Utshwayelo Lodge and Camp is the most North Eastern accommodation in South Africa.

Kosi Bay in the far North Eastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal forms part of the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park - the first natural World Heritage Site in South Africa to be accorded this distinction. Kosi Bay epitomises the incredible splendour of untouched Africa at its most pristine, as are its people, resources, ecology and culture.

Kosi Bay is a system of an estuary with 4 lakes ranging from freshwater to saline that feed into the ocean.

Age old traditions passed down by generations of tribal existence still continue to this day - ancient fishing kraals erected and tendered by the resourceful Tonga people. Kosi Bay has been described as "A wonderful aquarium and the most gorgeous aviary".

Utshwayelo Lodge takes its name from the fish kraal celebrating the traditions and culture of the Tonga people – a community partnership project of skills sharing and a life of purpose.

The Tonga tribe ruled by the Tembe family have lived in this area for over 250 years. Since the days of King Shaka they have lived side by side with the Zulu nation. The border between Mozambique and RSA split the tribe and today the Tonga people live on both sides of the border. The area falls under King Mabuthu Israel Tembe and chief Ncelapi Tembe.

The camp was started by the local community in 1992 using grants from lotto and KZN Tourism. The Lodge is currently run and managed by Ken Whitfield and Enock Tembe in association with Chief Tembe and the community elected committee. The Whitfield Trust has a long term management lease and has done major renovations to the Lodge. The Lodge and all improvements are owned by the community. The lodge provides an income to the community in the form of rental, profit share and job opportunities. Local reeds, grass mats and other handmade articles are used for building materials.

Utshwayelo Lodge and Camp is the most North Eastern accommodation in South Africa. It is situated at Kosi Bay Mouth Reserve and Estuary entrance gate, 2,5 km from the beach. It offers en suite chalets and camp sites and is easily accessible by motor car. It is 5km from the KosiBay/Mozambique border post

Snorkel in the channel at the mouth of the estuary, with its kaleidoscope of over 200 species of tropical fish, surf angling from unspoiled beaches, boating on the magnificent lakes, fly-fishing from the rocks and banks, or putting your 4x4 to the test are a few of the amazing activities which can keep you busy.

Do the turtle walk and watch big Leather Back and Loggerhead Turtles lumbar out of the ocean to lay eggs on the beach, and little ones scampering back into the sea – take a guided hike or walk kilometres of pristine bush and beaches and turquoise waters – or just read a book under magnificent ancient Umdoni trees.


Kosi Mouth Lodge has two options for accommodation Luxury Rustic Chalets or Camping.



Our chalets are all en suite and sleep two people each (an extra single bed can be added).

They are rustic luxury, constructed from wood and reeds and situated in a private wonderful setting under big waterberry trees. Each chalet has an outside area with a braai.

They have a queen bed or two single beds in each chalet. All beds have mosquito nets and ceiling fans.

We can offer breakfast or dinner on prior request

A fully kitted communal kitchen with stoves, ovens and fridges is available for the chalet guests.



All of our camp sites are private. They are enclosed in reed fencing and shaded under large waterberry trees.

Our camp sites vary in size and can accommodate up to 12 people per site.

Each site has a braai, an electrical plug point, a light and water tap.

There are clean serviced communal ablutions with hot and cold showers.

Our Lapa/Boma has, a swimming pool, braai facilities, bar, dining room and lounge with DSTV.

Electricity is supplied by generator every evening from 18h00 to 22h00 (peak season for an additional 07h30 to 10h30)



All the activities are available as excursions with prices dependent on number of people. Please request a quote.


Kosi Mouth - Permit required (Available at lodge):

4x4 transfers between the beach and the lodge is available



Sea and estuary



Sea and estuary over coral reef (Snorkelling gear available from the lodge)



Beach, mouth and lakes

Fly Fishing


Beach, mouth and lakes



Self or guided hikes between 2 and 6 hours



Fish traps in estuary and long walks and 4x4

Nature walks


Qualified guides



Lots of shade and palm trees

Local Culture


Sangoma (medicine people) and Local dance



Guided turtle tours take place most evenings dependant on weather and number of people (season dependant)


Hiking trails and walks:

We have some lovely trails and walks to the hippo lake and through the swamps under its treed canopy. Trails which take you over dunes and down onto the beach as well as down to the fish traps and mouth of the lakes. The trails all have spectacular views and are of a variety of grades also there's a chance of seeing a Palm Nut Vulture and Pels Fishing Owl amongst others. We have qualified guides to help you in your planning or lead you on your trails.


We also offer a 3- 4 day 4-5 night guided hiking trail in conjunction with other lodges in the area. Our qualified guides will take you through marine forests, over swamps, past hippo lakes, around the Kosi lake system, up sand dunes and along the beach, included is a boat trip on the lakes.





On the three lakes and to Banga Neck - guided tours



Superb grunter fishing and cracker shrimp bait



Hippos and fish traps



walks Qualified guide




Banga Neck:

Swimming (sea)


Crystal clear water – beautiful protected beach



In the surf – the best



Hippos and fish traps

Turtle Tour(Oct-Feb)


Egg laying and hatchlings returning to sea




Black Rock – Only by 4x4 and limited to 10 vehicles

(Permits available)

Swimming (sea)


Beautiful – best kept secret



Swim amongst shoals of fish



Wow the Kingfish!!


Tembe Elephant Parks

Day trip to see some of the biggest Elephants in the world


Ndumu Nature Reserve

Giraffe and many other antelope – world renowned birding spot


Ponta do Ouro – across the border – Mozambique

5km to border post – 4x4 required

Swim with dolphins

Scuba Diving

Jet Skiing

Quad Biking

Portuguese cuisine – prawns, piri-piri chicken and 2M Beer


Markets and curios


Scuba Diving

Dive four areas all within one hour's drive, Sodwana, Rocktail and Ponto Du Ouro or Ponto Melangane.

Diving packages available on request.

Some additional things to pack:

  • To visit Ponta Do Ouro your Passport and Vehicle registration document (non South Africans need Mozambique visa which is available at the border)
  • All provisions (almost everything you need is available in Manguzi 20 km away)
  • Torch, lamp, tyre pump and pressure gauge
  • Lodge water is from a borehole and is drinkable from the tap. Filtered water is available in the kitchen
  • Casual cool clothing and something warm for the cooler months
  • Swimsuit, sarong hat and beach umbrella
  • Beach towels and chairs
  • Windbreaker/dry mac
  • Sunscreen and other toiletries
  • Mosquito repellent and First Aid Kit
  • Binoculars and bird book
  • Diving, snorkelling and fishing gear
  • Medical aid card and contact numbers