Thonga Beach Lodge

Beach Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal


Within frisbee-throwing distance of golden sands, 24-room Thonga is the relaxed eco-lodge of an escapist’s dreams. Set just inside dune forest fringing the Elephant Coast (aka Maputaland), it majors in seclusion thanks to a wilderness beach and glassy chalets—“Robinson Crusoe-chic”, say the owners—whose curving decks lend an open, airy feel. Inland are grasslands and lakes, yet most guests head in the opposite direction, drawn towards the Indian Ocean’s clear, warm waters, some of Africa’s finest snorkelling and scuba diving (lessons available), and a cast of wildlife A-listers: egg-laying turtles, dolphins and sharks.


Smartly made from glass and wood, the dozen thatched rondavels include three family suites—able to fit two children with their parents—and a deluxe chalet plus plunge pool for privacy-seeking couples or honeymooners. Raised on wooden stilts to minimise impact and accessed by boardwalks, all have private verandas from which the surf can be soothingly heard, en suite bathrooms with large stone tubs, air-conditioning and palpable space. Sea-facing rooms cost more than those with forest views. 


Forest vistas adorn Thonga’s main lounge, which has comfy couches, and serves sundowners on another expansive deck during balmy evenings. Bordering that is a thatched dining area, although many guests choose to scoff their seafood al fresco, on yet another veranda or by candlelight on the beach. Exclusive to guests, that same sandy strip has sun loungers laid out by day. A large, deep swimming pool, a cocktail-serving ocean bar and a small spa providing extensive treatments round out the offerings.


Rates include cultural tours to meet the Tsonga community, forest walks, and sundowners and kayaking at nearby Lake Sibaya. The friendly staff also can arrange bird-watching, fishing or after-dark turtle-spotting during summer (November-February). Most popular are watersports, however: just offshore is a shallow reef whose waters support parrotfish shoals, bottlenose dolphins, whale sharks in summer and humpback whales in winter. Snorkelling kit is free to hire, and scuba-diving lessons are available using the pool.

Child Policy

Thonga is extremely child-friendly. Along with those family chalets, most activities are available to teens, with special daytime distractions arranged for kids aged 3-8. Simple meals for juniors are served from 6pm, and babysitting is available.

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Thonga Beach Lodge Reviews

Fond memories of Thanda !

In spite of the weather playing havoc with our travel plans , Ash Jarvis of Best of South Africa Travels took everything in hand and ensured that our party of 9 which had managed to meet up in Johannesberg could relax and wait in comfort before continuing our journey to Kwazulu-Natal. There began the trip of  a lifetime surpassing the expectations of all, young and old.  Ash had organised our stay in the Villa at Thanda Game Reserve - as we were a large party we had the house and grounds to ourselves and were looked after by the local staff like
royalty. The game drives were so exciting and we were lucky to see all the Big 5.  Both the tracker and the ranger were extremely knowledgeable and were happy to share their knowledge with us. The food was exquisite and the “surprises” amazing (we will not detail them in order to keep the secret for future guests).

After 4 nights in Thanda we  were driven to Thonga Beach Lodge situated right on the beach on the Elephant Coast. It felt like we had reached the end of the world and oh, it was so beautiful ! Once again all the staff were so friendly and knowledgeable, always happy to teach us about their culture and the wildlife. Whales, dolphins, turtles, hippos … we saw them all and more ! The food was exquisite (including vegan dishes) and the Spa treatment was as good as it comes.

Thank you Ash for making this trip such a wonderful experience.

who stayed here in October 2018.

Thonga Beach Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal has been rated 1 time, with an overall rating of 5.00 out of 5.

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