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Kosi Bay is famed for its traditional fish traps which have been used by the local Tsonga people for centuries, and is home to a large variety of birds and animals including hippos and crocodiles.

The Kosi river mouth is also known as ‘the aquarium’ because of the clarity of the water and the abundance of fish species;making it a paradise for diving and snorkelling with over 200 species of tropical fish. Part of the KwaZulu Natal province and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

This 18 kilometre stretch of estuary is separated from the warm Indian Ocean by some of the highest vegetated sand-dunes in the world. A huge variety of birds and fishes can be found in this area, including palmnut vulture and Pel’s fishing owl; the coastal forest on the edge of the lakes is home to bushbuck, duiker and monkeys. Loggerhead and leatherback turtles breeding and nesting on its local beaches; the best time to witness the turtle hatching is November to January. Humpback whales can also be seen off the coast during their migration.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: loggerhead turtle, hippo, palmnut vulture, Nile crocodile, Cape clawless otter
  • Where: KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Zululand & Swaziland Self-drive

KwaZulu Natal is a true South African gem when it comes to wildlife, with a great mix of the country’s finest wildlife reserves and breathtaking scenery. Self driving allows you to follow the coast at your own pace and experience a diversity of wildlife away from the crowd.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Kosi Forest Lodge

Accommodating up to 16 guests in thatched bush suites, this lodge is set in a beautiful forest on the banks of Kosi Lake. Rooms are raised on a wooden deck and carefully positioned for privacy and intimacy, and the swimming pool offers an outstanding view of Lake Shengeza.

Rocktail Bay Lodge

This is an intimate lodge tucked away in the northern reaches of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. 11 tree-house chalets are nestled under the forest canopy, each with private balcony and outdoor shower. From the lodge you can enjoy walks along unspoilt white sandy beaches and snorkelling in the marine reserve.