The best of Kosi Bay - 4 Days

Kosi Bay is hands down “South Africa’s hidden gem”! On this 4 day adventure you will experience lots that Thongaland has to offer. Kosi Bay mouth and the 4 lakes with its crystal clear water, winding channels and 5 species of mangroves combined with the 800 year old traditions of the amaThonga people is definitely one of the most surreal and peaceful environments that you will ever come across!

The beaches are mineral rich and attract turtles from as far as 5000 km away to come and lay their eggs every summer. Close by, the unique sand forest ecosystem of Tembe Elephant Park, is home to the Big 5 and amazingly the only indigenous elephant population in kwaZulu Natal. This genetic line of elephant boast with some of the largest tusks in the world.


Included Activities:

3 Nights Accommodation,

3 Lakes Kosi Bay Boat Cruise,

Finger Lake Shore Dinner,

Turtle Nesting Tour (1 Nov – 31March),

Fishtrap Tour,

Kayaking Adventure,

Snorkeling Adventure,

Tembe Elephant Park Safari.


You will be accommodated in a unit at “Forest Hideaway”. The units are equipped with comfortable beds, mosquito nets, toilet, basin and hot shower. The unit have a lovely fireplace, deck and delicious home cooked meals are served.


Day 1

We will welcome you at the lodge and give you some time to settle in with something refreshing. Your adventure will start at 14:00 with a Sunset Boat Cruise to introduce you to Kosi Bay and Thongaland.

Your guide on the boat cruise will show you Lake Nhlange, Lake Mpungwini and Lake Makhawulani. These lakes are connected with narrow channels winding through large reed marshes that really offer an incredibly secluded atmosphere.

The birdlife around the lakes and channels is amazing and you are sure to see some hippos. To end your boat cruise off, your guide will take accross 3rd lake to the kwaDapha area where our turtle crew will be awaiting you with a delicious lake shore finger food dinner.

After dinner you will be driven to the nearby Bhanga nek beach where your Turtle tracking tour will start at 18:30. The turtle tour is done by foot and offer the best chance of seeing turtles nesting or hatching on the east coast of Southern Africa.

After the tour your guide will drive you back by road to the lodge for a well deserved rest. We are generally back at the lodge by 23:00.

Day 2

After your late night a sleep in and tasty breakfast at the lodge is essential. You will have the morning to relax and enjoy lunch before we collect you and head for Tembe Elephant Park at 13:00.

The park is 300km2 in size and comprise of very unique sand forest, open and closed woodland and swamps.

Establishment of the reserve came in 1983 after the government decided to relieve the local amaTembe people from having their crops ruined by the indigenous elephant population.

Today the park belongs to the local community that through tourism and conservation earn their living. All roads in the reserve is strictly for 4×4 vehicles and only a maximum of 10 vehicles are allowed here per day.

Together with your guide you will be searching not only for the big 5, but also all the other species that make up this unique ecosystem. The elephants in the reserve are the only true indigenous elephants in kwaZulu Natal and are known to be some of the largest in physical size and in tusk growth. They are also considered to be some of the most gentle of all natural populations of elephant in Africa, true “gentle giants”!

Over the years a total of 340 different species of birds have been recorded in the park and the massive pod mahogany trees is often a highlight for our visiting guests.

The reserve offer you the opportunity to observe animals whilst drinking and bathing from the two beautifully constructed hides, Mahlasela and Ponweni.

Here we will enjoy some snacks and refreshments whilst enjoying the majestic atmosphere of Tembe.

Just before gate closing time we will depart to have you back at the lodge and off the road before dark.

The kitchen will again do its magic around the dinner hour.

Day 3

After a tasty breakfast our Kosi bay mouth guides will come collect you for an exciting day adventure at Kosi estuary mouth.

Their relatives have been living off the land here for 800 years and their knowledge is incredible. Along the trail they will explain how natural materials are used in their daily life’s for building, fishing, medicine and as food.

On arrival down at the waters edge, you will board onto a kayak for a Kayaking Adventure. You will head to the south eastern shores of the estuary where the mangrove channels will be entered.

Kosi bay estuary is the only place in South Africa where 5 species of mangrove trees are found! These trees play a very important role in stabilizing soil on the estuary shoreline as well as forming very vital nursery areas to juvenile fish and crustaceans.

Your guides will point out the different species and will teach you about the importance of conserving these amazing forests!
The birdlife is magnificent and your guides will do their best to point out as many species as possible. Lucky sightings include mangrove kingfisher, palmnut vulture, purple and green-backed heron and flamingo’s.

After the kayaking we move on to experience a couple of moments in the life of a Thonga fishkraal fisherman. You will be introduced to Mike, one of the local fish trap owners. Here with the help of their translations, Mike will explain how the fish traps function and are maintained.

These fish traps are made from only indigenous plant materials and are designed with some ancient conservation ethics where smaller fish can escape and no traps are build in the deeper channels where the most fish are more likely to move.
You will then be guided to a lovely shaded spot under a waterberry tree where a traditional thonga style fish braai lunch and palm wine tasting session will be shared.

After lunch and a moment to appreciate the calm energy of the surrounds, your guides will prepare and guide you to the mouth for your snorkeling adventure.

Your Snorkeling Adventure will start with a safety pre-briefing and handing out of equipment. From here you will
be guided across the sand banks and through the channels to the “Aquarium”.

As the name indicates, our snorkeling area is a congregation area for large numbers of sub-tropical and tropical fish species. With mangrove trees stabilizing the shoreline, their aerial root systems create perfect shelter for juvenile fish to hide from predatory fish that are attracted to hunt on them. Special species on our snorkeling adventures include various species of morey, lionfish, pickhandle barracuda, smooth flutemouth, double-ended pipefish, yellowtail rockcod and blue pete.

After the snorkeling adventure we will relax for a moment and slowly take a walk back along the scenic footpaths. Back at camp a hearty dinner will be served followed by a lovely evening around the fire.

Day 4

After a lovely sleep in and a tasty breakfast it is unfortunately time to check out and depart for your next exciting adventure.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

The best of Kosi Bay

Trip Facts

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