Crystal clear water at the Kosi Bay mouth.

© VilliersSteyn/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kosi Bay

Top choice in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Just south of the border of Mozambique is Kosi Bay, located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The coastal lakes and estuary that make up the area are far enough away from the busy shores further south that it retains a quiet tranquility not found in many beaches in KwaZulu-Natal. Kosi Bay is known for its exceptional snorkelling, but note that stone fish are present here, so protect your feet if walking in the estuary.

Hippos, Zambezi sharks, flamingos and some crocs are present in the lake system. More than 250 bird species have been identified here, including rare palmnut vultures.

There are two entrances to the park: at Kosi Bay Camp (7km north of Manguzi) and at Kosi Bay Mouth (19km north of Manguzi). Only 4WDs can enter the access roads, although numbers are limited; permits are required to enter Kosi Bay Mouth. These must be arranged the day before at the Kosi Bay reception.

Manguzi (also known as KwaNgwanase) is the nearest service centre, some 10km west of the reserve. You'll find grocery stores, gas stations and ATMs here.

Note that Kosi Bay is classified as a low-risk Malaria zone. The current recommended precautions are bug spray and long sleeves and pants, but you should consult your doctor about anti-malarial medication before visiting.

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