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Kosi Forest Lodge

Kosi Forest Lodge

Under the pen name Isak Dinesen, Danish authoress Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke opened her memoir Out of Africa with the words, “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills.” Although she refers to Kenya where she spent eighteen years, for many of us her words speak of a deep longing for what has irretrievably gone, for a time when it seemed that Africa was cut off from the rest of the world, before its awful, headlong advance into progress gained speed.

However, be alert, as there are still parts of Africa that the madness of “progress” has not yet reached. One such place is the unspoiled Isimangaliso Wetland Park, which has been recognized as a World Heritage Site. Within this pristine wilderness, on the sandy shores of a lake in the Kosi lake system, is Kosi Forest Lodge, a shining example of the potential of eco-tourism.

Guests of Kosi Forest Lodge are accommodated in thatched bush suites nestled in the shade of the tree canopy. There is a total of sixteen beds. Each suite boasts stunningly beautiful en-suite, open-air bathrooms in a private reed boma. The suites come with a dressing room and balcony and are set on raised timber decks. Tastefully decorated with bright stylish colors and fabrics, the suites also have low timber walls and roll-up canvas blinds, making guests feel connected to the surrounding forest. There is also a very private honeymoon suite.

The lodge’s main building is centered around an enormous Zulu Podberry tree. The building has a lounge, a dining room, and a bar leading out onto the deck built around the tree. A swimming pool is built into the deck. Meals are served on the deck at every opportunity, and candles are lit at night to create a mysterious and warm ambience.

Activities at Kosi Forest Lodge are many and varied, ranging from guided canoe trips to fishing to turtle tracking. Gliding along channels among the tall raffia palms in a canoe is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery and amazing birdlife. Cruises in motorized boast allow you to venture further afield and reach Kosi Bay. In the bay fish kraals (traps) are tended by the native Tsonga fishermen. The technique has been passed down from father to son, and the fish provide an important protein to the local people.

Guests can snorkel in the mouth of Kosi Bay and are assured of good sightings all year round. The water here is warm and clear. Rock pools are home to many species of sub-tropical fish. One activity that draws many visitors to Kosi Forest Lodge is the annual turtle nesting. Guests of the lodge are invited to join the turtle tracking every night between the middle of November and the middle of January. Each year at this time, Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles return to the beach when they were born. Incredibly, researchers have verified that some giant females lay their eggs within mere meters of where they themselves emerged as hatchlings.

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