The Kosi Bay Nature Reserve lies on the coast in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, and surrounds the unique and beautiful Kosi Bay lake system, which is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a World Heritage Site. This system consists of four lakes and a series of inter-connecting channels which eventually drain via a sandy estuary into the Indian Ocean.
It is home to a large variety of birds and animals, including hippos and crocs. Humpback Whales can be seen off the beaches on their northerly migration to calve in Mozambique, and in December and January loggerhead and leatherback turtles come onto the beaches to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Proclaimed in 1950 and extended in 1984, this is the most pristine lake system on the South African Coast. Kosi Bay Camp is situated on the western shore of Lake Nhlange, the largest in the Kosi system. To access the Kosi Mouth and the Indian Ocean beaches is a 45 minute drive requiring a 4X4 vehicle. The drive is spectacular with views across the fish kraal dotted lake to the sea as you crest the huge coastal dunes. The condition of the last 7 kilometres of the Kosi Bay Camp entrance road is very sandy and requires a 4X4 vehicle, or one with a difflock. As most of the 'roads' in the area are sand tracks, a 4X4 is required to fully access all the areas of the park.
Kosi Bay Camp features three rustic cottages, The lodges are self-catering and simply furnished, but comfortable units. Lodges are serviced daily. All three units are equipped with DSTV.
This 6-bedded lodge is ideal for families. It offers three bedrooms, three showers, a bathtub and 3 toilets. It has a large verandah overlooking the lake where guests can enjoy sundowners, a barbecue or simply relax after a day out.
This 5-bedded unit has two bedrooms, two showers, braai facilities, and it can be used by groups.
This 2-bedded lodge has a small, yet cosy setting suitable for couples. It is an open plan unit with a living area, bathroom, two beds and a verandah. Guests can enjoy an afternoon stroll from the unit that takes them through to Lake Nhlange.
Kosi Bay Camp has fifteen shady open campsites in a beautiful coastal bush setting that can accommodate up to seven guests each. Each site has cold running water, barbecue facilities and a plug point. Two modem ablutions feature hot and cold running water, flush toilets and showers, but no dish washing or laundry facilities. Five of the sites provide a stunning view of the lake, while two are paraplegic friendly. Each site is fitted with a barbecue area. Guests must provide their own barbecue grid, or request one from the reception office. These sites are served by two ablution blocks that are serviced daily.
Once the booking is confirmed guests may contact the Kosi Bay reception office for a preferred site (dependent on availability). A blue caravan plug is available for hire from the reception office.
What to do in Kosi Bay
Kosi is one of the most fascinating and beautiful pristine lake systems on the African coastline, a get-away-from-it-all coastal paradise. Activities revolve largely around water sports and sport fishing activities including deep-sea, surf, estuary, fly fishing and snorkelling.
The reserve is extremely popular among the angling fraternity. Fishing takes place from boats, as shore angling is only permitted from within the campsite area. It is essential that fisherman provide their own boats, and must obtain a fishing permit. Fly fishing is becoming more popular among the anglers, and "tag and release" is encouraged.
Please Note that the Kosi lakes are natural systems which contain large populations of hippos and crocodiles. Fishermen need to be aware of these animals as they move around the system in their boats. Hippos usually spend the daytime in groups in the water, and feed at night on the lush grasslands that surround the lakes. Potential confrontations occur with visitors as the hippos move to their grazing grounds at dusk, and return to the water at dawn. Fishermen should be especially cautious when negotiating the narrow channels between lakes at these times. Please refrain from speeding in the channels.
The reserve offers a unique snorkelling experience with a reef situated inside the mouth of the Kosi system. One needs to drive to the mouth, (4X4 vehicles only,) or walk with a trail guide ± 12 km. At low tide one can walk across the estuary mouth to this wonderful snorkelling site, which is demarcated as a sanctuary, and fishing and spear-fishing are not allowed. The best time to snorkel is at the start of the incoming tide, which brings clean sea water. Shore fishing is popular off the beach or in the estuary
Gate opening and closing times: 06h00 to 18h00
Office hours : Monday - Saturday 08h00 to 16h00
Office hours : Sunday and public holidays 07h00 to 15h00
Distance and time from gate to camp: one minute
Check out time: 10h00
Check In time: 14h00
Community guided trails, boating fishing and snorkelling.
Facilities and services - Front Office / Curio Shop
Reception including the Curio Shop is open from 08:00 - 16:00 Monday - Saturday, and 07:00 - 15:00 Sundays.
The curio shop has basic supplies including maps, bait, ice and soft drinks.
Monthly and annual licences are available from the Curio Shop.
Rhino Club Gold Cards are also available from the reception office.
Firewood can be purchased from the community at the camp entrance.
The nearest town which has a full range of services is Kwangwanase, which is 13 kms away.
Kosi Bay is in a malaria area, and special precautions are necessary.
A 4 x 4 is recommended to be able to reach Kosi Mouth.
How to get there
Travel on the N2 to Jozini. Drive through the town and over the dam wall and follow this road to Kwangwanse. Kosi is 13 kms from this town, but is not well sign posted.
Pets are not permitted into the reserve
Cellphone reception is poor throughout the resort.
Facilities for people with disabilities: A special ablution block in the campsite.
Duty Manager: 035 592 0236 / 083 998 6659
Doctors - Should you require the service of a Doctor, please contact:
Dr Qwabe: 035 592 0285 / 083 273 1212
Dr Moodley: 035 592 0462 / 082 412 6952
Pharmacy: 035 592 0501 / 082 365 4627
Manguzi Hospital: 035 592 0150
Police - Manguzi Police Station 035 592 0103