Tembe Elephant Park was originally declared in 1983 on communal lands under the leadership of the Tembe Traditional Authority. The Park largely encapsulates the area roamed by the last free ranging elephants in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Park covers an area of 30,013 ha and is situated on the northern border of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of the Republic of South Africa, on the border with Mozambique, approximately 500 km northnortheast of Durban and approximately 30 km west of the town of KwaNgwanase. Its northern boundary is the international border with Mozambique, the eastern boundary borders on community wards (Tembe Traditional Area), the southern boundary is along the main tar road from Jozini to KwaNgwanase, and the west is bordered by a district road which runs from the tar road to the Mozambique border.
Tembe Elephant Park contributes to the protection of an ecologically viable representative portion of Sand Forest, the Maputaland Wooded Grassland and its associated biodiversity such as the rare Suni. The Park also contributes to the protection of endangered, rare and endemic species specific to elements of the IUCN’s Maputaland Centre for Plant Endemism.