Location: Kosi Bay Nature Reserve (Isimangaliso Wetland)
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Nestled in the most north-eastern corner of South Africa lies Utshwayelo Kosi Mouth Lodge & Camp. The lodge offers superb Kosi Bay accommodation and is just a stone’s throw from the pristine beach, where the blue waters of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site flow into the Indian Ocean at the mouth of the Kosi Bay estuary system near the Mozambique border.
From en-suite luxury tents to en-suite rustic chalets, tented camps and private campsites, our lodge provides the kind of Kosi Bay accommodation you are looking for – and is easily accessible by motor car.
Wade among the iconic traditional Tsonga fish traps from which the lodge takes its name, snorkel in the estuary teeming with tropical fish, go hippo spotting on a scenic boat trip on the lakes or hike through the unspoiled bush.
And when your day is done, unwind under the magnificent ancient Umdoni trees next to the pool or enjoy a sundowner at the Fishtrap bar and plan your adventure for the new day.
These luxury tented units are en-suite with a private WC. They are well appointed with a seating area, walk-in dressing room and have 2 x 3/4 beds which can be converted into a deluxe hollywood bed. One can opt for full/half board or a self-catered option. The tents are luxurious and situated in a private and tranquil setting amidst Umdoni (Waterberry) trees.
Each tent has a covered outside veranda area. They have fans and hair dryers. A covered outside shower adds to the bush experience. All tents are fully serviced. Each unit has 24-hour electricity supplied from our solar power system. A fully equipped communal kitchen with stoves, ovens, and fridges is available for the self-catered guests.
En-suite - Shower only - Fully serviced with swimming towels provided - Separate toilet -
Tea & coffee facilities - Full board or self-catering
Our chalets are all en-suite and sleep two people each (an extra single bed can be added to some units). They are rustic and luxurious, constructed from wood and raffia palms and are situated in a private wonderful setting under big Umdoni (Waterberry) trees. Each chalet has an outside sitting area with a braai.
Chalets vary, with units having either a king-size bed, a queen-size bed or two single beds. All beds have mosquito nets and ceiling fans. 24-hour electricity is available from our solar power system. A fully equipped communal kitchen with stoves, ovens, and fridges is available for the chalet guests.
Meals offered on prior request
King or queen-size bed or 2 singles - Braai facilities - Fully serviced - En-suite bathroom -
These are large permanent tents in a secluded area. They are erected on a wooden deck, shaded by an awning with a veranda. They have two full-size single beds, linen and are fully serviced. Some are en-suite with a kitchenette, other units have shared ablutions with hot showers. A fully equipped communal kitchen with stoves, ovens and fridges is available for our tent guests.
2 x single beds - Shaded veranda - Linen and towels - Communal ablutions with hot shower - Fully serviced - Private
Activities around Kosi Bay Mouth
Make your trip to Utshwayelo Kosi Mouth Lodge & Camp and Kosi Bay unforgettable by exploring the natural beauty of this pristine location.
Whether it’s boating or bird watching, fishing or snorkelling, hiking or biking, you’re spoiled for choice in this magnificent area of South Africa that’s been described as a “wonderful aquarium and the most gorgeous aviary”.
Snorkelling at Kosi Bay Mouth
Snorkelling in Kosi Bay Mouth is a must-do activity when visiting the area. It’s an exhilarating experience to snorkel in the warm waters of the rock pools and the estuary, fondly known as “the aquarium” because of the abundance of the most amazing marine life.
Visibility always depends on the weather and the tide, but the best time to snorkel here is when clean seawater flows into the estuary at high tide. The area is generally safe but, that said, it’s always advisable to keep your wits about you.
Great fun for the kids
Children will be able to snorkel as long as they can swim, and we always suggest using flotation devices for the younger ones, even in the shallow waters. They will have hours of fun exploring the rock pools at low tide, which are safe for them to venture into.
Boxfish, Moorish Idols, Moray Eels and dozens of spectacular Lionfish can be spotted along the estuary reef. The Devil Firefish, which favours reefs, rocky outcrops and tidal pools, can also be spotted around the estuary. While they are a sight to behold, the dorsal spines of the Devil Firefish are venomous so it’s advisable to be careful around these areas when snorkelling.
The warm water of the Indian Ocean almost rules out the need for a wetsuit, though one may come in handy in the cooler, drier winter months between May and July.
Snorkelling gear for hire
Please remember to treat this ecologically sensitive area with care and respect. Do not stand on or break the reef. Should you not have your own equipment, snorkelling gear is available for hire for Utshwayelo Kosi Mouth Lodge & Camp guests.
Access to the estuary and the ocean is by 4 x 4 transfer only. We provide the transport for our guests to and from these areas at various times during the day and according to demand.
Kosi Bay fish trap tours
The Thonga people, who have made this land their home for more than 1 000 years, are experts in fish traps and have been constructing these traditional woven traps and palisade fish kraals for over 700 years. Embark on a guided tour of the fish traps where a local fisherman will explain the process. You may even be lucky to spear your own fish! You need to book this activity a day in advance at reception.
