By Steve Honeysett
One of my favourite places to visit is the coastal dune forests and lake systems of Northern KZN. I recently spent a weekend at the Kosi Mouth area and did a day visit down to the estuary mouth and fish traps. This has got to be on your “to do” list!
The area is a stone’s throw away from the Southern Mozambique border and is part of the four-lake system that makes Kosi Bay Lakes such an attraction. With the work that has been done by Ezemvelo on the access road down to the mouth, you no longer need a 4x4 and can easily get down with a 4x2 bakkie or SUV. The sand road has been replaced by a concrete road down as far as the bridge which is close to the car park.
There is also a new concrete road up to the view site on top of the hill which gives you an unlimited view of the four lakes and their surrounds. There are a number of nice places to stay in the area, all close to the lakes and within easy distance to other attractions like Tembe Elephant Park or the Turtle Viewing sites of Banga Nek. You can also take a day trip to Mozambique as Ponto de Ouro is just over the border.
We stayed at the Utshwayelo Camp which is just outside the Kosi Mouth Gate and a few kilometres off the main road from the border, which was great for us as we were going to spend the week down in Ponto to do some surfing.
Utshwayelo is a nice bush resort with a variety of different accommodation options including basic camping, log cabins or luxury glamping tents all spread out nicely giving you the bush feel. Each site has a reed fence for privacy and there is a swimming pool, bar and large communal kitchen. The staff members are friendly and it’s a great place to meet people.
The estuary mouth is good for fishing and diving or just for taking a stroll along the beach in either direction to admire the crystal clean ocean or the highest natural sand dunes in KZN.The beaches are flat, and one can ride a fat bike for miles along this stretch. If you are keen for an adventure, then a 12km ride down to Banga Nek is a great experience with some beautiful scenery to admire. If you are there in turtle season, you might experience the great dash for the ocean when the eggs hatch.
There are boat trips to view the centuries old fishing methods by local fishermen with their fish traps made of reeds or their amazing handmade reed boats that they net from. You could also go on a guided kayak paddling excursion.
The town of Manguzi is ten minutes down the road if you need supplies with a number of the large supermarkets, petrol stations, a hospital and loads of small shops to explore on a walk around town for a morning or afternoon. One needs to spend a good few days there to explore this area and it is well worth putting it on your next holiday list as it is a comfortable 4 hour drive from Ballito and there are some nice stops along the way for breakfast or lunch.
** Seaweed Steve presents the Daily Surf & Weather Report on 88FM Ballito