Kosi Moon News

Information for visitors to the Kosi Bay area.

What is a bed and breakfast and what can I expect?

What is a Bed and Breakfast or Guesthouse in South Africa?

 In South Africa accommodation providers try to entice guests seeking specific styles of accommodation by advertising that they qualify for all sectors. Some establishments offer various styles of accommodation so if a lodge offers self-catering and camping they are still a lodge but they offer additional services of self-catering and camping style accommodation. This will never make them a country house, guesthouse or bed and breakfast as they are much bigger and meet lodge criteria.

Similarly don’t necessarily expect a bed and breakfast or guest house to have bar and restaurant facilities, this seldom the case. If they do offer this and their number of rooms exceed what is stipulated they are no longer in the classification they are advertising. 

This being said if you are looking for a particular experience then bear this in mind when making a booking. You are entitled to know what you are getting and to ask for clarification.

 

This article is especially for travelers who actively seek out bed and breakfast/guesthouse style accommodation because that is what they want and are used to. When looking for bed and breakfasts in South Africa it can be difficult for overseas visitors to determine if an establishment is bed and breakfast or not from establishment’s websites, and their advertising.

A large proportion of accommodation establishments in South Africa wrongly advertise their services because controls are not in place as they are in other parts of the World.

Although a classification policy is in place it is seldom applied in South Africa.

 

Accommodation classifications are as follows according to the star grading council of South Africa:

 These classifications apply to establishments that are graded but other establishments seem to make up their own rules.

HOTEL

 Hotel provides formal accommodation with full or limited service to the traveling public.

A hotel has a reception area and offers a dining facility. A hotel must have a minimum of 6 rooms but more likely exceeds 20 rooms.

Minimum service levels to qualify are:

On site representative must be contactable 24 hours, 7 days per week.

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and beverages must be provided from outlets within the complex (may/may not be operated by the property).

Servicing of rooms 7 days (this includes linen/towel change, removal of rubbish and cleaning).

Formal reception area must be provided.

 

LODGE

A formal accommodation facility providing full or limited service, located in natural surroundings beyond that of an immediate garden area.

Minimum Service levels to qualify:

  • Scenic or natural vista (beyond that of the immediate garden area) e.g. water view, rural outlook, mountain view or natural bush setting – possibly with the provision of wildlife.
  • On site representative must be contactable 24 hours, 7 days per week.
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and beverages must be provided from outlets within the complex (may/may not be operated by the property).
  • Servicing of rooms 7 days (this includes linen/towel change, removal of rubbish and cleaning).

 COUNTRY HOUSE

Can be an existing home, a renovated home or a building that has been specifically designed as a residential dwelling to provide overnight accommodation, which has public areas for the exclusive use of its guests. It is situated in natural peaceful
surroundings such as near a nature reserve, a forest, a lake etc.

Minimum Service levels to qualify:

Scenic or natural vista (beyond that of the immediate garden area) e.g. water view, rural outlook, mountain view or natural bush setting.

On site representative must be contactable 24 hours, 7 days per

week.

Meals and beverages must be provided from outlets within the complex (may/may not be operated by the property).

Servicing of rooms 7 days (this includes linen/towel change, removal of rubbish and cleaning)

 

GUEST HOUSE

Category Definition:

Can be an existing home, a renovated home or a building that has been specifically designed as a residential dwelling to provide overnight accommodation, must have more than three rooms and public areas for the exclusive use of its guests.

Category Entry Requirements:

  • If the host/manager and guests are accommodated in the same building, there must be separate living areas.
  • A host must be available to check guests in/out or within a 10 minute drive from the property.
  • Daily servicing must be included in the tariff.
  • Shared facilities (not with host) must be a minimum of a guest dining room and guest lounge area.
  • Shower and toilet facilities may be shared by other guests but must not be shared with the host.
  • Breakfast must be served

 BED AND BREAKFAST

More informal accommodation with limited service that is provided in a family (private) home with the owner/manager living in the house or on the property. Breakfast must be served. Bathroom facilities must be en-suite. If not, exclusive use of bathroom facilities per room is ensured. In general the guest shares the public areas with the host family.

Category Entry Requirements:

  • Owner/manager must live in the house or on the property.
  • Breakfast may be included in the tariff and must be prepared and served by the host.
  • Daily servicing must be included in the tariff.
  • Shower and toilet facilities may be shared by other guests but must not be shared with the host.

