Thonga Beach Lodge
Maputaland Coast, South Africa
At a Glance
Wonderful secluded lodge on the shores of the Indian Ocean, set in a sheltered bay
Crystal clear warm waters offer fabulous snorkeling and scuba diving
Private rooms with air conditioning, all with wonderful ocean views
Just a short drive to Africa's largest freshwater lake
Perfect for couples looking for a secluded hideaway; or for families with children, who will love the beach
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
As a country in the Southern Hemisphere South Africa's seasons are the reverse of the north - with winter in June-August and summer December-February. Game viewing is better during the drier months of April to September. The wildflower season is generally from mid August to mid September. The whale watching season runs from June to November.
Set on the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, known as the Elephant Coast, Thonga Beach Lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoiled and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent.
Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkeling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and sandy beaches. Its clear, warm waters offer snorkeling and offshore scuba diving, some of the best scuba diving in Africa.
Thonga comprises 12 Robinson Crusoe style suites. The thatched en-suite rooms have been carefully constructed in the coastal dune forest to ensure minimum impact on the environment and guest privacy as well as offering breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. All suites are air-conditioned. The lounge, nestled high in the canopy of the dune forest, offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Alternatively, enjoy sundowners in the bar lounge or the cool deck under the Coastal Milkwood trees.
Activities include turtle tracking, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and guided wilderness walks. The snorkeling and scuba diving are incredible - with a wealth of underwater seascapes and prolific marine flora and fauna, the scuba diving here is really very special. Just off the shore is a shallow reef which runs the length of this protected coastline, and is home to a huge number of sub-tropical fish including parrot fish, blue surgeons, and moorish idols. The lodge offers scuba diving training in its own swimming pool with excellent instructors on hand.
The lodge is just meters from the beach, and is only a 30-minute drive from Lake Sibaya, which is Southern Africa's largest freshwater lake. The lake is part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site.
There are twelve very private suites at Thonga, all thatched and nestled in the dune forest. Each has air conditioning and wonderful views of the surroundings. There is a large bathroom, again with views of the ocean, and a sweeping deck at the front of the suites.
Thonga Beach Lodge welcomes children, and there are three family suites available, which can accommodate up to two children with their parents. Most activities are available to children, with some activities, such as the ocean safari, being age-restricted. The lodge is happy to prepare simple meals for children.
Thonga has a large main area which opens out onto a dining area and expansive wooden deck, with lovely views of the ocean. There is a swimming pool for guests to enjoy.
Mabibi offers superb snorkeling opportunities with a great diversity of underwater seascapes and marine flora and fauna. The shallow reefs along this protected stretch of coastline are home to an array of dazzling sub-tropical fish including moorish idols, parrot fish and blue surgeons. Scuba diving at Mabibi is incredible with reefs located a short distance from the lodge. The professional lodge diving team accommodates all enthusiasts; from the beginner to the veteran, wanting a tour of the very best our reefs have to offer. There is a super new swimming pool which is large and deep enough to accommodate scuba diving training at the lodge. Thonga's new boat launches straight in front of the lodge directly through the surf.
South Africa Safari & Beach - KwaZulu Natal
Thanda Game Reserve & Maputaland Coast
from $5300 pp 10 nights
- A wonderful combination of Big Five safari and beach with a huge variety of activities
- Enjoy excellent game viewing in the exclusive Phinda Game Reserve
- Thonga Beach Lodge, nestled in the dunes, offers activities for all ages
Location & directions
Maputaland Coast, South Africa
Thonga Beach Lodge is situated right on the Maputaland Coast in South Africa's Kwazulu-Natal region, on the eastern side of the country.
How to get there
10-hour overnight flight to Johannesburg, followed by a flight to either Durban or Richards Bay. It is then a road transfer of either 3.5-hours or 5-hours to reach the lodge.