South African Lodges
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Maputuland Coast
South Africa
Lodge Type
Spa, Family, Conference, Leisure

Current Specials

This lodge is currently running 2 specials!

Thonga Beach Lodge Reviews & Information

Use the drop down below to find out more information about Thonga Beach Lodge.

The unique Thonga Beach Lodge lies on the magnificent shore of Maputuland in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. The 24 bedded lodge offers an ideal location from where to explore the beautiful wilderness beaches. Mabibi is characterized by grasslands, coastal forests, shimmering lakes, bush as well as sandy beaches making for a magical outdoor paradise.  The bright and warm ocean on this coastline of South Africa offers travelers one of the best snorkeling and off-shore scuba diving locations.

This lodge is only metres from the beach and a 25-minute car drive from Southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake, namely Lake Sibaya. This lake forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which is internationally recognized as a World Heritage Site.


The  Lodge is positioned above a secluded bay from where breathtaking views of the beach below can be admired. The luxurious thatched bush suites offer privacy and space in the heart of nature. It is known for its exclusive accommodation, delicious meals as well as its fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.


Guests are welcome to relax in the comfortable lounge which features a cosy fireplace. From here, beautiful views over the beach and the magnificent forest surrounding the Beach Lodge can be admired. This is the ideal location from where to enjoy a refreshing sundowner or watch the sunrise over a steaming coffee.

The outdoor swimming pool invites for a gentle swim while cocktails are available at the Ocean bar counter. Guests who require a little pampering can indulge in the wellness center where they can revitalize their mind and body by selecting relaxing health and beauty spa treatments.


  •  Lounge with fireplace
  •  Dining area and bar
  •  Outdoor swimming pool
  •  Rejuvenation Center.


  •  Snorkeling
  •  Scuba diving
  •  Open Ocean Experience
  •  Lake Sibaya: sundowners, guided kayak tour
  •  Bird watching
  •  Guided walks
  •  Turtle tracking
  •  Fishing
  •  Tsonga Cultural Experience.

Lake Sibaya at Mabibi in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

The Lake Sibaya covers 100km of beautiful coastline and is, with it's at 70 square kilometers, South Africa’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Sibaya lies within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which is a World Heritage Site while the Ramsar Convention ensures its international conservation status.

The diverse flora of this region is home to a large variety of aquatic life, birds and mammals. The second highest population of crocodiles and hippos in KwaZulu-Natal can be found here at Lake Sibaya.  here are six mammal species which can be encountered here, namely the white-tailed mongoose, water mongoose, hippos, reedbuck, vlei atoms and the African marsh rat. 22 species of frog have been noted at Lake Sibaya. Twenty frog species being tropical, the common fish species found here are Grass Frogs, Reed Frogs as well as toads. The African Python, the Forest Cobra as well as the Nile Crocodile also live here.

Travel distances by car

  •  Johannesburg to  Lodge: 8 hrs (650km)
  •  Richards Bay to  Lodge: 3.5 hrs (205km)
  •  Durban International Airport to Lodge: 5 hrs (333km)

Access and Arrival / Parking

Guests traveling in their own car will be transferred to the actual lodge in an individually arranged Lodge vehicle which will take around an hours travel time. Guests who have not traveled in a 4x4 vehicle, will park their cars at the Coastal Cashew Factory when is where the Lodge transfers will be arranged from. The parking is secured, and the entrance is guarded and please note that there are two transfers per day: 12 pm and 3 pm.& These transfers have to be pre-booked when confirming your stay. Four-wheel drive vehicles can proceed straight to the lodge following the “Coastal Forest Reserve” and “Thonga Beach Lodge” signs.

Critical Notes

  • The Lodge is not accessible by 2-wheel drive; transfer from the parking area has to be booked.
  • There are two transfers per day: 12h00 and 15h00 from the parking to the lodge; the transfer takes 1 hour.
  • The charge for the transfer is R185.00 per person return (subject to change).
  • Please note an extra charge is applicable of R125.00 per person per transfer for all late/early arrivals and departures.
  • If guests are running late / early it is of the utmost importance to contact the lodge and notify them of the change.
  • Once guests turn off the tar road, it is a poor condition sand road so guests must ensure they do not travel this road after 16h00.
  • Please phone the lodge as you leave Jozini (from the north) or Hluhluwe (from the south) so that the lodge is aware of your location in time to make any necessary changes to the collection times if running late.
  • Check in time is after 12h00 and check out time is 10h00.
  • Only use the Sibaya Lake road if you have a 4 x 4 and are familiar with the area.
  • The check out time is at 10h00 on the date of departure. Guests who require transfers to the parking point will depart the lodge at 10h30 am.

