The main town in Maputaland is called Kosi Bay. This is a misnomer because there is no bay and the town known as Kosi Bay is still 30 km from the coast. Kosi Bay is also known as Manguzi (or eManguzi) situated in the KwaNgwanase district. The region signposted as Kwangwanase.
Kosi Bay is a rich tapestry of lakes which borders Mozambique, has been described as the last haven of untouched African paradise. It is a wonderland of blue sea and dazzling white beaches, wetlands and lakes and reed channels, raffia palm forests and mangrove swamps. Exploring the area is only possible in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
About Kosi Bay
Kosi Bay – a Section of Isimangaliso
The Kosi Bay estuary system consists of a series of interconnecting channels and four lakes that flow into the sandy estuary mouth before reaching the Indian Ocean. This subtropical paradise features spectacular wildlife, birds and plants, including interesting species of mangrove and palms. The sandy mouth offers great swimming, snorkeling and paddling for kids.
Stretching south of the Mozambique border, the gorgeous sandy beach at Kosi Bay Nature Reserve has much to offer nature and ocean lovers. Part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beach lies parallel to the Kosi lakes and long strip of high sand dunes interrupted by a sandy estuary.
Dolphin and whale watchers will be delighted by frequent sightings, particularly during winter when humpback whales migrate north to calve in the warmer Mozambique waters.
December and January is a particularly exciting time in Kosi Bay, for this is when loggerhead and leatherback turtles haul themselves up the beach to scoop out nests and lay their eggs.
The local Thonga (the Tembe community) have a rich and fascinating history. Kosi Bay is famed for the traditional, woven fish traps and palisade kraals used by the community for well over 700 years – a skill passed down from generation to generation. The palisade fish kraals consist of a guide fence that curves in towards a fish trap, allowing fish easy entry but no escape. The traps are designed for small fish to escape, so there’s no major impact on the thriving fish population.
Kosi Bay offers some of the most exciting birding opportunities in southern Africa to both local and foreign visitors.
Access to Kosi Bay estuary and beach is a 30-minute drive requiring a 4WD vehicle. The route provides spectacular views across the fish trap dotted lake to the sea from the top of the high dunes.
Kosi Bay mouth is a conserved Coastal Forest, therefor you cannot just drive to the beach without a vehicle permit, and only 20 vehicle permits are being issued per day.
Thobeka – Just genuine African bush living
Guesthouse, Camping, Backpacking, Lodging, B&B
Set amongst big shady trees in a peaceful rural setting, Thobeka epitomises simplicity where there are no frills but genuine African bush living.
Providing self-catering accommodation and camping in true African style, we offer twin rooms, double rooms, dormitories and family rooms. Each room is built according to the Zulu tradition and are connected by a wooden walkway that leads to a fully fitted kitchen, hot showers and toilets, and a swimming pool.
We provide hot showers and toilets as well as a laundry service at a small fee so you can put on some clean clothing after enjoying a hot revitalising shower.
Our self-catering kitchen is well-stocked with cooking utensils, crockery and fridges as well as tea, coffee and sugar.
The bar is as it should be ~ packed with cold beers and sofas and a hammock or two so you can kick back and enjoy. Beside the bar is our swimming pool should you wish to take a dip and cool off, not far from yet another cold beer.
Our braai area is located next to the pool and about three steps from the bar so you can braai, take a dip in the pool, a swig of your beer and embrace the freedom that Thobeka offers you.
Evenings at Thobeka are reliant upon what you wish to experience. You could either sit around the fire, dance around the fire, beat your African drum, tell stories, have a kitchen party or relax and gaze at the twinkling African night sky and listen to the sound of nature.
Local amenities are in close proximity to our African bush lodge where you can purchase food products, local fruit and vegetables and African souvenirs to take home with you to your family and friends. A Petrol station, Pharmacy and ATM are also in the vicinity.
Our staff, born and raised in the village, have a wealth of knowledge and experience of Zulu culture, history and the local village itself and will shower you with African hospitality that is teeming with the richness of the Mother Land providing you with an all-round authentic African experience!
Please take note that you don’t need a 4 x 4 vehicle to get to Thobeka as it is easily accessed with any city car!
With a range of activities to explore, we are well-placed to embark on a few adventurous African experiences. Whether you’re an adventure seeking explorer, a culture vulture, a nature lover, sporty or all of the above, the surroundings have something exciting for you to experience.
With an average of 200 days of sunshine per year, activities include snorkeling at Kosi Bay Mouth, in the “aquarium” with it’s incredible number of fish species swimming in the warm sea water, bathing in the sun, enjoying the untouched Kosi Bay beach, taking a hike through the sub-tropical Raffia Forest or kayaking on the clear blue water of the lakes. Kosi mouth is great for kids and very safe in the shallow waters of the lagoon.
Eye-opening African experiences for the culture vulture include day trips to the Hole in the wall market on the South African/Mozambican border where you are sure to be entertained by the hustle and bustle of everyday African market style busyness.
Hop on a boat for a cruise around the 4 Lake system, see Hippo, flamingo, and the old crocs.
Snorkel around the fish traps and return richer from the experience!
We also offer a 5 – 8 hour Tembe Elephant Reserve Safari, accompanied with a personalised guide of the Big 5 on sandy tracks, get out and view animals from a hide overlooking the waterhole.
From October to March, Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles nest at Bhanga Nek and all along the Maputaland coast. Sea turtles come from hundreds, and in some cases thousands of kilometers away to nest, because the area offers perfect turtle nesting areas and strict protection of the sea turtles and turtle eggs.
Turtle tours to Bhanga Nek can be arranged through us. No driving on the beaches is allowed and all turtle tours are by foot. No members of the public are allowed to walk on the beach at night during the turtle nesting season (November – March).
AND MANY MORE………….
WE REGRET, No Quad Bikes, Jetski’s, Water skiing, Kite surfing, Wake Boarding, Barefoot Skiing, Fly boarding, Parasailing, boat tubing.
Quad Bikes are absolutely not allowed as they are off road vehicles (not licensed to be on a public road). All the roads in our area, leading to the lakes, the lodges and private dwellings are accessed by the public and are therefore considered a public road.
Jetski’s, Water skiing, Kite surfing, Wake Boarding, Barefoot Skiing, Fly boarding, Parasailing, boat tubing: Not allowed on the lakes or the estuary.