Thonga Beach Lodge (Kwa-Zulu Natal)

Thonga Beach Lodge

Set above a secluded bay, Thonga Beach Lodge is nestled into a beautiful coastal dune forest with sweeping views of the stunning beach below. The lodge offers luxurious accommodation, mouth watering meals, and one of the best dive sites in South Africa.

An ideal romantic getaway!

Thonga Beach Lodge is only meters from the beach and a 25 minute drive from Lake Sibaya (Southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake), which is part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, now internationally recognized as a World Heritage Site. This is in the Zulu Kingdom of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

This 24 bed luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the most unspoiled 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 snorkeling and fantastic off-shore scuba diving.

Skip to Thonga Beach Lodge Rates or Specials and Packages

Thonga Beach Lodge Accommodation

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), while 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 used to create an open, airy feel.

All rooms have a bathroom with double vanity, separate shower and toilet, air conditioning, overhead fans, mini bars, tea and coffee making facilities, safe and hair dryers.

Forest View Rooms (5 x doubles & 2 x Family Suites = 7)

Nestled in the ecologically sensitive coastal dune forest, you can’t help feeling intimately part of nature. As you look out onto the indigenous forest that breathes a unique tranquil charm.

Each room comprises a large open plan bedroom (king or twin) opening onto a private balcony. The bathroom has a double vanity, separate shower and toilet.

The family suites have a smaller second bedroom (2 x ¾ beds) with separate toilet, shower and basin is connected by either a short inter-leading passage, which has doors at both ends, or a small open verandah connecting both rooms and offering privacy and peace of mind to parents of younger children.

KwaZulu Natal beach holiday
Forest View Rooms
Forest View Room interior

Ocean View Rooms (x 3)

These rooms offer views of the Indian Ocean to be taken in from a large open plan bedroom (king or twin), which opens onto a secluded balcony.

Lake Sibaya accommodation
Ocean view room

Deluxe Ocean View Rooms (1 x double honeymoon suite & 1 x family suite)

The Deluxe Ocean View Rooms offer total seclusion and privacy. Situated in indigenous forest, surrounded by sounds of the sea, this spacious suite has sweeping views of the ocean and a private plunge pool. Giving the feeling of being in one’s own private lodge. A setting you’ll fall in love with. Thonga Beach Lodge is a perfect destination for an idyllic “Robinson Crusoe” beach honeymoon.

These suites also have a bath.

The second bedroom in the family suite is smaller with 2 ¾ beds and en-suite shower and toilet.

South Africa Family Vacation
Deluxe Ocean View Suite aerial
South Africa Family holiday
Deluxe Ocean View Suite children’s bedroom

Thonga Beach Lodge Activities

Walk barefoot on the finely crushed white beach sand and slide into the warm turquoise Indian Ocean waters. Here lies Mabibi beach, with a World Heritage site protected ocean on one side. And a canopied forest of ancient milkwoods on her other. Embark each morning on guided activities designed to nurture a deep sense of curiosity and wonder in you. Or just chill in the hammocks, castaway luxury.

More information on activities at Thonga Beach Lodge ↓

Scuba Diving

SCUBA diving at Mabibi is phenomenal. The professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts. From the beginner to the veteran. Scuba diving courses are available.

An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales and many other creatures. The warm Indian Ocean supports a myriad of fish and marine life. Approximately 1,250 fish species (Great Barrier Reef has 1500) occur on the reefs in this area.

Conditions are good throughout the year and on a brilliant day visibility can reach up to 40m. Diving is limited by weather and the tides and cannot be guaranteed. Guests must have proof of their diving qualifications. We regret no children under 12 years.

South Africa scuba diving
Scuba diving

Open Ocean Experience

This adventure activity offers guests a rare opportunity to experience the variety of marine life that lives along the Elephant Coast. An exciting launch through the surf, in front of the lodge, takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales, whale sharks and snorkeling. Guests can sometimes swim with dolphins or whale sharks. Or snorkel with manta rays and giant turtles. No experience is required for this activity, but the launch through the surf can be strenuous. We regret no children under 12 years or adults over 65 years. The maximum number of guests is 10. Weather and tide dependent.

Swim with Dolphins
KZN whale watching
Ocean Experience

Scuba Diving and ocean experience are at an extra cost.


Mabibi is one of the best snorkeling sites in South Africa. The coral reefs along this protected stretch of coastline are home to thousands of species of tropical fish. Daily snorkeling is done a 5 minute walk away from the Lodge at low tide in beautiful rock pools. Guided snorkeling is included in the rate.