Below detailed information about the Thonga Beach Lodge is available.
For any queries regarding this hotel, you are welcome to contact us.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Ensuite / Private bathroom
  • Hairdryer
  • Housekeeping
  • Viewing Deck


Dining at the Thonga Beach Lodge

The dining area at the Thonga Beach Lodge is a large thatched rondavel which leads onto an expansive wooden deck.  It is here where guests enjoy the lodge’s delicious meals.  Most meals are served al fresco, and as an alternative, guests may choose the beach and dine by candlelight on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.


The Thonga Beach Lodge features an inviting outdoor swimming pool which guests can enjoy during their stay.


Bird watching at the Thonga Beach Lodge is excellent as the diversity of the flora found here is home to a wide variety of bird species. Coastal bird species found here include Green Twinspot, Livingstone’s and Purple Crested Touraco, Grey Waxbill and Green Coucal. 

Waders can be observed along the shoreline while the Pink-Throated Longclaw, as well as the Rufousbellied Heron, live in the marshy regions of the wetland area. The Palmnut Vulture can also regularly seen here.

Bird watching

Bird watching at the Thonga Beach Lodge is excellent as the diversity of the flora found here is home to a wide variety of bird species.   Coastal bird species found here include Green Twinspot, Livingstone’s and Purple Crested Touraco, Grey Waxbill and Green Coucal.  

Waders can be observed along the shoreline while the Pink-Throated Longclaw as well as the Rufousbellied Heron live in the marshy regions of the wetland area. The Palmnut Vulture can also regularly seen here.

Scuba diving

Guests have the great opportunity to scuba dive at Mabibi which is a great experience.  Its magnificent reefs are situated in close proximity to the Thonga Beach Lodge.  Great shoals of game fish, schools of bottlenose dolphins as well as sharks are often seen here. Beginners and experienced scuba divers are accommodated.

An incredible 1,250 fish species are home on the reefs in this coastal region of South Africa.  Scuba dives are available from a dive boat which can hold a maximum of 8 divers. The scuba diving boat launches straight from the lodge where the adventure of the underwater world begins.

Open Ocean Experience

This thrilling adventure provides visitors with the rare chance to experience the great variety of marine life which lives along the Elephant Coast of South Africa.

After the exciting launch through the surf at the lodge, the Open Ocean Experience takes guests beyond the breakers to admire whales, dolphins, whale sharks and snorkeling can be enjoyed. The warm Indian Ocean off the Africa coast is home to colorful fish and marine life. With some luck, visitors swim with whale sharks and dolphins or snorkel with manta rays and giant turtles. 

Guided Kayak Tour on Lake Sibaya

The Sibaya Lodge is located about 6km away from the Thonga Beach Lodge, a 25-minute drive. During the guided kayak tour, visitors have the chance of encountering hippos and crocodiles. With its 70 square kilometres being Southern Africa's largest freshwater lake, Sibaya Lake offers beautiful spots for sundowners. The Ramsar Convention has international conservation status, and the Sibaya Lodge features 125 kilometres of magnificent coastline which is ideal for bird watching.

Guided walks

Beautiful guided walks await the visitor through the unique coastal dune forests, the spectacular sandy beaches and the grasslands. Maputuland's wild beauty is especially liked by photographers and naturalists alike.

Turtle tracking

During the summer, guests can arrange for walks and drives during the night along the beach in order to look for egg-laying turtles.  One can observe the culmination of a wonderful journey as Giant Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles come to the shore to lay their eggs in the carefully prepared nests.  This exciting activity is offered from November to February.  It is assured that the turtles are not disturbed by this activity during the laying process.


Known as one of the country's best fishing destinations, the Maputuland coastline provides a perfect place for surf fishing and fly-fishing which guests can try out.  The Hully Point at Mabibi is famous as a fly-fishing spot.

Tsonga Cultural Experience

Guests staying at the Thonga Beach Lodge may visit a Tsonga homestead to get to know their culture and heritage. Participants of this tour spend time with the community talking about their rural lifestyle. Local schools can also be visited during the Tsonga Cultural Experience.

