The sense of being on a deserted island is a strong one, and gazing out from your “island shelter” you could be forgiven for thinking you should be out helping Friday flag down passing ships for rescue.
Twelve thatched suites blend well into the untouched natural surroundings, the Robinson Crusoe-chic décor both simple and eco-friendly. Elevated on stilts, each suite has sea or forest views, outdoor showers and small decks. Shaded by a canopy of trees, Thonga’s casual main areas enjoy sweeping seascapes. Cool off in the pool or unwind on the beach deck with its exquisite sea panoramas and salty breezes. The local community enjoys shareholding in the lodge.
Open all year
Thonga Beach Lodge lies in Mabibi Bay, adjacent to Africa’s southern-most coral reefs making it the only tropical dive site in South Africa.
More than 1,200 species of fish are found on the reefs off Mabibi, including Moorish idols, parrot fish, blue surgeons and marble and manta rays. The warm Indian Ocean waters also attract huge schools of bottlenose dolphin as well as sharks, whale sharks and turtles. Thonga Beach Lodge is the perfect luxury dive resort from which to explore these pristine waters.
Other activities include: Turtle drive and Turtle tracking on foot, bird watching, Kayaking and sundowner excursions on Lake Sibaya, Guided forest walks including scorpion and spider walks in season.
Lake Sibaya has 100km of untouched shoreline and, at 70 square kilometres, is South Africa’s largest freshwater lake. The lake falls within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, now a World Heritage Site, and the Ramsar Convention assures its international conservation status.
The lake’s diverse flora provides a variety of habitats for birds, mammals and aquatic life. Research reveals that hundreds of years ago the lake was once connected to the sea and with the natural closure of the estuary, numerous fish and aquatic creatures were trapped in a fresh water environment.
Lake Sibaya contains the second largest population of hippopotamus and crocodile in KwaZulu-Natal and is an important breeding, feeding and roosting area for a host of bird species. Surface water in the surrounding coastal plain often disappears completely during dry spells, making the lake the only source of permanent water for birds and mammals.