Kosi Bay - Amangwane


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Kayak Exploration!

  • May 4, 2012 9:48 am

My! What a busyweek it has been, first we have a full lodge, completely packed out!!

Then we get our Kayaking concession from parksboard meaning that we can now explore not only the lovely blue lakes of Kosi Bay, but also the many winding channels amongst the reeds and sand dunes of the Kosi Mouth Estuarine system.

But, we had no photos of these areas! So, as disappointed as we were at pulling ourselves away from work, we went to do some exploring.

Check out the video below – don’t worry, no sound, so it’s safe for work!

Video – Snorkelling at Kosi Bay

  • April 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Check out the snorkelling at Kosi Bay!

Green Amangwane!

  • April 10, 2012 11:06 am

The environment means a lot to us and we know it does to you too, so, as we are situated in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, we thought that we would do our bit to help preserve it.

kosi bay estuary

Kosi Bay, part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park

So…

What have we changed?

The first thing we have changed is that we now run on solar power!

amangwane kosi bay, ecotourism, responsible travel

The new solar panels take pride of place atop the chalets

After a few years of planning we have now gone green!!

This means; no generator needed, no noise pollution, no waste of fossil fuels, no pollution and most importantly, no impact on the environment.

But, there is a downside…
…we do not have our fairy lights at the moment, we are working on a way to make them compatible though!

solar powered chalets at kosi bay amangwane

No trees were harmed in the installation of our solar panels

Each unit now has its own solar panel, this feeds to a USB charging point in each room – perfect for point and shoot cameras, mobile phones and anything else that charges via USB.
This solar battery is good enough to power not only your mobile phones, but also the room lights, all night!

Bright solar powered lights, kosi bay

Kosi Bay has no shortage of sun, so, no shortage of light!

Everything on the camp is now solar – from gate to boma.

We have also settled our Jo Jo (water tank) on a platform 5 metres off the ground – this means that (drum roll please!) we now have continual water pressure to all chalets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all without the need for any generators. These gravity fed showers are even better than they were before on generator power!

As if this wasn’t enough, we have been working like beavers to improve the facilities we already have at the camp. So far we have re-reeded most of the chalets to keep out the creepy crawlies and the kitchen has been extended, we also now have a second stove and sink so that our self caterers have more space. And now by the fire pit we have a brick built braai giving us some where to keep the firewood dry and enough room for 2 people to braai at the same time.
Pictures coming soon!

Find us at Responsible Travel.

Beachtime!!

  • February 15, 2012 6:17 pm

A beach day at Kosi bay!

Stephanie was more than a little happy at this prospect, although in truth we all were. It was hot, and the mere thought of swimming was making us all eager to get to the beach.

Even Tommy was eager to get to the water!

Kosi bay, nature tour, african safari

Tommy was all set for his day at the beach

The visit to the fishtraps is first. this sustainable fishing method is as much a part of conserving the area as preserving the traditional Tsonga culture.

Elmon explained how the fish trap worked to us and gave us spear fishing lessons to show us how hard it is, then it was time to walk/splash out to the fishtraps to take a look for ourselves.

kosi bay, south african safari and nature tour

Elmon shows us how it's done

african safari

Run away!

african safari at kosi bay

Elmon leads us into the trap

kosi bay african safari nature tour

Adrian shows that leaf who is boss!

We were in luck, one of Elmons fishtraps had bream, grunter, mullet and even kingfish! So we got to test our wits against that of the fish and try our hand at spearing dinner.

traditional fishtraps at kosi bay mouth

Looking for fish at one of Elmons traps

kosi bay african safari nature tour

Fighting over who will be first to spear

Stephanie speared her fish on the first try… Sleep with one eye open Adrian…!

amangwane kosi bay spearfishing

Steph shows us all how it is done on the first throw of her spear

south african safari, nature tour

Adrian teaches the fish a lesson

We all emerged from the handmade cage triumphant. We would have a feast tonight!

But no time for smugly posing with our catches…

…oh, ok then just a little…

african safari

Mr and Mrs Crusoe won't be hungry tonight!

african safari, nature tour , kosi bay beach

Adrian plays the man card and pretends he caught them all

 

african safari, nature tour, kosi bay

What now? Snorkelling!

Snorkelling at Kosi Bay

  • February 5, 2012 6:20 pm
snorkelling at kosibay world heritage site

I'm sure Steph is in here somewhere...

kosi bay heritage site snorkel

Boo!

Armed with our mask and snorkels (no flippers/fins needed at this reef!) We crossed the estuary feeling the alternating hot and cold currents swirling around us.

kosi bay world heritage site

Because every holiday needs one of these pictures!

