Kosi Forest Lodge is situated on original land, if there can be such a thing, where locals stop to smile as you pass and women walk with bundles of sticks on their heads. Here are our top 5 reasons to book a stay at Kosi Forest Lodge.
Kosi Forest Lodge is Lodge is set in a beautiful sand forest on the banks of Lake Shengeza in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The vibrant African town of Manguzi is a 20 minute 44 transfer from the lodge. Richards Bay (3.5hrs) and Durban (6hrs) lie south of Manguzi.
Accommodation at Kosi Forest Lodge:
8 thatch and canvas rooms on raised wooden decks, unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand. All beds have mosquito nets.
From the moment you arrive, you instantly relax at this accommodation in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Maybe its the feel of the soft white sand between your toes, the peaceful canopy of shady trees, the call of the fish eagle or just the warm welcome from our staff. Whatever it is, you know you have left the stress of your busy life behind.
A massive Zulu 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. Kosi Forest Lodge takes full advantage of Maputolands sultry weather with most meals served alfresco on the deck or under large albizia trees.
Candles light the area at night giving it a warm, romantic ambience reminiscent of wild African adventures of long ago.
The swimming pool overlooks Lake Shengeza where you can while away the afternoon cooling off, sipping on your favourite drink while watching the resident pod of hippos safely below.
It is the local knowledge of the staff that has many guests raving about their stay at Kosi Forest Lodge. Our guides grew up here and know the place like the back of their hand. Theres not a path untrodden or a secret access to this estuarine wonderland that they dont know about. To get to the launch site for the daily guided canoeing, one walks along pathways forged by hippos grazing at night.
While canoeing one gently glides through waterways reminiscent of Amazonian vistas. After carefully navigating this area, we gently cruise through the Sihadla Channel with its swampy forests, marshlands and abundant birdlife. The Kosi Lakes are home to rare birds such as the Pels fishing owl and the palm nut vulture and there is a very good chance of seeing both on your visit.
Thatch, glass and canvas chalets nestled in an enchanting indigenous forest.
All rooms have both romantic outdoor bathroom bomas as well as en-suite indoor showers.
Two chalets each with en-suite shower, sharing a bathroom boma linked by a short walkway
All our bedrooms have the following features:
- Private Deck
- ndoor and Outdoor Shower
- Bath Outdoor Bathroom/Boma
- Mosquito Nets
- Laundry Service Additional Charge
- No Smoking
- Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
- Electricity 24/7
Kosi Forest Lodge activities:
Exploring the channels of the Kosi Lakes System by guided canoe is one of the glorious past times. Early morning canoe trips along glass-like water through lush forests alive with birds is an absolute must at Kosi Forest Lodge.
The Kosi River Mouth (1 hour 4x4 drive from the lodge) is known as the aquarium because of the clarity of the water and abundance of fish species. Guests of Kosi Forest Lodge have free use of snorkelling equipment included on the 4x4 excursion.
Both lake and sea fishing is available as well as fly fishing and dropshot fishing. A permit is required for all fishing. Guests need to supply all their own fishing tackle and equipment. Please discuss your stay with us first should you be particularly interested in fishing.
Boat trip on the lakes
This full day boat trip is a wonderful way to explore the fascinating lakes and channels, learn about Tsonga fish traps, enjoy a picnic and walk to pristine Bhanga Nek Beach. There is an additional charge for this activity and is weather dependant.
Kosi Forest Lodge focuses on birding and has access to some of Zululands best birding areas and can provide guided tours. With over 420 Species recorded in the area, one can be assured of some great birding in one of South Africa`s most bio-diverse areas.
4 x 4 Excursion to Kosi Mouth
his is a full day trip to the beautiful Kosi Bay Mouth where guests can enjoy snorkelling in warm waters and soak up the sun. A picnic lunch is enjoyed in the shade of palm trees. There is an additional cost for this excursion (snorkelling equipment provided).
Rafia Palm Forest Walk
Enjoy early morning or late afternoon guided walks through the magnificent raffia palm forest. Listen out for the abundant bird calls and perhaps catch a glimpse of the rare palm-nut vulture, whom we have regular sightings of in the canopy.
Additional activities in the area:
- Turtle tracking
- Tembe Elephant Park
- Famous Fish Traps of Kosi Bay
Wildlife in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park:
Kosi Bay Nature Reserve
This unspoiled nature reserve surrounds the rare and beautiful Kosi Bay lake system. It has been incorporated into the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, an internationally recognised World Heritage Site. The 11,000ha, 30km-long reserve is a tropical paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, swamp and coastal forests that is home to about 250 species of bird. Kosi Forest Lodge is the only private lodge in the nature reserve.
