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Why did we hand pick Thonga Beach Lodge?

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  • Secluded chalets tucked into subtropical forest a stone's throw from the water
  • Magnificent, virtually uninhabited beachfront on the inviting Indian ocean
  • Luxurious accommodation and facilities

Thonga Beach Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

32km from Mbazwana


-27.3296, 32.75


Only reachable by 4x4 vehicles, Thonga Beach Lodge is an exceptionally secluded lodge situated on one of the most beautiful, unspoilt stretches of coastline in South Africa, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.  

Surrounded by dune forest overlooking a tranquil bay, this magical retreat offers full board accommodation in luxury bush chalets, complemented by a varied range of unforgettable activities, many of which are included in the rates. Guests with two-wheel drive vehicles can be picked up at the nearby Coastal Cashew factory and transported to the lodge. 

Offering complete privacy, the thatched chalets are raised on wooden stilts to ensure no harm comes to the sensitive dune soils, and have been carefully built to have a natural, open air feel. Each features a private deck where guests can enjoy picture-pretty views of either the ocean, forest, or both. Air conditioning, luxury amenities and attractive stone en-suite bathrooms with baths, showers and twin basins increase the appeal.

Perfect for loving couples, the Deluxe Ocean View Room features a King-size bed and its own plunge pool on the large deck, where guests will be soothed by lovely sea views. Families looking for something special will find it in the Deluxe Ocean View Family Room, which has a King-size bed for the adults and another bedroom for two children. The expansive deck has spectacular sea views and a plunge pool. Three other ocean view rooms have twin beds that can be converted into a double. 

The Twin Forest View Rooms are peacefully nestled into the forest, and also sleep guests in a choice of twin or double beds. Two forest view rooms have an extra bedroom with ¾ beds for two kids. Each of the forest view rooms offers wonderful opportunities for spotting some of the rare bird species residing in the dense vegetation. 

Three mouth-watering meals per day are included in the rates, served either in the rondavel dining area or outside on the deck. Romantics can arrange a dreamy candlelit dinner on the beach. Other facilities at the main lodge include an upstairs lounge with a fireplace; the perfect spot for blissful relaxation or sundowners overlooking the ocean. In summer, a wonderful holiday feel can be enjoyed at the beach bar or around the swimming pool.  

Another deep swimming pool is where scuba diving training takes place, preparing guests for some of the best diving in South Africa. Several pristine reefs are located a short distance from the lodge, playing host to a vast array of colourful fish species and other marine life. Snorkelling equipment is available for free use.

The picturesque Lake Sibaya is a 25 minute drive away, and kayaking and sundowner trips at the lake are included in the rates. Fascinating cultural tours to the Thonga community, as well as guided walks in the forest, are also included. At extra cost, guests can book an incredible Open Ocean Experience which provides the possible chance of swimming with dolphins and whale sharks.  In summer, the lodge offers nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of egg-laying turtles; a truly touching experience.

The Maputaland coast is renowned as a fantastic fishing destination, but guests are required to have a permit. Deep sea fishing trips at Sodwana Bay can be arranged. For some pampering, guests can head to the Sea Spa for seaweed rejuvenation treatments and a number of other therapeutic treatments.

Rates & Summary

Deluxe Ocean View Room

Sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Deck and plunge pool
Ocean views

Deluxe Ocean View Family Room

Sleeps 4 in King-size and ¾ beds
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Deck and plunge pool
Ocean views

3 Double Ocean View Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in twin/double bed
En-suite shower and twin basins
Deck with ocean views

5 Twin Forest View Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in twin/double bed
En-suite shower and twin basins
Deck with forest views

2 Family Forest View Rooms

Each sleeps 4 in twin/double and ¾ beds
En-suite shower and twin basins
Deck with forest views


  • From R 4 140 pp sharing
  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Full board


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Situated on the magnificent, unspoilt Maputaland coast in northern Kwazulu-Natal, Thonga Beach Lodge offers a mix of luxurious full board accommodation, utter tranquillity and exciting adventure. This remarkably secluded lodge is perched above a deserted beach surrounded by unspoilt coastal forests. Each exceptionally private chalet is raised above the floor of the dune forest, and guests can enjoy wonderful cuisine and a varied range of activities organised by the lodge.


  • Secluded chalets tucked into subtropical forest a stone's throw from the water
  • Magnificent, virtually uninhabited beachfront on the inviting Indian ocean
  • Luxurious accommodation and facilities

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, insect repellent, fishing gear, binoculars for game viewing and bird /whale watching and dolphin spotting.