Best snorkeling in South Africa

Turtle Tracking (November – February)

There are a number of different turtles found off the coast of Maputuland. But only two of these lay their eggs on this coast. The leatherback and loggerhead turtles. Their nesting sites are right in front of the lodge.

Brace yourself for a breathtaking experience as this massive reptile launches out of the sea and starts her journey up the beach just meters away from you. Under the cover of darkness, follow mother turtles as they return to the same beach where they were born to begin the cycle all over again. Watch mesmerized as the mother turtle digs a hole to lay her eggs. Usually there are 100 – 120 eggs per hole! Leatherbacks can return up to seven times to lay eggs. While loggerheads return up to four times in a single season.

The turtles lay their eggs from November to February. Loggerhead turtle eggs take between 55-65 days to mature and leatherback turtle eggs take between 65-70 days. Hatchlings arrive from end December to end February. Even so, there is still a good chance of seeing hatchlings in March.

Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process. Thonga monitor and share info with the Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring program.

Thonga operate one turtle drive each night during the turtle season. The turtle drive takes place around low tide and can last up to 4 hours.

Turtle Tracking
Large leatherback laying eggs
South Africa conservation initiatives
Turtle nest hatching

Lake Sibaya Sundowners

Lake Sibaya is a perfect spot to watch an iconic sunset over southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake. It is just 6km and a 25 minute drive away. Enjoy your favorite drink and some tasty snacks as dusk welcomes the wild’s nightshift.

The lake’s diverse flora provides a variety of habitats for birds, mammals and aquatic life. Hundreds of years ago, the lake was connected to the sea. When the estuary closed naturally, numerous fish and aquatic creatures were trapped in a freshwater environment. Creating a biological treasure chest.

Lake Sibaya contains the second largest population of hippopotamus and crocodile in KwaZulu-Natal. It is an important breeding, feeding and roosting area for a host of bird species. Surface water in the surrounding coastal plain often disappears completely during dry spells, making the lake the only source of permanent water for birds and mammals.

Lake Sibaya
Lake Sibaya sundowners with hippos and birds


Early morning guided kayaking is offered on Lake Sibaya. Guests are driven up to the lake where they can enjoy an early morning paddle. This is when the waters are calm and the possibility of seeing hippos and crocs is fair. This is also an excellent birding opportunity. Kayaking is a complimentary activity.

The untouched shoreline of Lake Sibaya stretches for 100km; at 70 square kilometres, it is South Africa’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Sibaya falls within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and the Ramsar Convention assures its international conservation status.

Lake Sibaya kayaking


Thonga’s abundant coastline and shady dune forests provide a haven for both birds and bird watching alike. The diversity of flora attracts a wide variety of species with over 440 species listed for the area.

Some of the species regularly seen in and around the lodge in the coastal forest canopy include: Livingstone’s and Purple-crested Turaco,
Green twinspot,
Grey waxbill as well as the green Malkoha also known as the Green Coucal.

A variety of waders and the palm-nut vulture are also regulars near Lake Sibaya. The Rosy-throated Longclaw is often seen around the edges of the lake. There are a few resident pairs breeding in the open grassland in the summer months.

Lake Sibaya Birding
Lake Sibaya Birding
KwaZulu Natal birding hotspot
Rosy throated longclaw

Forest Walks

Head out on foot to explore this natural wonderland through coastal forests, unspoiled sandy beaches and grasslands. There are over 440 bird species in the area, 2,200 flowering plants, 282 butterfly and 228 spider species.

The forest is home to localized arboreal mammals. Some of these include tonga red squirrel, thick tailed bush baby, rare samango monkey and setaros dwarf chameleon. The walks normally take about 1-1,5 hours. Or longer, if you would like. There is no charge for these walks.

Diverse flora in the forest
Thonga Beach Lodge
Guided Forest Walks

Cultural Tours

Daily tours are on offer to visit the local rural Community of Mabibi. This includes a visit to the clinic and the school, as well as a homestead visit. Optional is to include a visit to the local Sangoma (witch doctor), which may incur a cost.


Your much-needed me-time starts at Thonga’s onsite spa. A wide selection of rejuvenation and beauty treatments for you to look and – more importantly – feel your best. Enjoy the ultimate in beachside bliss.

Getting to Thonga Beach Lodge

You need a 4×4 vehicle to get to Thonga Beach Lodge. If you don’t have one, nevermind you can drive to Librodi Lodge in Sodwana Bay and leave your vehicle in a secure parking area. From there, you can be transferred by the lodge. Pickup times are 12 pm or 3 pm.  The 4×4 transfer is approximately one hour. Guests traveling in their own 4×4 vehicles can drive all the way through to the lodge.

