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Kosi Bay Historical and Cultural Attractions - Fish Kraals

Date posted: 2010-01-24

These fish kraals are found in the Kosi Estuary not far from the mouth. They have been in existence for hundreds of years and are a source of sustenance for the Tembe Tribal people of the area.



Evidence of Fish Kraals have been found in other areas to the north of Kosi and as far south as Port St Johns. This method of trapping however only continues to be practised in the Kosi estuary.

According to Alan Mountain, the principle employed in trapping the fish is very simple. In the estuary and shallow waters of the lakes, guide fences(umtamana or umteyula) are constructed at right angles to the flow of the water and to the shore- line. This fence is cresent or hook-shaped, with the concave side facing upstream. Its purpose is to prevent fish passing through to the sea and instead to guide them to a heart shaped enclosure - where fish are trapped either in a basket(umono or in a valve like structureijele where they can be speared.

These fish kraals are carefully regulated by the Tribal Authority for the area. This authority gives each family in the area the right to establish and maintain a particular fish kraal site.

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


Kosi Bay Aerial Shot of Fish Kraals

Date posted: 2011-02-16

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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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