Thonga Beach Lodge is situated only metres from the beach and a 10 minute drive from Lake Sibiya, Southern Africa's largest freshwater lake, which is part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, now internationally recognised as a World Heritage Site.
Mabibi offers superb snorkelling 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 brilliant sub-tropical fish including Moorish idols, parrot fish and blue surgeons. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean make this the ideal spot to snorkel or guests can simply soak up the sun and savour the tranquility of this pristine, sandy beach.
Mabibi lies adjacent to Africa's southern-most coral reefs making it the only tropical dive site in South Africa. In global terms, Mabibi offers some of the best diving in the world, but it has gone largely unnoticed because of its remoteness. Even in South Africa is has remained secluded and so divers are guaranteed an exciting underwater experience.
Discover the incredible beauty of Lake Sibiya – Southern Africa's largest fresh water lake. This amazing water system is home to Crocodile and Hippopotamus and offers very good bird watching opportunities. Sibiya has 125 kilometres (77 miles) of untouched shoreline and a great diversity of fauna and flora.
In season (November to February), nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of egg-laying turtles can be arranged. Guests can witness the culmination of an incredible journey as Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from mid-November to mid-March. Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process.
Birding at Mabibi and its surrounds is excellent and the variety of habitats attracts a great diversity of species. Typical coastal species include Livingstone's and purplecrested lourie, green twinspot, grey waxbill and green coucal. Waders are common along the shoreline, and pinkthroated longclaw and rufousbellied heron frequent the marshy areas. Lake Sibiya has recorded 279 bird species including the Palmnut Vulture, the only fruit-eating vulture in the world. Pel's Fishing Owl and pygmy goose.
Guests can head out on foot and explore this natural wonderland through coastal dune forests, unspoiled sandy beaches and grasslands. The wild beauty of the Elephant Coast will enthrall naturalists and photographers alike.
The Elephant Coast is renowned as one of South Africa's most popular fishing destinations. Guests can try their hand at surf fishing or fly-fishing. Hully Point at Mabibi, is a well-known fly-fishing spot. The enthusiastic angler can experience the thrill of bagging the catch of a lifetime from these brilliant waters. Thonga Beach Lodge encourages guests to 'catch and release'.
Visit a traditional Tsonga homestead and learn about their unique heritage and culture. Visits to a traditional healer (sangoma) or iLala Palm wine tasting can also be arranged (subject to availability).