Thonga Beach Lodge Accommodation Rates

Deluxe Ocean ViewOcean ViewForest View
1st May 2023 to 31st July 2023R 7 190R 6 240R 5 180
1st August 2023 to 30 April 2024R 8 350R 7 530R 6 500
1st May 2024 to 31st July 2024R 7 840R 6 800R 5 650
1st August 2024 to 30 April 2025R 9 100R 8 210R 7 090

Single supplement is 30% of the above rates.

Minimum night stay at Thonga Beach Lodge

2 night minimum stay year round.
3 night minimum stay from 15th December to 15th January.

Thonga rates include:
Accommodation, and all meals,
Guided snorkeling and use of snorkeling equipment,
Guided walks,
Sun downers at Lake Sibaya*,
Cultural tours to Mabibi Community.

*1 x glass of wine, local beer, cider or soft drink.

Thonga rates exclude:
Flights, road transfers, and 4×4 transfers,
Park fees, and Isibindi Foundation levy,
Drinks, and gratuities,
Items of a personal nature, including Spa treatments, Open Ocean Experience, SCUBA & turtle tracking drives (Nov – Feb).

Family Vacations

The normal rooms at Thonga Beach Lodge can accommodate 1 additional child per room. A maximum of 6 children under 8 years can stay in camp at any time. Children under 3 years old stay for free.

Child Policy in Non-Family Rooms

Adults4 – 12 yrs13 – 18 yrs
2 x adults sharing with 1 x child
(Extra bed in adult’s room)
Adult rate x 2Pays 50% of adult ratePays 75% of adult rate
1 x adult sharing with 1 x child older than 3 yearsAdult ratePays 75% of adult ratePays 100% of adult rate
1 x adult sharing with 1 x child younger than 3 yearsAdult rate plus 30%n/an/a
1 x adult sharing with 2 x childrenAdult ratePays 50% of adult ratePays 75% of adult rate

Child Policy in Family Rooms

Adults4 – 12 yrs13 – 18 yrs
2 x adults sharing with 2 x childrenAdult rate x 2Pays 50% of adult ratePays 75% of adult rate
2 x adults sharing with 1 x childAdult rate x 2Pays 50% of adult ratePays 75% of adult rate
1 x adult sharing with 2 x childrenAdult rate plus 30%Pays 50% of adult ratePays 75% of adult rate

Thonga Beach Lodge Accommodation Special Offers and Packages

Long Stay Rates

Combine with Kosi Forest Lodge (Isimangaliso Wetland Park), Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge (Hluhluwe) or Tsowa Safari Island in Victoria Falls (info to follow) and get discounts. This is according to the total number of nights spent at these properties. These are the discounts:
5 nights: 5%
6 nights: 7.5%
7 nights: 10%
8+ nights: 12.5%

Valid until 30th April 2025

Stay/Pay Thonga Beach Lodge Special Offer

Book 4 nights and only pay for 3
Valid: May, June and September 2024
3 of the nights must fall in the applicable months.
The pay stay specials may be doubled up. For example: Stay 8 Pay 6 provided they fall within the valid months.

Thonga Beach Lodge Turtle Package

3 nights accommodation in Forest View Room plus 1 x Turtle drive (see Turtle Tracking information)
1st November 2024 – 28th February 2025: R21 270

Thonga Beach Lodge Honeymooners

Thonga Beach Lodge has been voted the most romantic beach lodge accommodation on the Elephant Coast for a reason. They have a soft spot for romance. And go to every effort to ensure that the memories you create on your honeymoon will last forever.

The soft sand and sounds of the sea provide the most romantic setting in nature, perfect for your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. Thonga Beach Lodge is an idyllic ‘away from it all’ beach honeymoon destination. Where you can enjoy each other’s company and relax after the intense and busy wedding time.

With so much on offer at Thonga Beach Lodge, you can be as busy or laid back as you like. Take romantic walks and a picnic on an endless pristine wilderness beach. Go on a SCUBA dive, or snorkel and kayak. Enjoy a couple’s treatment at the peaceful spa. Or request your favorite drink for a sundowner session at the edge of Lake Sibaya. Dress up for dinner and enjoy a romantic treat – a candlelit dinner on a deck overlooking the sea.

South Africa beach honeymoon
Honeymoon private dinner on the beach deck

All honeymooners receive:
A complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival,
A private dinner,
Romantic turn down at no extra charge.

There are also a few extra surprises awaiting your on this romantic beach honeymoon. But they are a secret!
Valid: All year

Also see our 8 day iSimangaliso Honeymoon Package. This combines Thonga Beach Lodge with Kosi Forest Lodge – for the ultimate back to nature honeymoon.

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