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Makakatana Bay Lodge | iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Where in the world can you explore the magic and wonder of unspoiled beaches, vast wetlands, enjoy game drives, wildlife and go on an unforgettable boat cruise on Africa's largest marine estuary?”

Makakatana Bay Lodge is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, one of the few natural wonders left on earth. Our goal is to show off this unique and pristine wilderness gem, the perfect addition to a typical safari holiday.

About Makakatana Bay Lodge

It all started with a vision that was built on a foundation of solid, deeply rooted passion. A vision to share a spectacular place that Hugh grew up in. Makakatana Bay which is named after a Zulu Chief called "Chief Mhakhakhathana", on Lake St Lucia was Hugh and his siblings playground growing up. The freedom of space in the wilderness was deeply rooted in Hugh’s life, and after 10 years away he returned with his wife Leigh-Ann, where they began their journey building a magical lodge in a wonderous place.

The Makakatana Bay Lodge logo of the crab was used because the land on which the lodge currently lies had an old concrete block house built on it by Hugh's grandfather, John Kemp Morrison (Jock) who used it to store fish and crabs in the early 1900s.

The 'crab' house was later left abandoned due to the severe heat of summer and due to the banning of commercial catching of the crabs. When the Lodge was built, it was initially used as a wine cellar, but a fig tree fell in love with it and now commands the space with spiritual grace and presence.

James (Jimmy) & Ursula Morrison lived at Makakatana for 50 years where before moving to Ballito, on the KwaZulu Natal north coast, where Ursula Morrison still lives. The family business ‘Jock Morrison & Sons’ wholesalers, are still being successfully run by his sons and grandsons today. Ursula is an incredibly gracious and wise lady and is adored by her family. She is very blessed with good heath, both physically and mentally. She has written some wonderfully rich memoirs on some of the history of Makakatana. Ursula is now 94, has 5 sons and one daughter,(John, Barry, Pam, Bruce, Keith and Hugh), 16 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren!

Hugh and Leigh-Ann's three boys, Daniel, Andrew and Christopher are now fourth generation at Makakatana.


Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately-owned and owner-managed game lodge within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Experience this magnificent area from the comfort of our spacious rooms, set on raised decks within the wilderness of the game park.

The main lodge is the heart of Makakatana, a communal area with personal service designed for relaxation and comfort. All game drives leave from the main lodge, and all meals are served on either the raised deck wrapping around the lodge, or at the 'boma' alongside. Our staff are always happy to make your stay magical, let us know if you have any special requests.

The lodge has a bar, a stunning ‘old crab’ house which it is affectionately called, and a nearby private bush pool on the edge of Lake St Lucia.

The pool is an unserviced space just for you to make your private sanctuary. There is a buzzer if you need us though.


iSimangaliso, meaning a place of miracle and wonder in the Zulu language, of which there could not be a more fitting name to describe this Park. It is simply miraculous and wondrous.

It is home to vibrant wildlife within the park, on its glorious protected coastal beaches and on Lake St. Lucia. Your stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge in our luxury safari lodge accommodation is perfect for exploring this amazing sanctuary on an open game drive vehicle, on our private pontoon boat, and you can even get to dip into the warm Indian Ocean.

We do things differently and you get to experience all of this on our adventure filled beach, lake and park full-day safaris with our passionate and knowledgeable rangers. Our full day safaris give you the opportunity to truly seize the day.

We have a Fully Inclusive Rate that includes Activities or there is a Full Board option which excludes Activities, giving you the option to just enjoy the lodge, book our activities as extras or do your own self drives.

Contact Us

T: +27 (0) 87 059 9015


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