Thonga Beach Lodge
A tranquil lodge, a warm ocean and a magical coastal forest
Thonga Beach Lodge
Imagine staying in a thatched bush suite, with a coastal dune forest at your back and, through the vegetation below you, the wide and lovely Indian Ocean. That's what's on offer at Thonga Beach Lodge in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Tucked into the trees just a stroll away from pristine Mabibi beach, Thonga Beach offers access to some of the best snorkelling and off-shore scuba diving in the country. Depending on the time of year, you can also watch turtles laying eggs, see whale sharks or swim with dolphins. The accommodation is luxurious, with everything you need at your fingertips, and the service and meals are faultless.
At the lodge
The thatched communal area opens on to a deck, where delicious meals and great wines are served. If you're in a romantic mood, you can dine at a candlelit table on the waves' edge. Above the dining room is the lounge, with a cosy fireplace and big, comfortable couches in tranquil seaside colours. Spend hours gazing at the horizon or watching the sun rise over a steaming mug of coffee. There's a pool for hot afternoons, a bar and a spa.
The lodge sleeps 24 in spacious suites of sun-bleached wood and glass hidden in the dune forest and raised on wooden stilts. Each is air conditioned, with a huge bed enclosed in a billowing mosquito net, an en-suite bathroom with a massive bath and an outdoor shower. Thoughtful extras included golf umbrellas and a small cooler box, as well as dressing gowns. Some rooms offer sea views; others are set within the dune forest. All have private balconies.
Thonga Beach offers everything you'd expect from an ocean-side retreat. Dive and snorkel to see the colourful underwater life, go canoeing or fishing, take long beach walks, see the determined turtle hatchlings (in season), watch snorting hippos and rich birdlife at Lake Sibaya and visit the neighbouring community. This is an eco-friendly lodge in a World Heritage Site, built into an extremely sensitive forest of milkwoods that are protected and may not be cut down or trimmed.