iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Thonga Beach Lodge


Beachside bliss in the iSimangaliso Park.

Lazing on the beach in the protected world heritage site Isimangaliso Park lies South Africa's premier beach Lodge. With no development 100 miles up or 60 miles down the beach, this is a beach and marine wilderness sanctuary unrivalled. Luxurious thatched rooms are discreetly nestled into the dune forest overlooking Mabibi beach.

Wake slowly to the sound of waves, deciding if rock pool snorkeling or an open ocean experience or simply lying on our beach deck sampling our gin platter is the best plan for the day. Playing in paradise. Perhaps a sundowner with hippo's grunting at Lake Sibaya in the afternoon, South Africa's biggest freshwater lake.


At a glance

  • 12 luxurious thatched private rooms

  • Marine diving and snorkelling centre on site

  • Wellness Space

  • Breathtaking beach deck

  • Thonga Beach diving

    Scuba Diving

    Become a local on the reef! SCUBA diving at Thonga Beach is phenomenal, with reefs located only a short distance from the lodge. Shoals of game fish, sharks and schools of bottlenose dolphins are often encountered. All enthusiasts are welcome, from the beginner to the veteran. SCUBA training is also available at our PADI dive centre.

  • Thonga Beach ocean explorer

    Open Ocean Safari

    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 where you spend approximately an hour experiencing the beauty of the ocean and enjoying the scenery of our beautiful coastline, where dolphins and whales swim freely.

  • Thonga Beach snorkelling


    Mabibi is regarded as 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.

    Their rockpool snorkeling area is home to mostly juvenile fish, but you can see octopus, fire fish, moray eels and electric rays too. The snorkeling is in the bay, about 400 metres south of the lodge. Snorkeling is tide dependent and is best at low tide. Guests can also experience the thrill of snorkeling in the open ocean on shallow reefs. Age restrictions do not apply to rock pool snorkeling, however our fin sizes start at 36/37 and you must be a competent swimmer. Children under 8 need to be accompanied by an adult. They offer complimentary guided rock pool snorkeling as an acitvity at low tide.

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What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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