 BACKPACKERS AND HOSTELS

 A backpacker and or hostel is an accommodation facility that provides communal facilities, including dormitories, yet may offer a range of alternative sleeping arrangements. Can be an existing home, a renovated home or a building that has been specifically designed as a residential dwelling to provide overnight accommodation, together with public areas for the exclusive use of its guests.  Only establishments that cater for transient guests (traveling public) will qualify for grading. Backpackers or hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available.  Backpackers or hostels are generally cheaper for both the operator and the occupants. 

Category Entry Requirements:

  • Guest communal rooms must be available – (lounge, dining areas, kitchen including the use of cooking facilities and utensils).
  • Communal shower and toilet cubicles must provide total privacy and lockable doors.
  • Representative must be contactable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Minimum of 1:10 (beds) for showers and toilets (not including hosts or en-suite facilities).
  • Rooms must be serviced 7 days (this includes, linen/towel change, removal of rubbish and cleaning).

  CARAVAN AND CAMPING

 Category Definition:

A Caravan and Camping Park is a facility that provides space for guests who provide their own accommodation, such as a tent, a motor home and/or a caravan, together with ablution and toilet facilities.  Only establishments that cater for transient guests will qualify for grading.

Category Entry Requirements:

  • Communal shower and toilet facilities must provide total privacy and lockable doors.
  • Manager/Care taker must visit daily.
  • Properties without a manager/caretaker or representative must have a sign clearly indicating a phone number or address where inquiries can be made in case of an emergency.
  • Powered and/or un-powered sites provided.
  • Usually have recreational facilities, play equipment, park gardens and landscaping.
  • Showers, toilets, laundry and cooking facilities are shared in a common amenities area.

SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION

 “Self-catering” – A Self Catering property is your home away from home. It usually offers guests a sole occupancy unit consisting of one or more bedrooms or suites and a dining area with cooking facilities. Self-catering accommodation styles include Apartments, Holiday Units, Houses, Cottages, Chalets, Villas and Cabins. Limited service is optional.

  • Cooking facilities: minimum of microwave, 2 hot plates, saucepans, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils must be provided.
  • Manager must be contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Properties without a resident manager must have a sign clearly indicating the contact details of where inquiries can be made in case of an emergency.

 THINGS TO NOTE:

  • A lodge or hotel that serves breakfast in their restaurant is not a bed and breakfast.
  • A lodge or hotel that offers conference facilities is not a bed and breakfast
  • A bush camp with external tented accommodation that makes breakfast for guests is not a bed and breakfast.

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park

The history of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park

 

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park was proclaimed in 2007 having been called The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park prior to that. The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park was proclaimed in 1999 and was the first Unesco World Hertitage site in South Africa. The Status of the park has remained a Unesco world heritage site but is also a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

Conservation of the park and the importance of conserving this unique wetland is due to many factors found only in this area. The park encompasses and area of  332000 hectares stretching from the estuary system of St Lucia to the Mozambique border. This area is home to diverse habitats from salt water estuary systems to fresh water lakes, swamps and grasslands.

 

A snapshot of the park would look like this:

 

The last significant breeding ground for the giant leatherback and loggerhead turtles:

 

This is extremely important as these sensitive turtles have limited nesting areas World wide with man encroaching onto beachfront property for development. They are also threatened in remote areas as local people harvest both the turtles and eggs for food.

3 major lake systems:

 

The St Lucia Estuary, Lake Sibaya and the Kosi Lake System

8 interlinking ecosystems

  • Shallow marine waters

  • Coral reefs

  • Sand/shingle shores

  • Estuarine waters

  • Tidal mudflats, including intertidal flats and salt flats

  • Salt marshes

  • Mangrove/tidal forest

  • Coastal brackish/saline lagoons

  • Coastal fresh lagoons

  • Deltas

  • Freshwater lakes: permanent

  • Freshwater lakes: seasonal/intermittent

  • Saline/brackish lakes/marches: permanent

  • Saline/brackish lakes/marches: seasonal/intermittent

  • Freshwater marches/pools: permanent

  • Freshwater marches/pools: seasonal/intermittent

350 kms of water surface

 

220 kms of coastline and beaches

 

190 kms of marine reserve

The reef complex stretching from Mozambique south to Sodwana offer the best coral dives available in South Africa. Not to mention the MPA Marine Protected Area ensures limited resource harvesting thus protecting fish populaitions.

