Thonga Beach Lodge
Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the pristine shores of the Maputuland coast, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This 24-bed luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the most unspoilt wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Its crystal clear, warm waters offer South Africa’s best snorkelling and fantastic off-shore scuba diving.
Set above a secluded bay, Thonga Beach Lodge is nestled into beautiful coastal dune forest with sweeping views of the stunning beach below. The thatched bush suites provide guest privacy and were carefully constructed to ensure minimal impact on the environment. The lodge offers luxurious accommodation, mouth-watering meals and one of the best dive sites in the South Africa. Thonga Beach Lodge is situated only metres from the beach and a 25 minute drive from Lake Sibaya which is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, now internationally recognised as a World Heritage Site.
Large coastal Milkwood trees set the scene for the ultimate beach experience. Carefully constructed into the coastal dune forest, Thonga Beach Lodge takes full advantage of its incredible position while being in complete harmony with the environment.
The dining area – a large thatched ‘rondavel’ - opens on to an expansive wooden deck, where guests can enjoy Maputuland’s sultry weather and the lodge’s sumptuous meals. Most meals will be served al fresco, or, guests can head for the beach and dine by candlelight on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
The lounge, with its comfortable couches and a cosy fireplace, is the perfect place to unwind after a day at the beach. Located upstairs from the dining room, it offers spectacular views of the beach as well as the incredible forest surrounding the lodge. It’s the ideal spot to relax with a sundowner or catch a breathtaking sunrise over a steaming mug of coffee.
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The spacious, thatched suites are hidden in the coastal dune forest and raised on wooden stilts to ensure no harm comes to the sensitive dune soils. Inspired by Thonga architecture, the rooms have been carefully positioned to guarantee guest privacy. Some rooms offer sea views (see rates), whilst others are set within the dune forest. All have private balconies. Luxuriously decorated, the rooms exude a romantic ambiance. Bleached wood, glass and natural materials have been wisely used to create an open, airy feel. The en-suite rooms have a bathroom with bath, shower and twin vanity. Every suite has air conditioning.
To beat the midday heat, guests can take it easy beside the lodge’s swimming pool or enjoy a delicious cocktail at the bar with its unique “ocean” bar counter. For those needing a little pampering, the lodge also has a rejuvenation centre where guests can revitalise body, mind and soul.
Mabibi offers superb snorkelling opportunities with a great diversity of underwater seascapes and marine flora and fauna. Scuba diving at Mabibi is phenomenal, with reefs located a short distance from the lodge.
Sundowners are offered on the shores Southern Africa’s largest fresh water lake – Lake Sibaya (70 square km). The lake has 125km of untouched shoreline, good bird watching and a great diversity of fauna and flora. Guests can also explore parts of the lake by guided kayak with the chance of seeing hippo and crocodile en route. A reasonable level of fitness is required.
Birding at Mabibi and its surrounds is excellent and the variety of habitats attracts a great diversity of species. Typical coastal species include Livingstone’s and Purplecrested Lourie, Green Twinspot, Grey Waxbill and Green Coucal. Waders are common along the shoreline, and Pinkthroated Longclaw and Rufousbellied Heron frequent the marshy areas. Lake Sibaya has recorded 279 bird species including the Palmnut Vulture, the only fruit-eating vulture in the world. Pel’s fishing owl and pygmy goose.
In summer, nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of egg-laying turtles can be arranged. Guests can witness the culmination of an incredible journey as Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from November to end February. Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process.
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BEACH - THONGA BEACH LODGE
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