Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
Kosi Bay: isiMangaliso Wetlands Park
Zululand: Kosi Bay
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The lakes are up to 50m deep in places and are home to large communities of crocodiles and hippos. The name is a corruption of Mkuze whose mouth it was thought to be. Although one of the lakes contains fresh water, there is a salinity gradient seawards which results in a wide variety of habitats.
The lakes are separated from the sea by high forested dunes and there is a narrow estuary. Kosi is noted for its excellent fishing and superb snorkelling over the offshore coral reefs where multitudes of brightly coloured tropical fish may be encountered. The Nature Reserve is set on the shores of Lake Nhlange.
There are unspoiled beaches and the thrill of seeing huge turtles come out of the sea and lay their eggs during the summer months. Kosi is the centre of the turtle tagging programme.
It is the only location in South Africa where all five mangrove species exist together and has the only forest of naturally occurring raffia palms. These palms are the habitat of the rare palm nut vulture, straw coloured fruit bats, Pel's fishing owl and palm swifts.
One of the most interesting aspects of Kosi Bay is the system of 'fish kraals' that are used by the local people to catch fish. Five day walking trails are highly recommended and take in the reefs off the estuary as well as areas out of bounds to both motor vehicles and boats.
More than 250 species of birds have been recorded but there are few mammals other than bushpig, hippo and monkeys. However, there are more than 150 species of estuarine and marine fish that can be taken from the lakes.
A two bed cottage, a three bed cottage and a six bed lodge, all furnished with staff in attendance. There is a small camping site near the jetty and a picnic site at the estuary (4 wheel drive vehicle essential).
The Amanzimnyama Trail is a four day guided Wilderness Trail. Contact the Ezemvelo Wildlife. The Bhanga Nek Community Tourism Camp Trails are aimed at introducing visitors to turtle breeding (October to January). There are also boat trips.