100 species of coral

Being the furthest north on the South African coast gives a variety of both soft and hard corals.

1 200 species of fish:

Including the Coelacanth known as the living fossil

25 000 year old coastal dunes

The dunes in this area are some of the highest in Southern Africa.

700 years of traditional fish traps.

Although it is stated these traps are 700 years old it is likely that they are much older. It was early European seafarers that documented this method of fishing but the traps were already there when they arrived.

36 snake species

Some of the rarest snakes found in South Africa like the Gaboon Viper are found here as well as many venomous and non-venomous snakes

80 dragonfly species

 

110 butterfly species:

 

Some of the butterfly species are only endemic to the park and some are endemic within the park in smaller geographical locations.

526 bird species:

 

This is one of the highest bird counts in Southern Africa.

The greatest congregation of hippo and crocodiles in South Africa

 

Hippo are often spotted when on the water anywhere in the park.

 

Kosi Bay Giant Raffia Palm or Raphia Australis.

The Giant Raffia Palm (Raphia Australis) Kosi Palm

Kosi Bay is well known for its indigenous Raffia Forests, this is rare in Southern Africa and certainly unique.

The Raphia AustralisKosi Bay Giant Raffia Palm palm once thought to be the same as other species occurring further north in Africa was actually noted as a new specie. Until the flowering plant was seen it was considered to be the same as the West African species.

thongacanoeSince these plants only flower twice in their life span once at 20 years and again at 40 years it took a long time to even make the discovery. This specie only occurs between Kosi Bay and approximately 40 km north of Maputo. The plants can grow up to 16m in height and have the some of the longest compound pinnate leaf structures in the world. The longest measured at 25m from a West African Specie. Certainly in Kosi we regularly see fronds in excess of 6 to 8m long used for building purposes there are of course longer ones if you take the time to look and measure. The fruits of the palm are found in the highest reaches of the tree that is covered with razor sharp leaves and spines and are difficult to reach. These fruit are only blown down once they have dried out. Thus we don’t actually know how these trees are propagated and assume that the only natural propagation is carried out by the rare Palm Nut Vulture that feeds on the fruit and nests in the palms.

The fronds of the palm are used to make Raffia canoes that the local people use whilst fishing and to travel by water on the lakes. Since the internal structure of the fronds is sponge like they float with ease. They are also used as building material in traditional housing for walls and internal structures. Normally a mottled grey color with deep timber tones showing through. The waxy grey outer covering can be removed to expose the wonderful dark wood tones underneath for decorative purposes. The fronds over their length are surprisingly light but strong and easy to handle and work with.

Traditional canoe made out of raffia palm.The Kosi palm forest is located on the banks of the 4th lake called Amanzimyama. The palms are found in a swampy area with plenty of standing water. In fact they are happiest growing in this standing water. Hikes can be undertaken to visit this forest and the area is of great interest to people visiting who have an interest in nature.

Other palms are found around the Southern Africa have been propagated by man rather than but natural means. This makes the Kosi Raffia Forest even more unique not only because of its size but that it is naturally occurring.

Turtle Nesting in Kosi Bay

Kosi Bay’s Nesting Turtles

Every year a spectacular event happens along the Kosi coast line this being Turtle Nesting Season. The season opens in October with the first female loggerhead and leatherback turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. Other turtles also lay eggs on the beaches these being green and hawksbill turtles but these are smaller and less impressive. The season ends around the end of February when the hatchlings have made their attempt to reach the sea and carry on the cycle.

Both the leatherback and loggerhead turtles are migratory covering vast distances in the ocean and only returning to their birthplace after 25 or more years of maturity. They also don’t necessarily lay eggs every year either and can skip laying for 3 to 5 years or more.

These turtles seek seclusion to lay their eggs and only return to their birth beach to lay. With coastal property at a premium development has seriously diminished the nesting grounds of these large turtles. With development comes light and when light shines onto beaches turtles will not come ashore to lay their eggs. They are so sensitive that even if approached when arriving on the beach they will turn around and return to the sea, fearing that their precious clutch of eggs could be discovered and plundered. Nesting grounds of these turtles are nowadays scarce and need to be protected.

