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Memela “Primitive-chic bungalows, great hosts, fabulous location!”

Date posted: 2012-11-20

“Primitive-chic bungalows, great hosts, fabulous location!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Our family stayed at Memela for 2 nights as part of a Kosi Bay hiking trip organized through Active Escapes. We really loved this place, run by Willis and his wife Janie.

Memela provides basic accommodations, but it is incredibly attractive and atmospheric . Willis, who built the bungalows himself, put lots of thought into their design—I\'d call them primitive chic. They are thatched with only 3 walls; one side is completely open to nature. The comfortable beds with crisp linen and mosquito netting are free-standing, nestled against an attractive cement headboard and sitting on gleaming cement floor. Our bungalow was situated to capture the incredible African sunrise. There is no electricity in the bungalows (only the main house). They are illuminated by kerosene lamps that provide a very romantic feel. The outdoor bathroom facilities are directly adjacent to the bungalow - basic, clean and plenty of hot water.

The main house, where Willis and Janie live with their 2 year old daughter Lily, is where family-style meals are served. Janie is a terrific cook and the dinner quality and presentation was befitting a 5 star resort. Janie and Willis are incredibly interesting and friendly hosts, and we had wonderful conversations with them -we felt like we were staying at a friend\'s place.

Memela is very remote and you need a 4X4 to get there (although pick-up was arranged for us). Memela is well located to explore the amazing Kosi Bay beaches and lakes. Willis can organize all sorts of different excursions -hiking, fishing, boating...

During our 4 week trip to South Africa we stayed in places that were more luxurious and expensive, but Memela was my favourite. It\'s a wonderful spot, run by great people.

Memela - "Simple and Authentic"

Date posted: 2012-06-01

“Simple but authentic”

4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

Willis and Janie (yanni) were great hosts and although the lodging is simple (outdoor toilet and shower, battery lights), the food was great and the guiding professional. We were able to see the Palm Nut Vulture, a particular wish, and also found baby loggerhead turtles at night hatching and heading for the ocean. Willis had only said he would try since it was a bit late in the season, but he made arrangements with a great guide and the interest of both in the resource was quite touching. He has great contacts and can arrange pretty much anything you would like at a reasonable rate. We were lucky enough to be there with his Mom and Dad as well, so we got to know the family - longtime SA, and his wife, Janie, as well. They have a lovely child, Lily, and we all shared a braai on the beach in addition to the regular fine meals at home. As an additional plus, Willis knows his birds, so if you have a special one you'd like, I would recommend that you try him.
Photos of Memela Bush Lodge, Maputaland, Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve
This photo of Memela Bush Lodge, Maputaland is courtesy of TripAdvisor


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