Maphelane is located in the Southernmost part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South of the estuary of the St Lucia Lake, on the banks of the uMfolozi river and at the foot of the dune of Maphelane, that, with its 183 meters, is the highest vegetated dune of South Africa.
It is possible to climb the dune of Maphelane, from here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the ocean and the estuary of the river.
Maphelane is also home to a stretch of virgin coastal forest with an important population of birds, both aquatic, marine and forest; about 200 bird specieshave been identified.
This part of the park, with its forest that reaches the coast, is also a paradise for lovers of fishing and nature; in addition to fishing it is possible to collect mussels and crabs that live on the rocks.
It is advisable not to swim in the ocean in this area of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park since there are strong currents here, eventually one can venture when there is low tide.
11 km South of Maphelane is the wreck of the Jolly Rubino, an Italian freighter that ran aground here in 2002, as a result of a fire on board; a great recovery work was done to remove all polluting materials from the boat and preserve the ecosystem of this stretch of coast and the marine conservation area.
Today the wreck is clearly visible on the shore, to reach it you need to walk 11 km of beach.
Maphelane can be reached on foot from the town of St Lucia by walking along the beach, be careful when there is high tide because in the river it is more likely that there are hippos and Nile crocodiles.