The beauty of the snorkelling at Kosi Bay is that you swim across a channel and walk up on to the sand bank that runs parralel to the reef, walk along the sand bank, and lower yourself once more into the balmy waters of Kosi Bay Mouth.

But now is where the hard work comes… Ok, only joking – all you
need to do now is float with the current, cameras at the ready.

Snorkel south africa world heritage site

There were fish of all sizes and colours hiding on the reef

kosi bay isimangaliso heritage site

Swim with the fishes

kosi bay world heritage site

Oooooh! lion fish!

devil fire fish bum at kosi bay heritage site

Steph saw it swim by, but it was in its hole by the time I caught up

kosi bay world heritsge site

The honeycomb eel was playing peek-a-boo with Adrian

Effort free snorkelling gave us plenty of energy for posing under the water and playing with our cameras.

kosi bay UNESCO world heritage site

Steph poses for the camera

kosibay world heritage site

"taken the picture yet?"

kosi bay world heritage site

Cheesy grins are hard underwater!

Carry on reading about this trip as Stephanie and Adrian go from place to place on their African holdiay.

Day 5 – Turtle Tour

  • January 29, 2012 11:59 pm

An early start for Jason and Adam today as they head up to Ndumo Game reserve for a full day of fantastic bird and animal sightings.

Only one thing can top a great day, and that is going on a Turtle tour.
Sea turtles who usually live in the deep deep depths come on land between November and February each year to lay their eggs. Female turtles must climb from the water up the beach (the pure physical exertion as they make their way across the soft sand causes the bodies of these cold blooded creatures to radiate an astounding level of heat) before they dig their nests and lay their clutches of over 100 eggs! After this the turtle must then close the nest and then make her way back to the sea.

Baby sea turtles when they hatch have to break through the egg, dig out of the sand and make their way down to the water. What a lot to do on your first day in the world!

Jason and Adam were lucky enough to see three little hatchlings on their way to the water. One of them looked very weak, and was struggling to make it across the soft sand – law states that you are not permitted to touch them or help them in any way – and this troubled Jason and Adam. Using his torch Adam led them on their perilous journey down to the water, safe guarding them from any beach predators who may want to take advantage of these juicy little morsels.

It was quite an emotional moment for the boys as the last little hatchling dipped into the water, I am sure there was even a tear present in Jasons eye! The boys kept watching the water, looking just in case the little ones washed back to shore again, but no – they were ok and off to start their little life adventures.

Then, around the corner, 10, 20, 30, 40 hatchlings fresh from the eggs and emerging from the nest. It was like a motorway during rush hour as they made their way to the water. 50, 60 and still more were coming even as they walked a little further down the beach.

A little further along they found a female loggerhead turtle in the process of laying her eggs. Sitting nearby they watched her as she finished, filled the nest and made her way back to the water.

(Turtle tours can also be booked at our Hluhluwe Accommodation Umkhumbi Lodge)

Day 4 – Kosi Bay Snorkelling

  • January 28, 2012 11:00 am

Snorkelling is the plan today!

Armed with our goggles, snorkels and flippers we clambered into the Land Cruiser ready for Tommy to drive us down to Kosi Bay mouth estuary. It is possible to walk down, but after a long day snorkelling driving back up the hill is much nicer! when we got down to the water the tide was extremely high, obviously we had over-estimated quite how much time we would need to stop so Jason could take pictures of Cisticolas (only joking Jason, I know they were cormorants really…! ;) )

The best part about getting down to the estuary when it is still high tide is that as the water recedes across the estuary mouth, islands of sand appear littered with the small sea-life that water birds class as delicacies. This brings water-birds flocking (pardon the pun) for an easy snack. The sand dunes were teeming with birds such as tern as we walked around the edges of the estuary mouth in search of crabs, snakes, birds, lizards and anything thing else that moved!

As quickly as the tide rises, it drops, so we didnt have to wait for long before we could wade across the estuary mouth to the reef.
At first glance the area of water containing the reef raises a few sceptical looks and raised eyebrows from all who have yet to experience it.

The best way to view the reef is to walk to the top and float down across the reef with the current, it is lazy snorkelling, no effort needed, the best kind of snorkelling!

Jason and Adam saw (to name a few – there are so many!);
- Terns
- Cormorants
- Black Mangrove seed pod
- Shoals and shoals of un-identified baby fish
- Pink Clawed fiddler crabs
- Ring Cowrie
- Ramshorn shell
- Coneshell
- Honeycomb moray eel
- Occelated snake eel
- Bandtail cardinal
- Ninestripe cardinal
- Striped grunter
- one spot snapper
- Bream
- Mussel cracker (juvenile)
- Big eye stumpnose (juvenile)
- small scale purse mouth
- old woman (juvenile)
- emperor angelfish (juvenile)
- double sash butterfly fish (juvenile)
- Boomerang trigger fish
- Spotted toby

And most importantly the lesser-spotted reef dwelling snorkel fish (losticus Jasonus).

