to keep the rates up to date, please note that they are subject to change without prior notice.

Gate times and late arrivals:
Gates open at 6 am
Gates close at 6pm
Should you be arriving after 6 pm, please arrange this with the Durban office so we can organise for the gate to be opened for you.
On arrival at the lodge, there will be a guard at the gate. Please advise him that you have a reservation and that he must radio the lodge to notify them of your arrival. Only if you are in a 4 x 4 vehicle (NO 2 x 4 with difflock) - may you self drive to the lodge.
If you are not in a 4 x 4 vehicle ask the guard to show you to the secure parking and our guides will collect you in their 4 x 4 vehicles.

Please remember to bring the following:
- Torch
- Insect repellent
- Lightweight jacket
- Rain coat
- Closed shoes
- Hat
- Sunscreen
- Swimming costume


Game drives are conducted by an experienced guide and are included at no extra cost.

Health and Climate:

Tembe Elephant Lodge has a regular chemical-spraying programme at the lodge and, as a result, mosquitoes are rarely found in the camp.

We do however encourage guests to ‘cover up’ in the evenings, and apply insect repellent.

The taking of malaria prophylactic tablets is purely the choice of the guest. For any further questions, please consult your General Practitioner.

Rooms and Units Available:

Duiker Suite
1 bedroom safari tent built on carpeted concrete with 1 x queen bed and no room for extra beds so suitable for a couple only.Toilet
Sleeps 2 Adults

Family Suite
One bedroom, safari tent on carpeted concrete. Two queen size beds with space for two additional beds. Basin, toilet ensuite. Outside shower attached to the unit.
Amount of similar units: 6
Sleeps 2 Adults

Tembe Suite (oldest unit)
Safari tent on a wooden platform. This unit has two queen size beds with space for two additional single beds. Basin, toilet ensuite, outside shower.
Sleeps 2 Adults

Tusker Suite
1 bedroom, safari tent built on carpeted concrete with toilet, basin ensuite. Outside shower attached to the unit.2 x 3/4 beds in the unit with space for 1 additional single bed.
Amount of similar units: 8
Sleeps 2 Adults

Facilities & Services available:

Children under 12
Honeymoon Couples
Laundry Service
Conference facilities
Bar on the Premises
Dining room
Xhosa / Zulu

Cancellation Policy:

30 Days or more prior to stay, 50% refund
14 to 29 Days prior to stay, 50% refund on full rate subject to space being filled
Cancellations less than 14 days prior to stay, no refund
All cancellations must be in writing and are invalid until they have been
acknowledged by our office.

Latest Reviews

Great hospitality good food and nice people.
Jan ravenstikn Aug 2017
The accommodation at Tembe Elephant Lodge was extremely comfortable, clean and well appointed. The shower was terrific. The food was good but not much choice at breakfast. The staff were courteous and extremely attentive as long as they were operating within their defined parameters.

It was known that we were leaving early, but we were not offered any help with the luggage.
Terry Freemantle Dec 2015

We had a very good 2 night stay which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our guide, Patrick, was first class with his knowledge of birds and trees.
J. McIlrath Oct 2009
What a wonderful experience! Thanks to all the staff at Tembe, for their hospitality. The drives were very special, never knowing what animals you would see made every one exciting. We learnt so much about the animals and their natural habitat. We enjoyed every aspect of this amazing place. Thank you once again everyone at Tembe.
David Paveling Jun 2009
Everybody was friendly, the stay was wonderful, we will back for sure.
Christine Bourgougnon May 2009


Road Transport
Tembe is a four hour drive on a tarred road from Durban. You will be met at the entrance gate to the Park, directed to the secure parking area where you can safely leave your vehicle for the duration of your stay. From there, you will be driven in a 4x4 to the lodge.

Visitors requiring transport fron Durban will be met at their hotel or preferred pick-up point and driven to Tembe in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle.

Air Transport From Durban
If required, a return air service is available from Virginia Airport, just north of Durban, direct to the airstrip at Tembe or to the neighbouring Manguzi airstrip, depending on weather conditions.

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  • Guests Rating: (10)
  • TGCSA Grading: Tgsa Grading Tgsa Grading Tgsa Grading
  • Accommodation Type: Game Lodge