The pristine Kosi lake system in South Africa’s far north-eastern corner, a few kilometres south of Mozambique is revered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 332 000 hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park manages the vast area stretching from Mhapelane, south of St. Lucia, right up to the Mozambique border.
The Park comprises varying zones including vast stretches of beach, three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year-old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000-year-old vegetated coastal dunes – among the highest on Earth. Phew! Add some of the southernmost coral reefs in the world and any nature enthusiast with the slightest bit of adventure in them, will add this to their bucket list.
The road north from Hluhluwe to Kosi is a delightful drive through pineapple fields, community areas, and plantations with numerous turnoffs to game reserves and lodges. The last town on route is Manguzi, the business centre of the area with shops, street markets, vendors and people.
Our destination was Amangwane Camp located about 22km from town and as close as one can get to the Mozambique border. Aptly called a “tented bush camp” by the owner, James, the Amangwane name relates back to the original owners’ relationship with the fish traps on the Maputaland coast. Amangwane is also as close as one can get to Kosi Mouth, being an awesome drive down a sandy 4×4 track that follows the shoreline of the estuary all the way down to the parking at the mouth and the miles of open beaches.
The camp offers en-suite tents with twin single beds, mozzie nets, shower, toilet and basin. All bedding and bath towels are supplied and the communal lapa area is a great meeting point at the beginning and end of each day. The serviced kitchen is fully equipped and there is a braai area to be enjoyed. Birds abound at the camp with Nightjars and even Bushbabys lulling you to sleep and during the day we saw and heard Purple Crested Louries, Coucals, Black Eyed Bulbuls, and many more.
Activities on offer include lake cruises, Raffia forest walks, birding, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, and turtle tracking in season. It’s just a short walk from the camp to the “viewpoint” overlooking the fish traps in the Kosi estuary mouth. Take a break, take a road trip, and come and experience this unspoilt corner of South Africa with its balmy beach weather all year-round.
- More information from www.amangwanecamp.co.za