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.