We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Self drive”

Tembe Elephant Park
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Mtunzini
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

If you are considering a self-drive in the Tembe Elephant Park you need 4x4 or at least diff lock. We even used low range 4x4 at times. Soft thick sand in many spots. Not sure how it will be if wet/muddy also. There is no convenience store at reception, so pack plenty of drinks/snacks for your trip, especially if you have children along. Their map is quite helpful so keep it handy. We didn't see any elephants close by, only caught the tops of some elephant heads in the distance from the Swamp Road. I think it may be worthwhile contacting Tembe about arranging a guided trip if you are not staying in the tented accommodation. (Or maybe we were just unlucky not to see elephants.) Lastly, your vehicle may come out with some scratch marks from overhanging tree branches but hopefully most of it polishes out.

Thank Tinktinkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (22)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"safari experience"
in 2 reviews
"tented accommodation"
in 3 reviews
"game drives"
in 3 reviews
"game reserve"
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 3 reviews
in 10 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 8 reviews

6 - 10 of 22 reviews

Reviewed 23 January 2018

Please do change your location on TripAdvisor!
Tembe Elephant Park IS NOT in Mtunzini, but at the border to Mozambique!

Nevertheless, I have had the most amazing views of Elephants there. No other game reserve can match this. Their main camp used to be very "African-Safari-Style" which had it own charm, but it has been upgraded meanwhile and offers more comfortable commodities. The food there is superb and the personnel most friendly and helpful. Make sure you really have a 4x4 vehicle to get through the very sandy roads. Going the is worth every effort. By the way: My last visit there was a bit before February 2017 though.

Thank Gérard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2017

We enjoyed three nights at Tembe and what an awesome experience it was.

Most Game Reserves are out of reach for most South Africans, but this community owned 3 star Game Reserve was Great value for money

The tented accommodation was comfortable, clean and private. We loved the outdoor shower and our own private patio. Each tent has it's own private massage tent and we highly recommend that you book a body massage as these therapists are excellent it was pure bliss

The food was basic but fresh and tasty, especially the dinners. Included in the daily rate are early morning and afternoon game drives (3 hour duration each) We were blessed to have close up encounters with with the Tusker Elephants on our game drives.

All the staff at the Lodge are from the Tembe community and were very friendly humble people who went out of their way to ensure we had an enjoyable stay

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2017 via mobile

On entering the park we were provided with a photocopied map, foolishly we didn't pay much attention to this and set off looking for elephant. It's a big park and there are signs at most junctions. Didn't pay much attention to these either. After traveling deeper and deeper into the park in search of elephants we were eventually rewarded, fantastic, amazing and huge. As we travelled along a open area bordering a thick forest we came across two beautiful Elephants, after backing off to a safe distance we watched them for several minutes. With trunks raised they both took interest in our vehicle and we had to move off back in the same direction we had come. It was at this point we looked at the map to figure out where we were in relation to the main gate. It was at this point we realized how crap the map was, faded poor photocopy almost unreadable. Using google satellite view we made our way back across the park. We came across two further very large Elephants blocking our routes and had to detour having to figure out new routes with a weak cell phone signal and sometimes no signal. The signage in the park is very poor and no where are there signs showing Exit or Main gate, so if you loose your map or have a crap copy you can very quickly get lost. We found ourselves having to navigate very very narrow tracks through thick forest which would be impossible to reverse along should you drive into Elephants. Needless to say the 4x4 we were using was scratched to hell, but at that stage we really couldn't care as we just wanted to find our way out in the fading light.
In short, it's a fantastic park, the signage is crap, maps are very poor and don't drive a vehicle into the park if you are concerned about rubbing it along thorn bushes.
The Elephants were amazing but using a tour vehicle is without doubt the best way to visit and definitely safer. It's impossible to see elephant in the thick bush and you can very easily drive right into them and find yourself in a dangerous situation you can't drive away from.
Final comment to KZN parks - it would be wise to add an exit direction sign at every junction, then you would not have to worry about people getting lost in the park.
Well done for keep those wonderful Elephants safe. They are truly spectacular and a national treasure.

Thank bobcat2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 8 July 2017 via mobile

What a special place!! We were staying at Jozini Tiger lodge and took our little boy out for a game drive as there was not too much to do at the resort. It's just an hour drive from Jozini and it was a trip well worth making. We were greeted by our guide Patrick who was extremely knowledgeable and spent 4 hours in the bush up close and personal with plenty of elephants.. we also saw two prides of lions which was a special treat. This was a truly memorable day and we only wish we had booked in to stay!!

Patrick, you were so friendly and shared so much knowledge!! You are an ambassador that the Park can be proud of! We'll be back to stay over next time!!!!

Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tembe Elephant Park also viewed

Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal

Been to Tembe Elephant Park? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing