Tembe Elephant Reserve, South Africa

Get up close with the gentle giants in the Tembe Elephant Reserve.
Tembe is the third largest game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal and is situated in the far north eastern section of the province on the Mozambique border. This is home to the province's largest indigenous Elephant herd. Tembe's African Elephants used to be South Africa's last remaining free-ranging herd, at one time moving seasonally between Mozambique and Maputaland. In recent years they have sought refuge in the dense sand forests of Tembe to escape theborder conflicts and landmines, and their continuous harassment by ivory poachers.But Elephant is not all you will see at Tembe's waterholes. Tembe has no Lion, but it does have four of the other Big Five - Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and of course the Elephant. From one of the two discreet and well placed hides or on a game drive you can also see Black and White Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe, Nyala, Kudu and a diversity of other small mammals.Tembe 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.Birdwatchers will be delighted to know that Tembe is known asa bird-watching 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.Only a limited number of daily permits are issued for entrance into Tembe Elephant Reserve, so you will need to plan ahead ifvisitors would like to visit here.The only accommodation is at the privately run Tembe Elephant Safari Lodge, a tented camp which has luxury en-suite units, a thatch-sheltered swimming pool and an open-air barbeque area. There is a medium to high risk of malaria.

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