Conferences at the Thonga Beach Lodge

The Thonga Beach Lodge is an ideal destination for conferencing and team building. There are many exciting activities available complemented by team building challenges. The maximum number of guests that the lodge can accommodate is 24 delegates.  Twelve guests can be seated comfortably in the lodge's Mezzanine Lounge.

The dining area at the Thonga Beach Lodge in South Africa is suitable for small conferences, with tables available which can either be connected up or separated into breakaway groups.  Conferences can take place on the decks under the trees, or in the lodge's dining room. A flip chart and whiteboard is available for meetings, and additional conference equipment are available upon prior bookings.  Several areas are available within the Thonga Beach Lodge itself for small breakaway groups as well as the swimming pool deck, lounge, reception and the beach.  

  • Bar
  • Conference venue
  • Lounge
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wellness centre

Check in and Check Out Times
  • Check in: 14:00
  • Check out: 10:00
General Services
  • Air conditioning
  • Airport transfers
  • Concierge services
  • Housekeeping service
  • Safety deposit box
  • Secure parking
Malaria and Animals
  • The magnificent Thonga Beach Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is located in a low-risk malaria region, and we, therefore, recommend that visitors consult their doctor in regards to anti-malaria prophylactic.  The use of mosquito repellant is highly recommended.

Children Policy
  • The Thonga Beach Lodge welcomes children of all ages.  At any one time, the lodge allows no more than 6 children under eight years of age.  Babysitting services can be booked upon prior arrangement.  Exciting children activities are available during the day for kids between the ages 3 and 8.

    Children payment policy:

    •  12 years and under they pay 50% of the full tariff when sharing with two adults
    •  Between 12 yrs and 18 years pay 75% of the full fare if sharing with adults
    •  Children 3 and under are free of charge when sharing with two adults.

    Dining for children

    A special dinner seating is available for children of 8 years and younger between 6 - 8 pm.  Parents are welcome to join their children for dinner at the earlier time, the staff at Thonga will liaise with the parents in regards to these arrangements.

Available Rooms

Forest Room

# Rooms:

The Thonga Beach Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal features a total of twelve suites in chic Robinson Crusoe style.  The thatched suites, which feature en-suite bathrooms, were built in the natural coastal dune forest to ensure only minimum impact on the environment while, at the same time, providing comfort in the rooms.

Located in the dune forest the seven twin rooms with Forest Views measuring 50 square meters offer a double vanity, indoor shower, stone bath, separate toilet, while a bar fridge, a ceiling fan, a mosquito net, a private balcony and air conditioning is also available.

Single Room R4810
Double Room R7400

Ocean View Room

# Rooms:

The Thonga Beach Lodge also features rooms from where magnificent views over the ocean can be enjoyed.  There are 2 x double rooms and 3 x twin rooms available in this room category.

The Ocean View Rooms at Thonga feature an indoor shower and stone bath, a double vanity, a separate toilet while a bar fridge, ceiling fan, mosquito net and a private balcony is also available.  Air conditioning is available in all room types at the Thonga Beach Lodge.

It is to be noted that the Thonga Beach Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge situated in a World Heritage site in South Africa and was constructed in a very sensitive Milkwood Forest.  The lodge is not allowed to cut down any trees to preserve the natural vegetation in this environment.  Therefore, over the years, the forest has expanded and some sea view suites at Thonga do not provide a full 180-degree ocean view.

Single Room R5560
Double Room R8550

De-luxe Ocean View Suite

The Deluxe Ocean View Suite are more spacious then the other suites and offer spectacular views over the sea.  Features in this suite include a stone bath, an indoor shower, a double vanity and a separate toilet.  Air conditioning, a bar fridge, ceiling fan, mosquito net and a private balcony are also provided.

Single Room R6180
Double Room R9510

Thonga Beach Lodge Specials

The specials listed below will automatically be offered to you when proceeding through the booking process.

Explore one of Africa's surviving wilderness beaches with endless stretches of sand to walk, warm Indian ocean waters with exceptional SCUBA & snorkelling at the Thonga Beach Lodge. Enjoy lazy days at the pool side, exceptional cuisine & indulgent pampering in the Sea Spa.

When staying for 4 nights for travel during May - June 2017, you will only pay for 3 nights. Receive one night for free!

