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Kosi Bay Birding

Date posted: 2012-06-01

In Kosi Bay you can find the biggest mammal (whales), the largest land mammal (elephants), the largest sea turtles (leatherback turtle), the largest fish (whaleshark), the smallest antelope (suni), dolphins, the best birdwatching (a Pels fishing owl and a Palmnut vulture) the best fishing, the best diving, untouched coral reefs, untouched culture, pristine nature and the list does not end here... What are you waiting for?

In December we were extraordinarily lucky while we were out canoeing with a Belgian guest on the river. The Siyadla river flows into the fourth and last of the Kosi lakes, furthest away from the mouth. It is a little Amazon. Here you will find the giant raffia (raphia) palms, loved by the Palmnut vultures, and you can hike for hours under a canopy forest.

We were canoeing early afternoon on a cloudy day when suddenly we came round a bend and looked up to see a Pels Fishing owl in a low branch five metres away from us. This was our first eyeful of this magnificent and elusive bird and naturally we made a big commotion and I had to back paddle so that we do not glide into the shore just below the owl.

Pels Fishing Owl

The owl was not that startled but we were too close for comfort and it flew up and to the top of the tree behind us. Suddenly we heard a swoosh sound above our heads from a Palm Nut Vulture who promptly knocked the Pels Fishing owl off the top of the tree. After a scuffle the owl disappeared into the undergrowth and that was the last we saw of it.

That is nature for you – both spectacular and capricious. Our guest did not know how special this sighting is but she just marvelled at our exclamations. I believe we will never see anything like this again but I am waiting for the next spectacular wonder to reveal itself.


Wil and Belle

What to do in Kosi Bay

Date posted: 2012-05-14

There is a big variety of things to do in Kosi Bay.

hiking | diving | turtles | whale watching | birding | tembe elephants | lakes | fishkraals | fishing | raffia palms | canoe |
thonga culture


The different names for Kosi Bay is:

  • Maputaland and Tembe Thongaland is the traditional name (after the king Mabhudu who reigned from Maputo to Kosi Bay).
  • Kosi Bay, Kosi Mouth, Kosi Lakes is the popular tourism destination names.
  • Isimangaliso and Elephant Coast is the marketing initiative names.
  • Manguzi is the small town community name which falls in the Kwangwanase district in the Umhlabayalingana Municipality.


Kosi Bay is in South Africa, Kwazulu Natal, Maputaland (part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park).
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