The Bhanga Nek Turtle Research Station was erected in the 1960’s and remains today to study and protect nesting turtles on this stretch of beach. This is not however the only beach where the turtles are protected but all beaches have monitors that camp in the bush to monitor and record nesting and provide protection for the turtles their nests and their young. The research staff measure, and tag the turtles. They also make a GPS note of the nest and date and time. These days with the advent of DNA marking they take samples of the turtles to determine DNA profiles. This practice can seem a bit cruel but is necessary for identification and further study of young and possible linking to males that are mating with the female turtles. This data is and will prove invaluable as when the turtles leave the beaches we have very little data about their movements. Satellite tracking is also being used but due to the depths these turtles dive and time they spend under water is proving to be difficult and costly.

Over the nesting season it is illegal to tamper with any turtle or their young, you should not be on the beach unless part of a guided group and no torches are allowed as this confuses the sensitive turtles. If torches should be used a red light is preferable to a white light. Turtle guides are chosen by conservation authorities for their interest in the turtle’s protection and their knowledge of the subject. Groups should always remember that turtle sightings are never guaranteed. Weather conditions like lightning, full moon, low tides and rough seas hamper the turtles will to nest. After heavy rain the sands get hard and turtles cannot easily excavate their nests this also contributes to them being unwilling to come ashore.

These large turtles are under extreme pressure to survive only about 2 out of a 1000 or more hatchlings will make it to egg laying maturity and of these 2 one could be male. The threats are many and varied from natural factors to manmade factors. Fishing practices account for a large number of losses as does pollution and harvesting. Natural factors occur in the sea and on land with predators eager to have an easy meal on young hatchings and occasionally adult turtles.

I won’t expand anymore on the actual experience as your turtle guide will expand on this information when you are on the beach.

This is an experience that should not be missed if you are in the area over the nesting period.

Kosi Bay – Farazela Border Post

Kosi Bay / Farazela Border Post

 

Many people who are either staying in Kosi Bay or are passing though will be looking for information relating to the local border crossing to Mozambique.

Border times are strictly 08:00 to 17:00 on most days of the year. Special times are posted for expected peak days due to holiday traffic. These can be changed and are normally posted at the border itself. While this is informative it does not help the people who cannot see the list. We have also had days where the border is expected to stay open and due to no traffic the officials can still decide to close earlier.

The only number we have for the Farazela borderpost is: 035 592 9181. We take no responsibility for this being incorrect/not the one you want. Do not phone us to ask for another number – we really don't have any more information than you do at this point in time!

If you are late for the border don’t bother calling to ask the staff to keep the border open for you because they won’t under any circumstances. Even if they did the Mozambique side would close on time anyway and you won’t get through.  

They won’t even open for a medical emergency so don’t expect the border to stay open for someone who is arriving late.

With all the road works in South Africa its best to plan ahead and leave early because you will experience delays on the road. If the border is busy there can be a tailback for kilometers and with the limited capacity the border can handle the crossing time can be hours. If you need to cross at times like this, make sure you are prepared with food, drink and entertainment. This normally happens during the hottest part of the year and temperatures outside in the sun can be well over 40C. Don’t arrive at the border drunk especially on the South African side either entering or leaving Mozambique as you could end up with a DUI charge. Also make sure you are wearing your seatbelt even when approaching the South African officials as they can fine you for driving without one.

There is a department of Agriculture official at the border now and searches are conducted for plants, meat, poultry and food stuffs. Anything not allowed to cross the border will be detained. If you bring fish out of Mozambique you are only allowed to bring 10Kg so anything more than this will feed the border officials. The days of fishing and filling your deepfreeze are gone.

 

What you will need:

 

Valid passport or temporary passport vehicle registration papers either original or a certified original copy. Your valid driver’s license. Third Party Insurance to be purchased at the border on the Mozambique side. Although South African insurance does cover you in Mozambique you will still be required to purchase Mozambique 3rd party.

On the South African side you will only need your passport and on the Mozambique side you will need to fill in a immigration form to enter and exit. On the Mozambique side you will need to fill in a temporary import permit for your vehicle and any registered vehicle you are towing. You will hand this in when you cross the border when you leave so don’t lose this form. Road use law in Mozambique requires you to have a reflective vest in the car its best to have 2. If towing you will need a blue triangle sticker and a ZA sticker. The stickers are more essential if you are traveling north of Ponta Malongane.

