Kosi Bay Slackpacking Trail

4 Night slackpacking trail at Kosi Bay, Maputaland

Operated by: Active Escapes

4x4 return transfers      Languages offered: English and isiZulu      Book direct
Group size: 2-24 pax      Minimum age: 8 years      Meet at location


Escape into one of the most ecologically unique places in South Africa. This guided trail takes hikers through the Kosi Bay section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. On the trail you will adventure through Kosi Bay's four interconnected lakes, estuary, and the habitats that surround them. Exploring on foot and by boat, hikers follow a trail along isolated beaches, through cool dune forests, wetlands and open savannah. Enjoy a variety of activities along the way, and overnight in comfortable beach and bush camps on this fully catered trail. Luggage is transferred between camps every day, allowing hikers to enjoy the day without the burden of heavy packs. The trail is guided by local community guides, and visitors leave not only refreshed but also enriched with the local knowledge and heritage of this special area. This trail is flexible and can be customized to suit the time, fitness levels and interests of the group.

  • Explore an inaccessible and ecologically unique area
  • Explore on foot as well as by boat
  • Includes a 3 Lake Boat Excursion from 1st to 3rd Lake
  • Additional activities include birding and snorkeling a natural aquarium
  • Learn about the area's ecology and cultural heritage from our experienced community guides
  • Witness an ancient fishing technique and explore Kosi Bay's unique fish kraals
  • Watch loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on the area's sandy beaches (Nov-March)
  • Overnight in comfortable beach and bush trails
  • Fully catered trail, with luggage transfers between all camps
  • Fully customizable trail, with additional activities like deep sea ocean experiences (fishing, diving) available on request

Package options

4 Night Slackpacking Trail
Group Rates Available

Inquire today to check availability.

What to expect

There are 4, 5 and 6 night trail options which are easily customized to your needs.

Hikers begin each day waking up at one of our comfortable safari-style camps in breathtaking beach or bush locations. These camps have hot showers and a communal dining area. After a good breakfast, set out with your guide on the day's trail. The day's distances (day 1 13.5km, 4 hours, day 2 12-17km, 4-7 hours, day 3 10-12.5km, 4 hours) allow plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings and explore the environment. Follow the trail through isolated beaches, cool dune forests, wetlands and open savannahs, looking out for small game and rare bird species like the Palm-nut vulture as you go. Stop for a snorkel or to take in the tropical scenery while your knowledgeable guide shares information about the ecology or cultural heritage of the area over a picnic lunch. At the end of the day, take in another African sunset in this incredible location.

Hikers also have the opportunity to further explore the unique interlinking lakes by boat, on a 3 Lake Boat Excursion. Beginning at 3rd Lake and following the reed and mangrove-lined channels through 2nd to 1st Lake, look out for colorful flamingos, the unmistakable cry of the African fish eagle and of course, groups of hippos in the shallows. Stop for a snorkel in the mangroves, and explore the fish kraals in 1st Lake. This is an ancient fishing technique still practiced by the local community today.

Hikers may choose to spend additional nights at any of our camps. Other activities are also available to further customize your trail. In season (Nov-March), lucky hikers get to witness leatherback or loggerhead turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, while other activities on offer include ocean activities (deep-sea fishing, diving, whale- and dolphin-viewing trips) or a mokoro-styled canoe trip on the Siyadla River feeding into 4th Lake. These activities are priced independently.

The famous Kosi Mouth
The famous Kosi Mouth.

Beach hike Kosi Bay

Hiking Kosi Bay

Hiking Kosi Bay Dunes

kosi bay fish traps
The famous Kosi Lakes fish traps. A 700 year old technique that is still in use today.
The dune overlooking Aquarium Reef.
The dune overlooking Aquarium Reef.

Activity information


  • 4x4 Transfer to start of the trail (non-4x4 vehicles can access the starting point)
  • 4, 5 or 6 nights Accommodation in tented / Mozambican style Beach & Bush camps
  • All meals: from dinner on arrival night to breakfast on departure day
  • Hiking Guide for all hike days
  • Luggage Transfers between camps on all Hike days
  • All Beach Access, Reserve Permits & Daily Trail Fees
  • A 3 Lake Boat Excursion with opportunity to snorkel in the channels and explore the fishtraps.

Optional extra activities:

** Please note that these activities' prices are subject to change. Prices quoted per person.

  • Turtle Tours (season Nov – Mar): R600/pp
  • Ocean Experience (boat trip to look for dolphins & whales): R700/pp
  • Snorkelling: Free if own gear, otherwise equip can be hired for R50/set/day (fins, mask & snorkel).

What To Wear

  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Comfortable clothing for walking (winter temperatures are mild, but summer is hot).
  • Cap and other sun protection.

What To Bring

  • Sun screen and other protection.
  • Insect repellent (summer months).
  • Camera.
  • Swimsuit, private snorkeling gear (optional) and other beach accessories.

Additional Information

  • Minimum 2 people - maximum 24 people per group.
  • All trails can be customized according to group's available time, fitness and interests.
  • Due to uneven surfaces, these trails are not recommended for those with walking disabilities (e.g. wheelchair users).
  • Summer months (November - March) are hot and humid (average min / max temperature 19-29 deg C). Winters (May - August) are mild and dry (average min / max temperature 10-22 deg C). The months of December - February are particularly hot and humid so we prefer NOT to offer the hike during these months.
  • Humpback whales can be seen off the coast from June to December. November to early March is turtle nesting season and also the best time of year for wading birds.

Meet up information

Where to meet

Self drive to the hike starting point, accessible by sedan vehicles (4 km of gravel road), 23 km from Manguzi (Kosi Bay) town.


Map of the trail

Group Rates Available

Active Escapes

Clicking on this button will open an email link to Active Escapes.