Included in the rate:

  • accommodation, meals, teas & coffees, use of snorkelling equipment, guided walks, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya, cultural tours to Mabibi Community. Each guest is entitled to 1 of the following on a sundowner excursion at Lake Sibaya, glass of wine, local beer, cider or soft drink

Excluded from the rate:

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Excludes park fees, 4x4 transfers, SCUBA diving, SPA treatements, Open Ocean Experience, drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Valid for 1 May - 30 June 2017
  • Only valid for a minimum 4 night stay

5 Night Self-drive package including 2 nights at Kosi Forest Lodge and 3 nights and Thonga Beach Lodge.

Day 1: Kosi Forest Lodge
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal Kosi Forest Lodge is a 4.5 hour drive from King Shaka International Airport, Durban. For those guests travelling in 2x4 vehicles you will leave your vehicle in a secure parking in the nearby town of Manguzi from
where you will enjoy a complimentary 20 minute transfer to the lodge. Remember to keep a hat/cap and warm jacket out as the transfer will be in an open 4x4 vehicle.
Kosi Forest Lodge is situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. This 20-bed wilderness lodge oers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats. Kosi Forest Lodge has 8 thatched bedrooms, on raised wooden decks, hidden in the sand forest. There is no electricity, but that’s part of the charm! The unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand, has been noted by many guests as one of the highlights of their stay. Each room has an indoor shower as well to cater for the less adventurous.
On arrival you will be shown your bush suite and given time to unpack and relax before coming through to enjoy dinner on the dining deck.

Day 2: Kosi Forest Lodge
You wake up in the morning surrounded by beautiful trees which are a haven for a prolic bird life. One of our friendly staff will deliver flask of boiling water for your morning tea or coee as well as the weather report for the day, allowing you to decide where you want to explore that day over a hearty breakfast.
One of Kosi’s highlights is the canoe trip on the Kosi Lakes. The best time for this activity is in the early morning and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Guides escort you by canoe along the Sihadla channel where the bird life is very rewarding and the scenery peaceful and breath taking. You will return for a delicious lunch and a siesta before embarking on
your afternoon activity. In the afternoon you can enjoy a walk through magnicent Raffa Palms – the tallest in the world! Home to the Palm Nut Vulture and Pel’s Fishing Owl, the area can be explored by birders at their leisure.

When you return from your afternoon activity you will have time to freshen up before coming through to enjoy a delicious meal on either the main deck or in the Boma. The lodge is charming as the pathways and eating venues are lit by lanterns and create a warm atmosphere to enjoy the sounds of the night.

3: Thonga Beach Lodge - iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal
After your breakfast and morning activity you will check out of Kosi Forest Lodge and return to the pickup point at Manguzi. You will continue south along the KwaZulu Natal Coast to the Coastal Forest Reserve and continue along the sand road to the Coastal Cashew Factory where you will be met by a Thonga Beach Representative and transferred to the lodge. Remember hat/cap and a warm jacket for the 1hr transfer in open 4x4 to the lodge. On arrival you will be will be welcomed with a refreshing drink and given a brief orientation of the lodge. After enjoying one of the many activities hosted at Thonga, simply relaxing on the beach or pampering in the sea spa you will have time to freshen up, enjoy a cocktail at the bar before dining under the stars.

4 & 5: Thonga Beach Lodge
Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the iSimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, an internationally recognized World Heritage Site. With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent.

Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. It’s clear, warm waters oer superb snorkelling and fantastic oshore SCUBA diving.
The 12 en-suite rooms have been carefully constructed in the coastal dune forest to ensure minimum impact on the  environment and maximum guest privacy. Each room has a double vanity, stone bath, indoor shower, bar fridge, air-conditioning, ceiling fan and mosquito net. Deluxe rooms have their own private plunge pool.
Activities at Thonga Beach Lodge include SCUBA diving, Open Ocean experiences, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya, guided snorkelling, seasonal turtle drives/walks, Tsonga Cultural tours and forest walks. Whether you are a walker or a diver, take advantage of the wealth of activities that await you in this beautiful hideaway, or simply relax with a Spa treatment or on the beach deck. SCUBA diving at Mabibi is phenomenal. Our professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran. For those who don’t dive, we have an Open Ocean Experience. An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales and snorkelling. The warm Indian Ocean supports a myriad of sh and marine life. Guests can sometimes swim with dolphins or whale sharks, or snorkel with Manta
rays and giant turtles. In summer there are nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of pre-historic turtles laying their eggs. 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 oered in the evening from November to end of February (The laying takes place from Nov to Jan and hatchlings arrive from end Dec to end February.) Every precaution is taken to ensure these
magnicent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process and data collected from the turtle drives is submitted to the
Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring program.

