Kosi Forest Lodge is set in a tranquil sand forest, and is the only private lodge in the unspoilt Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. Its tented bush suites are raised above white beach sand and positioned under the forest canopy, and offer an experience that is private and intimate. There are a number of activities on offer and guests can explore the unique ecosystem by guided canoe, boat trips on the lake, forest walks or day excursions to the nearby coastal beaches.
This 16-bed Lodge offers fine accommodation, delicious cuisine, and is the perfect base from which to explore the tranquillity of the Kosi lakes and the pristine Elephant Coast. A day visit to Kosi Bay Mouth to view the fish traps of the Tsonga people is mandatory. For the more active, there is a small coral reef in the Mouth that provides a good spot for a bit of snorkelling. Turtle tracking from November to January, when these creatures return to the beaches of Northern KwaZulu-Natal to lay their eggs, is an experience not to be missed.
Forming part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, the 30km-long Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is a paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, swamp and coastal forests. This is the only place in South Africa where five species of mangrove are found, two of which are at the southernmost limit of their distribution.
The reserve surrounds the rare and beautiful Kosi Bay lake system, regarded as the best-preserved large estuary system on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coastline. It consists of four lakes that stretch over some 18km, with a series of inter-connecting channels that eventually drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean. Hippo and crocodile bask in and around the lakes. The coastal forest on the edge of the lakes is home to bushbuck, duiker and monkeys. The Raffia and Wild Date Palm forests are home to about 250 species of birds, including the Fish Eagle and the endangered Palm Nut Vulture. There are nearly always a small number of Greater and Lesser Flamingoes to be seen.
Spread throughout the estuary are traditional fish traps used by local Tsonga fishermen to harvest the numerous fish species in the estuary, providing an important source of protein to the local people.
Humpback whales can occasionally be seen off the coast from June to October, during their migration to calve in the warm waters off the Mozambique coast.
Raised on a wooden deck, each of the 8 shaded thatched bush suites has a beautifully appointed bedroom, with low wooden walls and roll-up canvas blinds allowing full views of the surrounding forest. A highlight is the romantic open-air reed-enclosed bathroom with bath and shower sunk into the sand. Kosi Forest Lodge offers six double rooms, a family suite and a private honeymoon suite.
All meals are included and Kosi Forest Lodge takes full advantage of Maputuland’s sultry weather with most meals served alfresco - on the deck or under large Albizia trees. Enhancing the delicious cuisine, candles light the area at night giving it a warm, romantic ambience reminiscent of wild African adventures of long ago. A massive Podberry tree is the focal point of the main lodge with the lounge, dining room and bar all opening onto a large, wooden deck around the tree. The swimming pool offers respite from the warm weather in summer.
Enjoy early morning or late afternoon guided walks through the magnificent Raffia Palm Forest, home to the largest palm in the world. Listen out for the abundant birdcalls and perhaps catch a glimpse of the endangered palm-nut vulture, a regular sight in the canopy.
The highlight of many guests’ stay at Kosi Forest Lodge is the guided canoe trip. Guests get the opportunity to canoe along the Sihadla channel and admire the magnificent Raffia Palms and the abundant bird life.
The best way to see the Kosi Lake system is by boat. Full day boat trips through various sized lakes and channels include an up close and personal look at the famous Kosi Bay fish traps – a must whilst staying at Kosi Forest Lodge - as well as a picnic lunch and a swim in the sea at Bhanga Nek.
A full day activity to the beautiful Kosi Bay Mouth offers a great day on the beach. The rock pools along this protected stretch of coastline are a virtual aquarium of brilliant sub-tropical fish. Enjoy swimming in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and soak up the sun along this beautiful stretch of beach, followed by a scrumptious picnic lunch. Limited snorkelling equipment is available at the lodge.