About Giant Raffia Forest

Kosi Bay lies in the north-eastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal, almost on the border with Mozambique. It might be called a ‘bay’, but Kosi Bay is, in fact, four interconnected lakes running north to south behind a huge sand dune, and the lagoon of the Siyadla River, which flows into the fourth and last of the Kosi lakes.

Did you know? The forest is best reached as a hike from the stunning Kosi Forest Lodge in Kosi Bay.

Recognised as one of the most pristine and best-preserved lake systems on the Indian Ocean, it is a magical space of crystal clear waters, and channels that feed into and from the lakes that meander gently alongside an uninhabited coastline filled with sand forests and an abundant bird life.

Some describe it as a mini Amazon. The animals are abundant: whales, elephants, leatherback turtles, whalesharks, suni antelope, dolphins, the Pels fishing owl and the palmnut vulture, which lives at the top of raffia palms.

Part of the larger iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kosi Bay is home to a giant, naturally occurring rafia forest on the banks of the fourth lake called Amanzimyama.

The forest contains huge palms, considered the largest palms in the world. This particular species of raffia palm occurs only between Kosi Bay and 40 km north of Maputo, growing as high as 16 metres with the longest compound pinnate leaves (some are 25 metres in length) in the plant kingdom.

The palms enjoy standing in plenty of water, making the forest a fairly swampy space. The palmnut vultures feed off the fruits of the tree, supplementing their diets with crabs, fish and locusts.

The nuts, or fruits, of the tree are beyond reach in the highest parts of the tree, where they are covered in razor sharp leaves and spines, blown down by the wind only once they have dried out.

The locals who live and fish on the banks of the Kosi lake system are famous for their fish traps and raffia palm wine. They use the fronds of the palm to make canoes with which they fish and travel on the water of the lakes.

Need to Know

WhereGiant Raffia Forest, iSimangaliso World Heritage Park, Elephant Coast, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

OvernightStay in Kosi Bay Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

Wish you were here?

Kosi Forest Lodge

  • Property TypeGame Lodge
  • Guests20
  • Rooms/Units8
View and book

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Kosi Bay

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Giant Raffia Forest

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / KwaZulu Natal Accommodation / Elephant Coast Accommodation / Kosi Bay Accommodation

Kosi Bay as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Kosi Bay property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.