In true Saffa fashion, part of the marketing team from Caravanparks.com have decided to embark on a little adventure action. They will be removing their ties, shutting down their pc's, tucking in their chairs and heading off to Kosi Bay in one of 4WD Expeditions fully equipped Land Rover 110 Defenders.
Sean and Brian will cover an estimated 1000km over a 5 day period within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park staying over at Mabibi campsite and Kosi Bay Casitas. They have some great activities planned such as snorkeling at Hulley point and Kosi estuary, kayaking, boat rides and much more. Click on the below link for more information about their proposed route and more. A follow up article will appear in our next edition outlining some of their discoveries and activities.
Trip dates 06/0516 - 10/05/16
To prepare for the 4x4 trip, 4WD Expeditions runs through the operation of the vehicle as well as how to use the various equipment provided.
The following are the key points that we went though when collecting the Land Rover:
Original story written by Sean & Brian.
Day 1 & 2
Brian and I, Sean, have had an enjoyable first two days driving in and around the Sibaya Lake area, except for the long freeway drive here. Our off road adventure officially started when we went passed the main dirt road turn off and instead took one of the next side roads. This created a great start to driving on very soft sandy back roads and got us into the swing of things.
We stopped off at the first road leading to Lake Sibaya to enjoy the sights and we saw how low the lake actually is. The ranger who welcomed us at the park entrance mentioned that the lake has gotten so low that it has split into two parts.
It was a mini adventure getting to Mabibi Beach Camp as there are a lot of side roads that some lead straight to rural housing. We happened to take one of these side roads and ended up having to turn around without destroying the local's veggie garden.
Once we arrived at Mabibi Beach Camp we set up camp at site no.5 and took a walk down to the beach to check out the snorkelling area. After that we had a lekker braai and a good night’s sleep.
In the morning we were woken up by a troop of monkeys passing through, had our coffee and went snorkelling. The snorkelling was amazing with a large abundance of fish life; we definitely want to snorkel there again if possible. The rest of the day was spent driving around on the 4x4 beach sand roads looking for signal, to post this article, and just enjoy the drive. We eventually found some signal next to Lake Sibya with some hippos about 300m away.
The Land Rover 110 Defender TD5 from 4WD Expeditions has handled the roads so far without any struggle and has been a joy to drive.
Original story written by Sean & Brian.
Day 3 & 4
On the morning of our third day we took a walk down to the beach to watch the sun rise and go for a snorkel once the tide went down. We had a good long morning before we noticed that there was a storm brewing to the south and the wind was blowing it towards us. So we decided to get our next leg of the journey moving.
We embarked on a 6 hour drive of 90km through the Isimangaliso Wetland Park to Kosi Bay Casitas on its beach sand roads. Stopping over at the various beach stops soaking in the amazing secluded beaches. The roads were very soft beach sand and made the driving quiet fun but tiring after 6 hours. We ended up making our way to Kosi Bay Casitas where set up camp for the night getting ready to wake up fresh for the next days activities. During the night however we were woken up to a rain storm that seemed like it was going to last the whole next day. Luckily it stopped by the time we were heading out to go snorkel.
In the morning of the forth day we took a drive to the Kosi Mouth Estuary where had a chance to snorkel in the estuary itself, seeing all kinds of fish life in the coral reef there. We could also see the large amounts of fish traps in Kosi Lake One that the area is famous for. For the afternoon we met up with two other people staying at Kosi Bay Casitas, Anne and Ryan who didnt have a 4x4, and took them with us to go to the place from which we took a boat ride on the Kosi Lakes. During the boat ride we saw the fish traps up close, lots of bird life, thousands of fish swimming passed us, a small crocodile and some hippos, not to mention the great views of the area surrounding the lakes.
The Land Rover 110 Defender TD5 was great to drive on these roads and made it almost too easy to drive as nothing seemed to stop the vehicle and all obstacles were handled without any difficulty.
Original story written by Sean & Brian.
Recap of Quest to Kosi Bay
The Quest to Kosi Bay started out as a small exciting adventure for Brian and I, Sean, which turned out to be an awesome experience that made us appreciate the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and all it has to provide in the way of amazing landscapes, lakes and the beautiful ocean. From the moment we took that first beach sand road turn off we knew that this was going to be even more fun than expected, but we never realized how much we would come to love the experience and miss the "bush" life.
With so much to see, there was never a dull moment. Even though a lot of our time was spent driving between destinations, the driving was part of the experience since the roads in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park were all beach sand. When snorkelling in the sea at Hulley Point and in the Kosi Mouth estuary we saw hundreds if not thousands of fish and a large variety of them too, we only wish we had more time to snorkel! Stopping at different locations at the lake also added to the trip experience by allowing us to have a refreshing drink or a light lunch with beautiful views, and giving the opportunity for great photos! The boat ride on the Kosi Lakes itself was something never to forget as the crystal clear waters were filled with schools of fish swimming by. We also got to see a juvenile crocodile, Hippos, Flamingos, and many other bird species not to mention the fish traps that have been a tradition for the local people for the last 600 years.
The two campsites that we stayed at, Mabibi Beach Camp and Kosi Bay Casitas, also provided us with two different camping experiences. Mabibi was a true "bush" camp with secluded campsites surrounded by bush and no electricity or cell signal, luckily the Land Rover Defender had a dual battery system and an inverter so that we could keep our devices charged to post the updates when we found signal! The campsite really and truly made you feel like you were in the middle of nowhere with no one around for kilometres, even though there are other campsites all around with other people camping nearby.
Kosi Bay Casitas was more towards the civilized side with electricity, a pool, a bar and restaurant and more interaction with other people staying there. This added to the atmosphere of the campsite and gave it its own unique feel while being surrounded by nature with many activities in the area. One does however need a 4x4 to be able to visit the nearby attractions in Kosi Bay as the main road might be a harder beach sand road but all the side roads are soft beach sand.
The Land Rover 110 Defender TD5 provided to us by 4WD Expeditions was really a great vehicle to use for the trip. There was never a doubt in our minds that we would get stuck, anytime we needed that extra push to get through the sand or up and over any obstacles, the low range diff lock made it seem like a walk in the park. We also did not have any problems whatsoever with the vehicle so we really could rely on it to get us where we needed to be and safely. The other benefit is that the Landy is extremely photo genic and seems to make any photo we took just that much better.
All in all the Quest to Kosi Bay is one trip that we will never forget and we would suggest that anyone who wants to have an adventure of their own uses one of the iconic Land Rovers from 4WD Expeditions to go on the trip. You too will never want to go home again and instead just stay out in the African bush, away from all the hustle and bustle, where the only traffic jams is a herd of cattle blocking your two spoor track.
Until the next adventure!
Brian and Sean