Hippo and crocodile bask in and around the lakes and the reserve provides a haven for a variety of rare fish, flora and fauna. The Kosi lake system has long been regarded as the best-preserved large estuary system on South Africas Indian Ocean coastline.
Kosi Bay System
The system consists of four large lakes and a series of inter-connecting channels that eventually drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean. The lakes are separated from the ocean by a strip of forested sand dunes. The system is characterised by grassland, interspersed with lakes, pans, streams, marshes and swamps. The swamp forests found in this area are the largest in the country. The wildlife in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park varies across all of these various ecosystems.
The hippopotamus (hippopotamus amphibius) is the most dominant mammal of the Kosi system with a population of about 60. Other estuary-associated mammals include the water mongoose (atilax paludinosus) and the clawless otter (aonyx capensis).
There are number of rare bird species in the Kosi system, many of which are at the most southerly limits of their distribution and are not encountered elsewhere in South Africa. The prolific bird life of the system is essentially forest associated. Amongst the rare water/estuary associated species are fluff tail (sarothrura spp), whitebacked night heron (gorsachius leuconotus) and the crab Plover (dromas ardeola)
There are nearly always small numbers of greater flamingoes (phoenicopterus ruber) and lesser flamingoes (p.minor). Ospreys (pandion haliaetus) are regularly seen. The raffia forests are also home to the palmnut vulture (gypohierax angloensis), a red data species, and the only fruit-eating vulture in the world.
A particular species of butterfly, a skipper (parnara micans) is regarded as endemic to Kosi Bay. Charaxis protoclea azota is a red data butterfly species. It is a marginal species that occurs only in Kosi Bay in South Africa and is distributed from South Africa to East Africa.
Kosi Bay supports a great variety of fish and other aquatic fauna due to the different physical characteristics of the lakes. There are eight known red data fish species in the area, most of which have their largest known populations in the Kosi system.
The Kosi Bay area is of considerable botanical importance with several red data species found here. The swamp forests found in this area are the largest in the country and the giant palm raffia australis, on which the Palmnut vulture is dependent, is as its natural southern limit here. This is the only area in South Africa where five species of mangrove are found, two of which (luminitzera racemosa and ceriops tagal) are at the southernmost limit of their distribution.
Additional Activities in the area:
- Turtle tracking
- Tembe Elephant Park
- Famous fish traps of Kosi Bay
All children welcome. Kosi Forest Lodge has 1 family suite with 2 interleading rooms. Children under 8 to have dinners from 67pm.
Access to Kosi Forest Lodge:
Access by Road 44 is required. Complimentary 44 transfers offered twice daily from Manguzi. Secure parking available in Manguzi for guest cars.
Nearest Airport Richards Bay Airport
Access by Air Daily flights to Richards Bay ex Johannesburg with SA Express 3hr 45 min road transfer to lodge. Regional & international flights to King Shaka International Airport 5hr 30 min road transfer to lodge..
Self drive 2 x 4 (Total Garage KwaNgwanase) pick up/ collections times (12h00 or 16h00 ONLY.) There is no charge for this. Guests to please phone the lodge from Pongola or Hluhluwe if they anticipate being late for the collection times.
Clothing and Accessories:
Casual wear should be comfortable and cool. Remember to bring swimwear, sun hats and sandals for the beach. We supply snorkels and goggles, beach shade and beach towels. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or track shoes and an all weather outdoor anorak/windbreaker are recommended. Please bring sun block and mosquito repellent.
Health and Climate:
Please note that Northern Kwazulu Natal is a malaria area.
May to September temperatures range from 10 degrees to 25 degrees.
Sunny days with cool evenings and early mornings.
Sea temperatures between 18 degrees and 22 degrees.
October to April temperatures range from 20 degrees to 26 degrees.
Days are hot and humid with occasional afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
Sea temperatures between 21 degrees and 26 degrees.
More than 30 days prior to arrival : 10% cancellation fee
More than 7 days prior to arrival : 50% cancellation fee
Less than 7 days prior to arrival : 100% cancellation fee
Facilities & Services available:
Children under 12
Special Meals on Request
Bar on the Premises
Parking (off-street - covered)
Xhosa / Zulu
Hiking / Walking Trails