Our drive to Kosi Forest Lodge took us just over 7 hours and we expected the roads to be bad and full of pot holes. To our surprise, it ended up being the best road we had both ever been on. Mostly completely straight, almost freshly tarred the entire way and an absolute pleasure of a drive.
Upon our arrival to the Lodge, we were greeted with smiling, friendly faces. While all our bags were taken to our room for us, we were given a ”cool down” cloth to wipe our hands and faces with and given a complimentary refreshing drink as it was quite a hot day. We were then told more about the lodge, meal times and activities we would be apart of and then we were showed to our room.
Our room was so unique. We had our own balcony as well as an outdoor shower & bath area. We also had complimentary rusks, Old Brown Sherry, a tea & coffee station as well as some ice cold bottled water waiting for us once we got there.
Once settled in, we went up to the main area for lunch, which was delicious! We both had the quiche with salad and the waitress spent some time teaching us to make a type of pesto from chilli, nuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar which we could then add to our salads or put on top of the freshly made rolls on our table.
Our arrival day was very relaxed and we didn’t rush into any activities because we had just been on a 7 hour trip and wanted some peace and quiet for a while (which we definitely got- we were SO relaxed!).
That same evening for dinner, we had a 3 course meal which started with a sweetcorn soup, followed by kingklip, beans and rice and for dessert, a banana and caramel waffle served with cream.
On our second day, after almost missing our first activity because our bed was just SO comfy, we headed out to the river with our guide, PQ, to go canoeing in the lakes. Our first stop was in lake 4 which is the breeding lake for the hippos and crocodiles. We were unable to get to any other lakes with the canoe as it had previously rained heavily and the paths were blocked. Because of this, we spent extra time in lake 4, taking in all the scenery and hearing all that PQ had to tell us about the hippos, crocodiles and birds. We were lucky enough to spot 2 Palm Nut Vultures. These huge birds feed off of the husks & fruit of the Raphia Palms.
After canoeing, we headed back to the lodge for breakfast which was your standard selection of cold meats, cheeses, muffins, fruit salad with yoghurt & fruit juices, followed by your choices of bacon, eggs, toast, mushrooms, hash browns, tomatoes and sausages.
Something great about this lodge is there is no rush, no sense of time, you just go at your own pace and unwind. Dean and I decided to head to the pool area shortly after breakfast for a swim, the pool overlooked one of the dams and we were able to watch the hippos and flamingos from inside the pool. This for me was such an incredible experience because I had never seen a hippo before that day. I spent the entire day at the pool and only left for lunch and then came back until dinner. It was also an amazing spot for watching sunrises and sunsets and to see all the incredible wildlife!
For lunch, we were served a bacon and mushroom pasta with a salad to share and freshly baked bread with butter and jams.
Dinner that evening was my favorite meal and a big surprise for us too! The starter was a creamy carrot soup, followed by a perfectly cooked steak with caramelized red onion, carrots and potato bake and for dessert, a chocolate brownie. Now here was the surprise; whilst all the other guests received their desserts, Dean and I waited a bit longer than the rest of the guests to be served and when our waitress finally arrived, we got a huge chocolate cake to celebrate our birthdays. This was such a surprise and such a sweet gesture from Kosi Forest Lodge. They really made our birthdays special! (Oh, and the cake was delicious! And yes, we shared it with all the other guests and they loved it too!)
On Monday morning, our final day at Kosi Forest Lodge, we had to wake up really early to go out on the boat with George, our guide, for us to see the hippos up close before we had to end our trip.
We were so lucky that as soon as we got onto the boat, we spotted 3 hippos; the father, mother and baby.
We were also lucky enough to see some flamingos and other birds as well as the fish traps used by the local people in Kosi Bay to catch fish.
I could not believe how clear the water was and we could see all the fish swimming below us.
We once again had a big breakfast and then packed our bags and headed back home.
Its now been almost 2 weeks since our Kosi trip and I am still missing it so much.
If there is one thing about this lodge that you will pick up instantly is the friendly staff.
I really commend Kosi Forest Lodge on their attention to detail (such as the sand being raked every single day from our room to the lodge) and their incredible staff. They really made our stay so much better and we felt at home with all of them.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our stay and we cant wait to come back.
Thank you Kosi Forest Lodge & Isibindi for hosting us!