A stones throw from the Mocambique border, the Kosi Bay area has an air of remote adventure. A sliver of South Africa with the air of an unspoilt island. Four lakes joined by channels culminate at Kosi mouth, where the first lake meets with the ocean. The KZN parks lodges and camp sites are at the third lake.
I imagine Robinson Crusoe’s abode having the same feel as our KZN Parks cabin (Umdoni Lodge). The trees knitted above the beach sand path to the door, embraced us with a sense of adventure. By day fish eagles sang a soul song and by night bush babies cried in tones ill-fitting their cute appearance.
To reach any interesting beach spots, challenging ± 20 km beach sand roads need to be navigated with care in a 4 x 4. Our brave SUV Kia Sportage did us proud; a few extra cms ground clearance would have been great, but she held her own where the big macho 4 x 4’s come into their own.
The short Samango walking trail, which ends at a view-point with a magnificent view over the third lake was accessible from our cabin. Although snakes must abound in many of the areas where we walk, they are rarely seen. This time, however, Cliff and Acacia were lucky enough to spot a green snake on the trail but Fjord and I had blazed ahead without noticing it.
The comfortable cabin where staff member Rosie kept things pristine (even doing our laundry, at no extra fee) was lovely, but I rather envied the campers, where some camp sites are right on the water’s edge. You can wade far out into the warm, shallow waters which stretch out like a tropical beauty sunning herself under African skies.
Visits to Kosi mouth and all beaches require permits, as they are protected areas. A plus with staying at KZN parks accommodation is that their guests do not pay extra for permits.
If you are planning a visit to Kosi, note the following.
- This is a malaria area
- You must have a 4 x 4
- If you don’t want to employ one of the many locals marketing themselves as guides to navigate the area, set your GPS with the co-ordinates but they will only be a rough guide regarding general direction
- The closest town is Manguzi, which is near enough to stock up if supplies run low. We found the Boxer grocery store to be better than the Spar
- If we go to the Kosi Bay area again we will plan our trips around what time low tide is. While we were there low tide was around 4pm which was too late in the day as you need to factor in the time it will take to leave the beach area. Snorkelling is one of the big drawcards and it is a shame not to maximise snorkelling opportunities.
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