Road Conditions

The lodge can only be reached by four-wheel drive vehicles.
Guests without a 4x4 can request to be picked up at Coastal Cashews.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Beach
  • Snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Boat cruises
  • Scuba diving
  • Turtle tours
  • Guided forest walks
  • Cultural tour


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • No television

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • No cell phone reception
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • No babysitting
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • No shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Office safe




Elephant Coast

KwaZulu Natal


On the eastern seaboard of South Africa, the wild country of the Elephant Coast presses up against the Indian Ocean in the east, Mozambique in the north and Zululand to the south and west. Here, the bright lights of the city are nowhere to be seen, replaced by night skies as unpolluted as nature created them.

The area was named for the elephants that once roamed here in great numbers, hunted for their tusks until they had all but disappeared. Luckily this has been turned around and elephants can once again be seen in many of the region’s game reserves, along with the rest of the Big 5.

Made up of extensive commercial farms, private game farms and government game reserves, the Elephant Coast is still relatively untouched by modernity. It incorporates vast expanses of wilderness, including an internationally renowned World Heritage Site, the 328000ha Isimangaliso Wetland Park. It is also home to Africa’s oldest game reserve, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, founded in 1895.

The area is a must-visit for ecologically minded tourists; there is far more to see than just the two flagship reserves. Fortunate tourists can see the Big 5, scuba dive with whale sharks or manta rays, watch turtles laying their eggs, fish for tigerfish, and ride horses on the beach or through the bush. It’s a region that is rich in diversity.

Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Reserve are both on the border with Mozambique and offer unique experiences for twitchers and pachyderm fans.

Tembe now boasts herds of elephants that are noted for their impressive tusks, and it’s one of the better places in South Africa to get good sightings and photographs of these animals.

Ndumo is best known for its birding. Species such as the narina trogon, palm-nut vulture and green twinspot can be seen in the forests of figs and other beautiful trees. Healthy populations of hippo and crocodile lurk in the pans and rivers.

KosiBay, a reserve protecting a series of shallow coastal lakes and all that lives in and around them, offers excellent fishing. There are also fascinating cultural and wildlife walks and birding opportunities. In season, one can watch turtles as they lay eggs or hatch from them.

Also on the coast is Sodwana Bay, yet another conservation area run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. It’s a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world.

Sodwana holds beneath its waters coral reefs that are home to an estimated 1 200 fish species. These include the prehistoric coelacanth, as well as sharks and other fish.

Lake Sibaya is another attraction, although one that has failed to attain the popularity it deserves. The largest fresh-water lake in South Africa, Sibaya is home to thousands of waterbirds. Game is plentiful along its shores and crocodiles stalk its clear water.

The Jozini, or Pongolapoort, Dam offers a wonderful blend of sport fishing with game viewing. The river itself is also home to healthy populations of tigerfish.

Look out for

Isimangaliso Wetland Park – this World Heritage Site is amazingly diverse and deserves at least a few days of your time. Go for a boat cruise on the estuary, a game drive through the bush, and a hike along the shores of Lake St Lucia.

Sodwana Bay – take advantage of one of the world’s top scuba diving spots. Beginners can go on courses or snorkel; while more experienced divers have a number of reefs to choose from.

Birdwatching – the entire Elephant Coast is home to bountiful birdlife, although there are a few hot spots. The pans of Mkhuze Game Reserve play host to pelicans and all sorts of other birdlife. Over 420 bird species have been recorded in the riverine forest, woodland and savannahs of the park. Ndumo Game Reserve has an even better record, with more than 430 species recorded, the most for anywhere in South Africa. Beautiful, fever tree-lined pans are home to specials such as Pel’s fishing owl, broadbill and black egret.

Fishing – the Elephant Coast’s Jozini Dam is one of the few places in South Africa where anglers can try their luck at landing the tigerfish, one of the most ferocious, toothy fish in the world. If salt-water fishing is preferred, Kosi Bay is a popular and exceptional fishery, while deep-sea charters also operate from St Lucia.

Turtle tours – St Lucia is probably the best place in the country to go on an organised turtle watching tour. While sightings can’t be guaranteed, you have a good chance of seeing leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying eggs or hatching. Community guides at Kosi Bay also offer turtle watching tours that are very worthwhile.

Game view – the Elephant Coast is still home to a healthy population of big tuskers, especially in Tembe Elephant Park. A good sighting of these animals will stay with you for the rest of your life. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is internationally famous for saving the white rhino from extinction, and it remains one of the best places in the world to view this docile behemoth. The rest of the Big 5 can also be seen here, along with many other interesting animals.

Hike – while some areas require a guide (especially the Big 5 parks), there are some exceptional walking trails on the Elephant Coast. Almost all game reserves will offer day trails, while a trail with a difference can be enjoyed at Kosi bay. Here you can wander around the Kosi Mouth estuary, inspecting the primitive fish traps and watching locals at work spearing their catch. 

When to go

To Do

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