After hours and hours of floating around in the estuary (it is surprisingly tiring, but well worth it) it was time to retreat back to Amangwane Kosi Bay for a braai (BBQ to us pommies) and bush TV (fire).

The mystery bird

birdwatching at Kosi Bay

The boys go over their pictures

But there is always one bird they can't agree on

The communal boma area at Kosi bay Amangwane

In fact they were still arguing about the bird sightings well into the evening

Steak and boerewors (sausage), pap n’ sous (local maize meal and sauce – tasty), potato salad (Africa style), coleslaw, fresh bread and salad. Needless to say we all went to bed on exceptionally full stomachs as it was too good to leave any!

Day 3 – Kosi Bay Nature Tour

  • January 27, 2012 11:16 am

Amangwane at Kosi Bay is one of my favourite places, so imagine my joy when we were to go to Kosi Bay for three nights looking for more birds to tick off of Jason and Adams substantial birdlist!

Part of the beauty of Kosi Bay is that it is not too far from Kosi Bay accommodation rustic reed chalets

Home sweet home

Kosi Bay Viewpoint birding

The boys relax and chat at the viewpoint

Here you go Jason, the moths you wanted a picture of

The viewpoint is spectacular, with beautiful sunsets and even more magnificent sunrises. And we arrive there – after an interpretive walk with Tommy informing us about the different plants and trees and identifying the countless tracks in the sand that we point out to him – to the beginnings of an African sunset.

Kosi Bay sunset

Only the sunset stopped their birding

If you have not yet seen one, it is impossible to describe the colours as the sun rays play on the clouds, even long after the sun has hidden behind the mountains and hills.

jason and adam hunt for birds at Kosi Bay

Our intrepid explorers go off in search of more birds

Kosi Bay viewpoint interpretive walk

Tommy identifies the tracks in the sand.

Kosi bay viewpoint birding

The boys try and identify the birds sitting on the fishtraps

 

Another perfect day to relax at Kosi Bay

  • January 22, 2012 4:16 pm

The sun is shining, the fish are biting, the beer is cold and the kids are busy making sandcastles. Nothing else left to do except watch the sun go down – a good day!

Kosi Bay accommodation

Kosi Bay in the News

  • January 11, 2012 1:53 pm

Amangwane is the place to stay if you are visiting the Kosi Bay area. This laid-back paradise is set in the most eastern part of SA, on the Mozambique border.  A long-standing partnership between Elmon Mkhonto and Anton Roberts, Amangwane (Zulu for octopus) has grown from 10 dome tents with one communal bucket shower and toilet to a comfortable lodge with 10 reed chalets and a lapa area where guests relax around the campfire.  This is rustic, folks, with generator, gas and limited electricity (you can charge your goodies at night) and no TV. Rooms are basic with two single beds in each chalet. For families, there are bunk beds for the kids. Each unit has an en-suite toilet and shower.  But it’s not the facilities that make Amangwane cosy; it’s the atmosphere. As we swept up the sandy drive past the chalets to the kitchen/common area, I envisaged doing as little as possible for as long as possible, preferably in a comfortable hammock.  However, it didn’t turn out that way. Amangwane is in the dunes, about 3.5km from the beach – and what a beach! Pristine, unspoilt – there are many adjectives and superlatives to describe Kosi Bay and its hinterland – but you need to experience it to truly “get” it.  That short distance to the beach is accessible only by 4x4 and takes a little longer than you might think through soft, deep sand. If you are a passenger, this allows you time to take in the stunning surroundings. A visit to the fish traps with Elmon is a great way to learn about this old fishing technique passed down over generations. The traps are set in tidal lakes in the clear water that Kosi is renowned for. This clarity also makes snorkelling – drifting on the tide over the array of fish and Moray eels which inhabit the protected reef within Kosi mouth – a treat. The fishing is something too, off unspoilt beaches that arch into the distance.This is a great time to witness something rare and special. You cross the lake in the early evening by boat and take a walking tour with trained guides in search of loggerhead and leatherback turtles on their annual nesting migration.  Tembe elephant reserve is a short distance away and there are plenty of other attractions not far off, including iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Jozini Dam.  If you like to do your own thing, Amangwane offers self-catering at R350 per person sharing per night for adults.  For a catered stay – traditional South African fare with Thonga flair, as well as trips to Kosi – it is R795 per person sharing per night.  Those aged four to 11 are half-price and under four stay free.  Allow about five hours’ drive from Durban. Be warned – you might not want to return.