A short distance from Hluhluwe, through rolling timber plantations and bushveld, you’ll arrive at an unassuming sign, “Coastal cashew factory”. This is where you can leave your car – and all those urban stresses that creep into our lives. However, if you happen to be driving a 4×4, the route is clearly marked through the grassy dunes and forest.
By Claire Veitch
The real journey begins with a scenic drive through some of the highest dune forests on the east coast. Your driver and guide will fill you in on the surrounding vegetation, birds and rich local culture. As you near your destination, discreetly positioned signposts invite you to clear the mind, nourish the body and soothe the soul – a fitting welcome!
Thonga Beach Lodge offers a natural sanctuary from city life, a place of pristine beauty that will revive the weary and inspire those who are feeling more adventurous.
Subtly designed to blend in with the surrounding beauty, each suite opens on to a private balcony with views of the Indian Ocean, unspoilt beaches or indigenous trees. Rooms are private and luxuriously appointed, with absolute attention to detail. Crisp white linen and deep stone baths, together with accents of local Thonga-inspired decor all add to the ambience.
Dining is a highlight. Each meal offers mouthwatering choices with excellent service. There can be few finer ways to end your day than dining “al fresco” on a candlelit deck under ancient Milkwood trees. For very romantic settings, and weather permitting, management will even set a dinner table for you right on the beach!
After dinner, an amble across to the “Robinson Crusoe” bar is a must – it gives a whole new meaning to “island style”.
Don’t be lulled into a sense that Thonga Beach Lodge is all about decadent relaxation, great food and indulgence! There are a number of activities on offer. From snorkelling at low tide to open water “sea-faris”, where one can swim freely with whale sharks – the experience is both exhilarating and unforgettable. Dive courses are offered, and all equipment is provided and overseen by experts.
Another must is a sundowner drive to Lake Sibaya, where you can spot hippos, crocs and amazing birdlife, while sipping on an ice-cold G&T. The perfect way to wind down after an active day.
Unfortunately we were just too early for the turtle tracking season…and as this is an experience that’s definitely on my bucket list…a return journey is already planned.
Phone: 035 474 1473
Fax: 035 474 1490
Or contact Caroline Hall at
084 551 1121