6: End of Arrangements
After breakfast you will check out of Thonga and be returned to the Coastal Cashews where you will continue with your itinerary.

Rates from R12,430.00 per person sharing for 5 nights (including park fees) - 1 May - 31 August 2016.

Included in the rate:

Kosi Forest Lodge

  • 2 nights’ accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, teas and coffees, canoeing on Lake system, walk in Raffa forest, transfers to and from pick up point

Thonga Beach Lodge

  • 3 nights’ Forest View room upgradeable to Ocean View or Deluxe Ocean View , meals, teas and coees, use of snorkelling equipment, guided walks, cultural tours, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya and nightly turtle walks (Nov to Feb).

Excluded from the rate:

  • drinks, laundry, gratuities and items of a personal nature.
  • Thonga Beach Lodge: Spa treatments, scuba diving, Open Ocean experience, dive equipment hire and 4x4 turtle tracking tours (Nov to Feb) and 4x4 transfers.
  • Kosi Forest Lodge: Motorized boat trip on Kosi Lakes System and 4x4 day trip to Kosi Bay Mouth

Terms and Conditions:

  • This is a 5 night package; 2 nights at Kosi Forest Lodge & 3 nights at Thonga Beach Lodge; Additional nights can be added to the package, please contact us for a tailor-made package.
  • Subject to availability
  • Quote: Package # 6

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This hotel offers an airport transfer service. To receive a quote or make an airport transfer booking, please click the button below.

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GPS Co-Ordinates

Latitude: -27.330093

Longitude: 32.749865


Directions from Johannesburg to the Thonga Beach Lodge:

Head to Piet Retief and Pongola then proceed to the N2 south towards Mkuze.
Approximately 45km from Pongola and 10km before Mkuze turn left towards Jozini.
On leaving Jozini to take a left turn towards the Coastal Forest Reserve and KwaNgwanase (signposted), ensuring that you are proceeding over the Pongola dam wall.
After 45km at a T-junction turn right towards KwaNgwanase.
Continue for another 47 km and at the circle turn right towards Coastal Forest Reserve.
After 15km turn left onto a dirt road marked as Coastal Forest Reserve.

Directions from Durban to Thonga Beach Lodge (5 hours drive):

Proceed to the N2 North to Hluhluwe.
Turn off the N2 4kms towards Hluhluwe, continuing through the town until you reach the last traffic circle (there will be 4 in total).
Turn left towards Mbazwana/Sodwana Bay and proceeded for 0.7 km and turn right again towards Sodwana Bay/Mbazwana.
Shortly after turning right you will cross over a railway line.
Continue for 87 km bypassing Mbazwana on your right. Proceed straight through the circles following the signs to Coastal Forest Reserve.
Continue for 33 km after Mbazwana (passing the Mseleni turn-off) turning right onto a dirt road marked as Coastal Forest Reserve.
You will see a significant government sign indicating directions to Mabibi, Rocktail Bay, etc.
It is 4.7km along this road to the Coastal Cashew Factory on your right-hand side, where you will be collected. This is sign marked with a brown and white sign.

At the Coastal Cashew Factory:

When reaching the Coastal Cashew Factory, two-wheel drive vehicles park here and guests will be transferred to the lodge to the Thonga Beach Lodge which takes about 1 hour. The parking here is secure, and the entrance is guarded.
There are two transfers from the parking to the lodge daily: 12h00 and 15h00.
These transfers have to be pre-booked when making the reservation.
Four-wheel drive vehicles can proceed straight to the Thonga Beach Lodge following the Coastal Forest Reserve and the Thonga Beach Lodge signs.

Car Rental

A car rental service is available. To receive a quote or arrange car rental booking, please click the button below.

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Upon arrival at the Coastal Cashew Factory, two-wheel drive cars of guests are parked here.  Guests are transferred by the lodge to the Thonga Beach Lodge which takes about 1 hour.  The parking here is secure and the entrance is guarded.

There are two transfers from the parking to the lodge daily: 12h00 and 15h00. These transfers have to be pre-booked when making the reservation. Four-wheel drive vehicles can proceed straight to the Thonga Beach Lodge following the Coastal Forest Reserve and the Thonga Beach Lodge signs.

Star Rating

5 Star


  • Bird Life South Africa - Birder Friendly Establishment
  • Portfolio Collection - Trusted Places to stay
  • SATSA (Southern Africa Tourism Services Association)
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