The Kosi Bay system is one of the most beautiful and pristine lake systems on the African coast
Consisting of four lakes – Amanzimnyama, Nhlange, Mpungwini and Makhawulani – the system is connected by meandering channels and fringed wetlands before it runs into the Indian Ocean via a shallow channel and estuary.
Kosi Bay lies on the coast in the top northeast corner of KwaZulu-Natal. It forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The Mozambique border forms the northern boundary of the protected area and the Indian Ocean the eastern boundary.
The 11 000 ha Kosi Bay Nature Reserve is a wonderland of clear blue sea, wetlands and lakes. It has the rare Raffia Palm and its concomitant Palmnut Vulture, wild date palms, mangrove swamps and sycamore fig forests all combining to form a home for over 250 species of birds, as well as bushbuck, duiker and monkeys.
The Kosi system is home to a variety of wildlife including hippo and crocodile.
Humpback whales are seasonal offshore visitors, as are leatherback and loggerhead sea-turtles that come ashore to nest on the beaches from November to February.
Kosi Bay is famed for the traditional, woven fish traps and palisade kraals used by the community for well over 700 years – a skill passed down from generation to generation.
A boat excursion from Lake Nhlange to Lake Makhawulani is a scenic meander through the reed channels, offering an opportunity to snorkel along the mangrove banks or visit the Thonga fish traps on Lake Makhawulani.
Exploring the area is only possible in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.