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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

A wild beach escape at Thonga Beach Lodge

There’s a sense of freedom down the long, solitary beach that’s rarely found in this day and age…

By Matthew Steyn
General Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge

It’s possible to reach us if you have your own 4×4 that can handle the off-grid sandy roads but for most, it’s a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the nearest airport to a drop-off point at Sodwana Bay where we’ll pick you up for an hour trundle through untrammelled territory.

You’re hours from civilisation but the journey is totally worth it; stranded on a solitary beach with no one else in sight flanked on one side by the tumbling Indian Ocean and on the other, rambling dunes and milkwood trees. While other lodges in the vicinity have a trek to get to the water, we’re the only hotel located right on the beach. All it takes is a short plod until your toes touch the sand.

The architecture is cleverly designed, camouflaged in the canopy under thatched boma huts linked by wooden walkways. Interiors are elegantly eco; dashes of duck-egg blue, woven chairs and bamboo-fashioned lanterns and nothing too outlandishly kitsch. Rooms similarly embrace the surroundings with some enjoying ocean views and alfresco private plunge pools. In the communal areas, everything feels seamless and easy going whether you’re sinking into a beanbag with an espresso martini by the firepit, slipping into the swimming pool or rambling down the beach for a picnic where you probably won’t see another soul. Honeymooners shouldn’t miss a couple’s massage cocooned under the trees, branched off from our fully fledged spa.

We might be remote, but the food here never gets boring. My last supper would be the steaming mussels followed by melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank and the silkiest panna cotta for pudding. The vibe wouldn’t be what it is though if it weren’t for our wonderful members of staff most of whom have all grown up together here in the Mabibi community. They imbue the true essence of this unspoilt and flourishing land.

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Matthew Steyn

Raised in Johannesburg, Matthew spent every family holiday on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal where his love for the ocean took hold. After spending time at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve as a ranger, and a stint in the corporate world, he followed the call of the wild and worked in areas including Botswana, Mozambique and the Serengeti as a head guide and general manager. At Thonga Beach Lodge, he’s living his best life with both his family and tight-knit Isibindi team.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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