Kayak Exploration!

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

Check out the snorkelling at Kosi Bay!

Green Amangwane!

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


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.


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

snorkelling at kosibay world heritage site
I'm sure Steph is in here somewhere...
kosi bay heritage site snorkel

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.

Kosi Bay in the News

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.

Busy time!

We are jam packed at Amangwane Kosi Bay at the moment with everyone wanting to make the most of the sunshine on the beach at Kosi Mouth.

The braii has been going, there have been many sundowners and the turtles have been coming to shore to nest – there have been some fantastic turtle tours so far!

Why not join in the fun and end the school holidays on a high with a stay at Amangwane in January 2012! There is no TV, so bring your favourite games and books for real family time in the evenings after a day at the beach 🙂



Kosi Bay accommodation December availability

We are getting a lot of enquiries now for accommodation in December. This is our busiest time of the year, and books up fast. We do have some availability in December – still space before Christmas, but we are full after Christmas and over New Year.

South Africans with children – we still have availability in January before the school holidays end. Sunshine is almost guaranteed! Bring your bucket and spade and enjoy the beach!

No price increase

We are delighted to announce that we will not be increasing our rates for 2012.

Times are still tough out there, we know – so we’ll do our bit to help!

Catered DB&B still R550 pp! Self catering R350 pp.

For all you city-bound saffers : Why not grab a cheap flight to Durban, hire a car and head to beautiful Kosi Bay for a few days? We know you deserve some relaxation time on the beach.

December and January

We had a very full camp over Christmas and the New Year. Many thanks to all of you who chose to spend your holidays with us. We had a great time with lots of laughs – hope to see you at Amangwane Camp again in the future.

Things have quietened down a little now, but there is still lots of fun to be had in beautiful Kosi Bay! The turtles are still here and it’s now the best time for fishing – especially if you are after the Kingfish (GT’s) – so give us a call if you are keen.