WORLD HERITAGE BEAUTY, WETLANDS AND CAPTIVATING AFRICAN CULTURE
The Kosi Bay system is one of the most beautiful and pristine lake systems on the African coast.
Consisting of four lakes – Amanzimnyama, Nhlange, Mpungwini and Makhawulani – the system is connected by meandering channels and fringed wetlands before it runs into the Indian Ocean via a shallow channel and estuary.
Kosi Bay lies on the coast in the top northeast corner of KwaZulu-Natal.
It forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The Mozambique border forms the northern boundary of the protected area and the Indian Ocean the eastern boundary.
The 11 000 ha Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is a wonderland of clear blue sea, wetlands and lakes.
It has the rare Raffia Palm and its concomitant Palmnut Vulture, wild date palms, mangrove swamps and sycamore fig forests all combining to form a home for over 250 species of birds, as well as bushbuck, duiker and monkeys.
The Kosi system is home to a variety of wildlife including hippo and crocodile.
Humpback whales are seasonal offshore visitors, as are leatherback and loggerhead sea-turtles that come ashore to nest on the beaches from November to February.
Kosi Bay is famed for the traditional, woven fish traps and palisade kraals used by the community for well over 700 years – a skill passed down from generation to generation.
A boat excursion from Lake Nhlange to Lake Makhawulani is a scenic meander through the reed channels, offering an opportunity to snorkel along the mangrove banks or visit the Thonga fish traps on Lake Makhawulani.
Exploring the area is only possible in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Read more about Rules & Regulations below.
Kosi Bay is considered a high risk malaria area. Consult your doctor before visiting, and take precautions such as making use of insect repellent and wearing long sleeves in the evening especially during the summer months.
KOSI BAY REGULATIONS
Most lodges can be reached in a normal sedan vehicle, but a 4×4 is required to visit surrounding areas such as Kosi Bay Mouth, Bhanga Neck, Lala Neck, Black Rock and Mozambique.
Good relations between visitors to the area and community members are necessary. Do not photograph the community without prior consent and do not interfere or visit any of the fish traps without prior consent from the local community.
Fishing nor any other type of activity is not permitted in the Marine Sanctuary from Beacon No 8 at Bhanga Nek south to Beacon No 9 at Dog Point.
All boats using the interconnecting channel between Lakes 2 and 3 must travel dead slow with the engine just idling while keeping to the right, close to the channel bank. This is to prevent erosion of the banks. Failing to do so will result in the offenders being asked to leave the reserve. Access is denied to 4th Lake (Amanzamnyama).
No person may pump sand prawns unless in possession of a general bait license or if the holder thereof is in attendance. A daily limit of 50 sand prawns is permitted.
No generators are permitted.
No water-skiing, yachting, jet-skiing or other water sport is permitted.
Pets are not permitted.
No person is allowed to visit Kosi Estuary, Bhanga Nek, Black Rock, Rocktail Bay or Lala Nek without a valid permit.
Permits to visit Kosi Mouth, Bhanga Nek and Black Rock, is available at Kosi Bay Reserve’s offices. These permits are issued on a first come first served basis.
It is an offense to pick, damage or remove any plant from the Park or to disturb, kill or remove any animal from the Park.
Ice, wood and firelighters can be purchased at lodges, just enquire at reception. It may also be purchased from local community members.
Load Shedding does occur from time to time, therefore it is always advisable to bring a flash light.
WHAT OUR VISITORS SAY
I just loved Kosi Bay. Boat rides on the lake and the Kosi mouth is just spectacular. We snorkeled in the lake and the water was warm with loads of beautiful fish.
Camping at our lodge was lovely and comfortable. All the amenities were readily available. I would love to go back there.
I loved the remoteness of Kosi Bay. The lake is gorgeous, especially the channels we went through with the boat.