Above a private sandy beach and nestled into magnificent coastal dune forest, Thonga Beach Lodge captures the essence of a luxury Robinson Crusoe hideaway. Traditional Thonga fishing villages provided the inspiration for this unique retreat that celebrates the true spirit of Mother Nature. Set in the secluded Mabibi Bay, on the Elephant Coastof Northern KwaZulu-Natal,Thonga Beach Lodge is in the heart of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, an internationally recognized World Heritage Site. Lake Sibaya (Southern Africa’s largest natural freshwater lake) is 6km from the lodge, and a fascinating ecological experience in its own right.

Main Lodge:
Large coastal Milkwood trees set the scene for the ultimate beach experience. Carefully constructed into the coastal dune forest, the Lodge takes full advantage of its incredible position while being in complete harmony with the environment. The lounge, nestled high in the canopy of the dune forest, offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Alternatively enjoy sundowners in the bar lounge or on the cool deck under the Coastal Milkwood trees.

Bedrooms: The spacious thatched suites are hidden in the coastal dune forest and raised on wooden stilts to ensure no harm comes to the sensitive dune soils. Inspired by Thonga architecture, the rooms have been carefully positioned to guarantee guest privacy. Some rooms offer sea views, whilst others are set within the dune forest. All have private balconies. Luxuriously decorated, the rooms exude a romantic ambiance. Bleached wood, glass, and natural materials have been wisely used to create an open, airy feel. The en-suite rooms have a bathroom with bath, shower and twin vanity. Every suite has air conditioning. Each room has a double vanity, stone bath, indoor shower, separate toilet, bar fridge, ceiling fan, mosquito net, private balcony, thatched 50 square metres.

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Lake Sibaya: (Southern Africa’s largest natural freshwater lake) is 6km from the lodge. Sundowners are offered on the shores of this 70 square km of water. The lake has 125km of untouched shoreline, good bird watching and a great diversity of fauna and flora. Guests can also explore parts of the lake by guided kayak with the chance of seeing hippo and crocodile en route.

Guided activities. The following non-motorised activities are included in the rate – kayaking on Lake Sibaya, sundowners at Lake Sibaya, snorkelling, seasonal turtle walks, cultural tours and forest walks. Mabibi is regarded as one of the best snorkelling sites in South Africa. The coral reefs along this protected stretch of coastline are home to several species of tropical fish including Blue Surgeons, Moorish Idols and Parrotfish. This is an adventure activity which launches from right in front of our lodge. Scuba diving at Mabibi is phenomenal and reefs are located just a short distance from the lodge. The best snorkelling is in the bay 300 metres south of the lodge around further out shallow reefs. Shoals of game fish, sharks and schools of bottlenose dolphins are often seen. Our professional lodge diving team accommodate all enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran. Considered to be the premier dive site in South Africa, Mabibi is the perfect place for beginner divers. The shallow reefs, some at only 8m, are a gentle introduction to this sport. For the more advanced diver, the deeper reefs (up to 120m) provide an aquatic thrill of a lifetime. 1,250 fish species (the Great Barrier Reef has 1,500) can be found on the reefs in this area. Dives are from a semi-rigid dive boat which accommodates a maximum of 8 divers at a time. The boat launches straight off the beach through the surf. This can be very exciting and a reasonable level of fitness is required. This adventure activity offers guests a rare opportunity to experience a variety of marine life that lives along the Elephant Coast. An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales, whale sharks and manta rays and giant turtles in the warm Indian Ocean.

Turtle Tracking:  In the summer, nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of pre-historic turtles laying their eggs are a popular diversion. Guests can witness the culmination of an incredible journey as giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from 01 November to end-February for the laying season and then the emergence of the hatchlings. Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process.

Bird Watching: Birding at Thonga is excellent and the diversity of flora attracts a wide variety of species. Typical coastal species include Livingstone’s Turaco and Purple Crested Touraco, Green Twinspot, Grey Waxbill and Green Coucal. Waders are common along the shoreline, and Pink-Throated Longclaw and Rufousbellied Heron frequent the marshy areas. The Palmnut Vulture is also regularly seen The Maputaland coastline is renowned as one of South Africa’s most popular fishing destinations.

Fishing: Guests can try their hand at surf fishing or fly-fishing. Thonga Beach Lodge encourages guests to catch and release.

Walking and Discovery: Guests can head out on foot and explore this natural wonderland through coastal forests, unspoiled sandy beaches and grasslands. The untouched beauty of Maputaland will enthrall naturalists and photographers alike. There are over 296 bird species in the area, 2,200 flowering plants, 282 butterfly and 228 spider species. The forest is home to localized arboreal mammals such as the Tonga red squirrel, the thick tailed bush baby, the rare samango monkey and Setaros dwarf chameleon. The walks normally take about 1-1,5 hours. Longer walks can be arranged.;

Tsonga Cultural Experience: Visit a local homestead, school and clinic and experience how the peaceful Tsonga people go about their rural lifestyles. The Thonga are a sub-tribe of the Zulus that have maintained their own cultural traditions.

Zulu Dancing/Singing: Our local Mabibi school has put together a small team of singers and dancers and they will come to Thonga Beach Lodge by arrangement to perform for us.

Sea spa: offers a wealth of seaweed rejuvenation treatments, facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, hot stone therapy and reflexology

Children (and big kids) Activities:Beach volleyball, Petanque, Board Games, Buckets, spades, bats, balls, Frisbees, cricket sets,TV with DVD (only) and selection of DVD’s. Daily activities are arranged,

Flights can be arranged to the private air-strip.

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Main Office, 214 Sea Island Dr, Georgetown, South Carolina, USA, 29440-7260
Prime Number: + 1 843-548-4213 Europe Phone: +33 (0)6 52 49 99 22


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