Kosi Bay and the Elephant Coast are among the most unique and beautiful jewels in KwaZulu-Natal’s illustrious quiver of natural attractions. One of the best ways to experience this area is on foot, which is why we’re about to recommend that you do everything you can to get yourself onto the epic hiking trail.
The 3 Day Hike is an escape into one of the most inaccessible and ecologically special parts of South Africa. It is a region of pristine diversity, consisting of four interconnected lakes and an estuary that opens out into the warm Indian Ocean. It forms part of the protected iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was South Africa’s first World Heritage Site.
This trail will suits the fitness level and interests of the different hikers in the group. You will not walk more than 10km a day, winding your way from isolated beaches to cool dune forest, through open savannah and wetlands. Each day brings a new natural or cultural fascination. From watching the local fisherman spear a prize mullet in their traditional fish kraals to seeing the loggerhead turtles waddle ashore to lay their eggs (Nov – March), snorkeling in a natural aquarium or tasting locally brewed lala palm wine or have a traditional Zulu meal at a local village.
Other activities such as snorkeling and birding are very much part of the hike experience. You will be going through the bush, where no vehicle can reach, you will have to carry your luggage with you from camp to camp.
We leaving from Thobeka Lodge, drop you off at the Rafia Forest. From there you will be hiking towards Bhanga Nek, where you will be making camp for the night, doing the turtle tour at night time with a well informed guide, and leave the next morning for eNkovukeni. The tour will take you through a thick forest, with beautiful birds, plants, trees and insects, and a spectacular view of the lakes and the ocean. There is fresh water coming from a borehole at Bhanga Nek and if the thirst is really big, a tuck shop is close by selling cold beers.
A Local guide from eNkovukeni will introduce the guests to the Zulu culture at his local homestead, beer brewery of the palm wine, do the fish trap tour at the lakes and have a traditional meal consisting of peanuts, vegetables and fish/chicken at his home, where the guests will make camp for the night to sleep.
Day three you will be leaving eNkovukeni, going all the way down the beach to Kosi mouth, where you will spend the day snorkeling, swimming and enjoying the sun, sand and sea!!
Own camping equipment, food and water, and snorkels will be needed for the 3 days.
Edwin and Patrick will be responsible for the group from the beginning to the end.
The costs include the following:
- Tour guides that do the hiking
- Turtle tour guide
- Accommodation at Bhanga Nek (camping)
- Accommodation at eNkovukeni (camping)
- Traditional meal at eNkovukeni
- Fish trap tour – eNkovukeni
- Zulu cultural briefing at the homestead of eNkovukeni
- Brewery of local palm wine – eNkovukeni
- Snorkeling and swimming at Kosi Bay mouth
- Permit fees at Isimangaliso Parks
- Transport to the Rafia Forest and pickup from the mouth
What you will need to pack:
- Hiking backpack/bag, waterproof. Find a perfect size which is not too big but enough to carry the essentials (e.g water bottle, raincoat, snacks, camera). It should be fit, comfortable and doesn’t limit your movement.
- Sleeping gear (tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad)
- Long-sleeve shirt to protect your arm from scratches or bruishes. – Weather-appropriate clothing
- Long, light but strong pants reaching to the foot. Don’t wear jeans.
- Non-slippery hiking/trekking boots or full shoes. Shoes may be the most important thing you bring with you, so invest in it. Wear comfortable socks inside. Don’t wear sandals.
- Water bottle, made from aluminum or heavy duty plastic that can contain at least 1 liter.
- Plenty of food – You will be required to take breakfast, lunch and dinner with you
- Snacks, high-energy bar, dried fruits, chocolate.
- Light raincoat or poncho.
- First aid kit, personal care and medicine.
- Wet tissue, toilet paper, small towel.
- Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen lotion (SPF 30+).
- Insect repellent.
- Walking stick (or you can just grab any stick during the hiking).
- Headlamp: plus extra batteries
- Stove and fuel
- Kitchen supplies
- Small repair kit