Cruise the three Kosi Bay lakes
Join us on a boat cruise on “Hleke Imvubu” traversing the Kosi Lake system, the most pristine series of interconnected lakes on the South African coastline which stretches some 18km.
It is made up of four lakes – Makhawulani, Mpungwini , KuNhlange and Amanzamnyamal – connected via channels which drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean.
The best way to experience these Kosi lakes is by boat where you will float between the famous fish traps of the traditional Thonga that trap fish moving in and out of the estuary with the tide.
Enjoy a snorkel off the boat in the protected mangroves and view a variety of fish life.
View the incredible diversity of birds which inhabit this pristine environment such as the African fish eagle, the Pels fishing owl, flamingos, herons and kingfishers.
Hippos, crocodiles and flamingos may also be seen from the boat.
Trips run twice daily from 09h00 to 12h00 and from 13h00 to 16h00.
Hike in the Kosi Bay Mouth area
Tailor-made Hikes for the family and for the more seasoned hikers
Kosi Bay Mouth is a beautiful part of the world for hiking, offering spectacular scenery, cultural insights, very diverse vegetation and incredible birdlife.
Our qualified guides will take you through marine forests, over swamps, past hippos, around the Kosi lake system, up sand dunes and along deserted, unspoilt beaches. Some hikes include a boat trip on the lakes as well as snorkelling.
Hikes can vary from 1 to 4 days using Utshwayelo Kosi Mouth as a base camp. Hikes can be custom made to suit the group requirements.
Birding at Kosi Bay Mouth
The Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is a tropical paradise of crystal-clear blue water and marshland, raffia and wild date palms, mangrove swamps and sycamore fig forest that combine to provide a home for approximately 250 species of birds.
Most east coast specials and endemics can be found here, including the Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae) and Swamp Nightjar (Caprimulgus natalensis).
A few sought-after species such as the Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis), Pel’s Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli), African Finfoot (Podica senegalensis) and African Pygmy Goose (Nettapus auritus) can also be spotted.
Other birds that can be found in the area include the African Fish Eagle, Flamingos, Herons – notably the Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) and White-backed Night Heron (Gorsachius leuconotus) – as well as Kingfishers, including the following species: Giant, Pied, Purple and Reed.
Turtle Viewing at Bhanga Nek beach
You can take a guided tour to Bangha Nek beach to watch the female leatherback and loggerhead turtles coming out of the surf to lay their eggs on the beach or, approximately 70 days later, see the baby turtles or hatchlings emerging at night and making for the safety of the sea.
These trips are usually from 16h30 to 24h00 (November to March). Trips must be booked a day in advance and are weather and guide dependent.Kosi Bay fishing
Whether you’re a seasoned saltwater angler, keen fly fisherman or weekend cast fishing enthusiast, fishing at Kosi Bay Mouth is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
You’ll be spoilt for choice here as there is excellent surf and rock angling along the coast, and fishing in the Kosi Lake system and the estuary at the Kosi Mouth.
The waters in this pristine ecosystem are teeming with fish and more experienced anglers will benefit most from targeting certain species depending on the spot they choose to fish from – if their timing is right! Remember your fishing permit
Fishing permits are required for fishing at the mouth. These can be purchased from any Post Office. Night permits can be obtained from the Isimangaliso/Ezemvelo Offices at Lake Three (KuHlange). They are very affordable.
No fishing is allowed in the estuary or Lake 4 as these are protected areas.
The main species of fish that can be found in the Kosi Bay lake system are Grunter, Stumpnose, Mullet, Kingfish, Rock Salmon and Yellowfin Bream.
If you’re fishing along the coast, you can expect to catch Kingfish (they get big around these parts!), Rock Cod, Red Snapper, Sharks and Rays.
Best from the boat
The Kosi lakes are natural systems which contain large populations of hippos and crocodiles.
Fishermen need to be cautious as they move around the system in their boats, especially when navigating the narrow channels between lakes.
Those fishing from the lake shores should be cautious for the same reasons.
The Kosi Bay lakes are best fished from a boat, and guests are welcome to hire our boat to fish the three lakes. Please note that we do not supply fishing tackle.
Bear in mind, though, that the fish in these lakes can be hard to find and catch without some local knowledge. However, a bad day fishing is still better than a good day at the office!
Kosi Bay Canoeing
Paddle with our guide around the fish traps of the estuary and into Lake Kahlu and share the beauty of untouched Africa. Enjoy up-close views of Fish Eagles, Cormorant nesting and Flamingos. You may be fortunate enough to spot the rare Palm-nut Vulture.
This is a very exclusive trip as you are taken into areas not usually experienced by tourists. Must be booked in advance at reception.
The locations markers on this map were manually captured, Exclusive-Africa cannot accept any responsibility for errors or positional accuracy. This map should be used as a guide only.