"The South African section of Maputaland was also previously known asTongalandafter theTongapeople who live there. The usually flat region feeds thePhongoloandMkhuze River. On 11 June 1895, Tongaland was annexed byGreat Britain. 'Tongaland', the name of the traditional region of the Tsonga, has now largely fallen into disuse." Wikipedia
We have been coming to these parts for the past twenty-five years, we call Utshwayelo Lodge and Camp, a community owned project, our second home. We feel loved here, 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. It's a place where time has gracefully stood still and the culture and its people take time to appreciate simple worldly pleasures. Life has a slow pace here and that's how everyone likes it and the 'boma-type' campsites are the perfect escape from any comfort zone.
At anytime you will find the most interesting people visiting Utshwayelo Lodge, they come from all over the world, whether they are bird watchers, walkers, bikers, 'Vanlife' enthusiasts, 4x4 daredevils or just simple families like ours, coming here to regain sanity and rediscover inner peace.
Walk down and wade around the traditional fish traps and snorkel in the estuary with its kaleidoscope of over 200 species of tropical fish, surf from unspoiled beaches, boat on the magnificent lakes, or fly fish from the rocks. Do the turtle walk and watch big turtles lumbar out of the ocean to lay eggs on the beach, and little ones scampering back into the sea, from October to March. Take a guided hike or just walk along kilometres of pristine bush and beach, and swim in the turquoise waters, or just read a book under the magnificent ancient Umdoni trees next the swimming pool and enjoy a sundowner at the bar.
Utshwayelo Lodge is like no other place on earth. It is situated at Kosi Bay Mouth Reserve and Estuary's entrance gate, 2,5 km from the beach. It is 5km from the Mozambique border post. This is about as close at you can be to Mozambique without crossing the border.
It is the closest lodge to the sea and is easily accessible by car. The secluded Tembe-style safari tents are located away from the self-catering chalets and campsites, although these visitors do have access to the communal areas, which include a dining and recreational area with a poolside bar where you can socialise and share your Elephant Coast experiences with many travellers from all walks of life.
Yes, Utshwayelo Lodge is one magical destination to visit but it's the people who run this rustic sanctuary that we credit our visits to. Over the years they have become our family and as much as we feel that Utshwayelo Lodge is our second home, Enoch and Anna are certainly our Kosi family.