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“Great fun - Hippo's and 2 Python's” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kosi Forest Lodge

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Kosi Forest Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Kosi Bay, Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cirencester
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great fun - Hippo's and 2 Python's”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

We spent 3 nights in this lovely lodge tucked away in the forest next to a lake. The evening we arrived the lodge was lit with burning torches and oil lamps - so atmospheric and romantic. Our lodge was very comfortable with Mosquito nets round the bed and an outdoor bath and shower. The rooms were rather dim in the evening and although they provided a torch it was also rather dim so reading at night was not possible for us. The food was great and all the staff were brilliant, friendly and genuinely enthusiastic about their jobs (Zack, Andi and Blessing). There were hippos and flamingos in the lake and when we did the kayak trip we saw 2 huge Python's and some crocodiles. It was my husbands birthday while we were there and we were surprised by the sweet kitchen ladies coming to our table at dinner to present a beautiful cake and sing happy birthday (so sweet as they were very shy). We also did the forest walk led by the lovely guide George who even took my son and his girlfriend on a little ride across the river on the little raft that the locals use. We were given an amazing packed lunch for our snorkeling trip to Kosi mouth - watch out for the cheeky monkeys while you're eating! All in all, great staff, great activities and great fun!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Dear Jacintas
Thank you so much for your review. We are incredibly luckily to have staff who are so passionate about their jobs and where they work. 2 pythons in one stay that is a record!
We hope to welcome you at one of our lodges on your next holiday.
Kind regards
Penny Rice
Marketing Manger
Isibindi Africa Lodges
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Kampala, Uganda
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We stayed here recently and I can honestly say the food it outstanding, beautifully cooked and presented. The local staff are lovely. The rooms are OK too - not as nice as on their website but perfectly good, if a little dark. However....the outdoor bathroom is nice, good shower but the siting of the toilet is very odd (my wife and I both had to sit sideways due to lack of any legroom). Worse still there is no door between inside & outside bathroom areas, which seems like a good idea until you find the bathroom floor absolutely covered with bat droppings .......it suddenly seems much less romantic and would be easily addressed with a door made of mossie netting or similar. Worse still was the boat trip - not cheap but very annoying to find (after setting off) that the lodges own boat has been broken down for some months and the one they use from a neighbouring lodge didn't arrive. Due to problems with this instead of the trip planned (and advertised) we were then dumped on the beach for several hours (we had expressly not wanted to be on a beach!) and then taken back to the lodge. To compound our disappointment with this, they then had the cheek to try and charge us full price for this excursion (to be honest the assistant manager said we shouldn't pay anything but she was over-ruled by the manager). Since we only went to Kossi for the boat trip to see some specific plants this experience was a major loss to us, and the manager involved did not deal with it well at all. On further questioning we also found that the motors for the lodges own boat has been out of service for months (we later took other boat trips nearby so their is clearly no shortage of functioning engines!), the two generators were also consistently problematic, and even the coffee pots (plunger type) were not working - not to mention the fact that with a camp full of guests, three x 2 cup plungers was deemed sufficient. It seems very apparent that the owners are not spending any money on the facilities they promise to deliver, which makes me question the future of the camp. Not surprisingly some of the staff seemed disillusioned (although that may be in part wages - the camps own literature says "give staff a good tip because we pay very low wages and they need the tips for living costs!"). Wonderful food, and the young female assistant manager was helpful, kind and apologetic for the problems, but the camp management and staff appear to be being undermined by weak senior management. We raised these issues before we left camp, and have heard nothing in the two weeks since - did want to give them a chance to comment before I posted on TripAdvisor - which seems to say it all. None of the problems are insurmountable or serious, and the location is lovely - but at this price point for each table to have to take turns to have a cup of coffee at breakfast, to step in bat faeces in the bathroom and to be expected to pay for non-delivered excursions is frankly insulting and unprofessional. By far the biggest disappointment of our trip

Room Tip: Check whether the bats use your bathroom too!!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, General Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
I have been corresponding with Phil C and offered to refund him for his boat trip. Below is an extract from the correspondence with him:

I just received the feedback form you left after your stay at Kosi Forest Lodge. Due to the remote location of the lodge and the logistics involved, the feedback forms take a few weeks to reach me at our head office. I am very disappointed to hear, that although you did enjoy many aspects of the lodge, your stay was marred by a few bad experiences.

The management team is new and is being lead by a local gentleman who has been trained up for the position. It appears that there may have been a few teething problems but judging by your many positive comments, along with the many other positive comments we have received from other guests, I am confident that these are being ironed out for the benefit of the lodge and our guests.

We had been experiencing a lot of problems with our boat motors. After several trips back and forth from workshops in Durban, the matter has finally been resolved and we are very pleased to have our boat back on the water. During the time that it was out of action, we did not want to let our guests down and so were at the mercy of other boat operators. Generally, these other operators we were forced to rely on were good, but you clearly were let down by them on your trip and thus I would like to refund you for this.

As far as we are aware we do not have a bat problem in our rooms. This is the first time I have heard someone mention this problem of bat droppings and we have not seen it before. We are in a wild area and these things can happen so we will certainly investigate this and take any necessary steps to avoid this happening again. I apologise for the inconvenience.

Thank you very much for all your other feedback, we have addressed all the issues you have raised and made the necessary improvements.
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Durban, Kwazulu-natal, South Africa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

We were very pleased with the lodge and the resort and amazed by the service and food. Better than both the other resorts we visited on our trip. It really was exceptional. Any place relying on generators and solar lights will have a different feel so don't go there expecting a "Hilton Hotel" experience. You really feel like you are in Africa. The canoe trip was relaxing and again you felt part of Africa. Seeing a Fish Eagle in its natural environment was fantastic. The kids were amazed while watching the local pull themselves across a river on a locally made pont! The river mouth itself was also good and the snorkeling as good as any we have ever experienced.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Hi Pete W
Thank you for your review. We really appreciate getting guest feedback and so glad that you enjoyed your stay in our little piece of paradise.
Hope to welcome you back at one of our lodges again soon.
Kind regards
Penny Rice
MARKETING MANAGER
Isibindi Africa Lodges
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Although there is good food here, the best part is the tranquility of the location, with outings that complement it - peaceful walks and canoeing. Quite a change being able to enjoy nature from a "forest" location - made for an unusual visit. Friendly staff who make an effort to accommodate one's time and interests. This is not a gastronomic destination - it does not need to be one and should not be rated on that basis. Very helpful and professional reservations staff who go out of their way to assist and inform.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zululand, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Contrary to other reviews it was not the the food and accommodation that impressed us here, but perhaps we are a little spoiled. The rustic camp is attractive and comfortable, the location is quite nice on Lake Shengeza and the food is adequate; if that was all that was on offer at this lodge I would not be prepared to pay the pretty hefty price tag but rather go self catering. BUT.....if you do not have your own boat or your own 4x4, then please do yourself a favour and go to Kosi Forest Lodge. They really have got the activities nailed in terms of what you should do while you are in the area. Activities include a day on the lake system - some snorkeling and a visit to Bhanga Nek, as well as a day trip to Kosi Mouth where you can snorkel the southernmost inland reef in the world. Only a few feet deep, this is brilliant for young kids and I have been on 20m scuba dives where I have seen less species variety! While these activities are at extra cost, one of the highlights for me was the kayak trip on the Amanzinyama river - which is included in the price. Simply beautiful. The other stand out for me was that service was simple and sincere (no big, trained, artificial "smile-no-matter-what" feeling to it).

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear Mnandi
Thank you very much for taking the time to post your review on Kosi Forest Lodge.
You hit the nail on the head with regards to it being "all about the activities" but what really concerns us is your comment about the food not being that great as we usually get rave reviews about the food at this lodge. We will certainly look into this immediately.
Happy travels.
Kind regards
Penny Rice
Marketing Manager
Isibindi Africa Lodges
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We found this place absolutely fantastic. The food, the staff and the accommodation was superb! The food was of top top quality!!!
you could choose to do a canoe trip on one of the lakes which we did twice! it was just so serene and beautiful and the photo opportunities were phenomenal! Our guide was exceptional and had an extensive knowledge of the area. our hosts (Ashley, Blessing and Bruce) were wonderful, always making sure we were happy and enjoying our stay. to give an example of how truley thoughtful the lodge was ...on our last night there it got rather chilly so whilst we were enjoying our gourmet dinner the staff took it upon themselves to place hot water bottles in our beds.
despite there being other guests at the lodge we never noticed as we were all treated individually and privately, our dinners were secluded and romantic with us being surrounded by candles and a beautiful fire every night.
This place was awesome!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Dear Lexivs
Thank you very much for your positive review - I will certainly pass this on to the staff.
Our management team recently changed at Kosi so it is great to hear they are maintaining our high standards.
Kind regards
Penny Rice
MARKETING MANAGER
ISIBINDI AFRICA LODGES
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Johannesburg
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

The Kosi Forrest Lodge is set in a remote part of South Africa in a coastal forest. The accommodation is wonderfully luxurious, yet rustic, and blends in with the natural environment. The food is superb. And the staff are so friendly and welcoming. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. We also participated in wonderful adventures during our four day stay, including star gazing at night, canoeing on the rivers and lakes, a boat trip through the lake system, snorkelling and guided walking tours through the forest. It is a "birders" paradise! I came home feeling totally relaxed and rejuvenated after a really memorable long weekend.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Kosi Forest Lodge, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear LaraKay
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us feedback on Kosi Forest Lodge. We are thrilled you enjoyed your stay so much and appreciated the absolute beauty of this area. Good for the soul!
We hope we can welcome you to one of other special lodges in the not too distant future.
If you would like to be put on our mailing list for special please email me on marketing @isibindi.co.za
Kind regards
Penny Rice
MARKETING MANAGER - ISIBINDI AFRICA LODGES
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kosi Forest Lodge

Address: Kosi Bay, Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kosi Forest Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kosi Forest Lodge is a 16 bed lodge fenced into the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, an internationally recognised World Heritage Site. We provide a snug and intimate base from which guests can explore this extraordinary area of splendour and diversity, or relax surrounded by incredible natural beauty. The lounge, dining room and bar extend into a large, wooden deck built in the shade of an enormous Zulu Podberry tree, and we take full advantage of Maputuland’s sultry weather with most meals served alfresco on the deck or sheltered beneath large Albizia trees.We have carefully positioned the thatched bush suites in the sand forest for privacy and peace under the canopy of shady trees. Low wooden bedroom walls with mosquito netting and roll-up canvas blinds allow for maximum views of the surrounding forest, and arguably the lodge’s most popular feature is the romantic, open air, en-suite bathroom set in white beach sand and enclosed by a reed boma. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kosi Forest Hotel Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve
Kosi Forest Lodge South Africa/Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve

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