The traffic officials in the southern area are more lax but if traveling north they will pull you over and demand all these things if you don’t have them you will pay spot fines. Its law in Mozambique to wear your seatbelt, the penalty is quite high, with the single lane sand roads it’s a good idea to wear a seatbelt anyway.

These days the Mozambique officials are asking for till slips for your purchases that you will be taking into Mozambique, in other words you will need to pay duty for them. If you cannot produce till slips to backup your value of the goods the officials will work out their own value and you will pay duty on that. Duty is calculated at 40% in most cases.

The costs:

Entry to Mozambique is free for South Africans. Most other passports will have to pay $80 or the Rand equivalent unless their country has an agreement with the Mozambique government.

Temporary import of your vehicle costs nothing.

3rd party insurance costs R160.00 per entry per month.

Other Information:

Mozambique is another country and South African Law does not exist there. People misbehaving can easily find themselves in trouble with the law. Things you may get away with in South Africa as a South African can land you in trouble in Mozambique.

Fishing in Kosi

Fishing in Kosi Bay

 Fishing opportunities abound in the Kosi Bay area. Anything is possible from light tackle boat fishing on the lakes to shore side fishing in the lakes or for those who are more interested in fishing in the surf on our stunning beaches.

Fishing Permits

Fishing anywhere in South Africa requires a permit, these permits have now been standardized and cover the whole of South Africa. They are available at most post offices, our local parks board office used to make them available but no longer do so. It is advisable to purchase this permit prior to arrival as you will be better prepared that way when you get here. Permits will allow for one person to fish and are not transferable. Please acquaint yourself with the regulations relating to species and bag limits these should be available where you purchased your permit and are usually available at our parks board office.

SASSI – South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative

Please note SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) information available at www.wwfsassi.co.za. Also note that when you purchase any fish in the area from the traditional fishermen its important to determine if these fish were caught by rod and line or fish trap. It is illegal to use gillnets in any South African estuary. Many people use gillnets to trap fish and sell them to unsuspecting tourists for profit thus destroying the fish stocks in our estuary systems.

Red List Species:

This group includes unsustainable species as well as those that are illegal to sell in South Africa, according to the Marine Living Resources Act. These are species you should never buy. If you happen to catch them on your own tackle it is acceptable to keep what you need for your own consumption, bag and size limits apply.

Some of these “no-sale” species are very important recreational species that cannot handle commercial fishing pressures, and may therefore only be caught for your own enjoyment and use, subject to the possession of a valid recreational fishing permit and other restrictions that may apply (such as daily bag limits, closed seasons and minimum sizes).

 

Kingfish  – No Sale

Spotted grunter – No Sale

Elf or Shad – Linefish

Large Spot Pompano – No Sale

Southern Pompano – No Sale

River Snapper / Rock Salmon – No Sale

River bream – No Sale Species

Springer – No Sale

Natal Stumpnose – No Sale

Potato Bass – No Catch policy this fish must be immediately returned to the water you may not keep it

This leaves actually very little that you can purchase from the locals and responsible tourists will respect this. Without controls our natural resources are under huge pressure only your cooperation will save them.

Well enough about the bad side and the legalities what about the fishing?

Fishing Kosi Lakes

Kosi Lakes are best fished from a boat and although the fish are difficult to locate and catch without local knowledge you can be assured of a wonderful experience with or without catch. There are 3 methods used in the lakes lure fishing for sight hunting predators, live bait fishing, or static bait fishing. All methods can be productive if you are in the right place at the right time. If you don’t have a boat you can fish from the side of the lake, it is advisable to have local knowledge once again. And the above methods apply here too. It’s not advisable to use heavy tackle and any medium to light tackle is ideal either if casting or fly-fishing.

Rock and Surf fishing the Kosi Area

If the lakes are not your bag then the beaches are sure to excite you. Most beaches are closed after 18h00 and only open at 06h00 winter or summer. If you wish to fish Kosi Mouth after dark this can be arranged at the parks board office with a night fishing permit. This permit costs R50.00 per person and rhino cards do not apply. This will enable you to fish up to 23h00. During turtle nesting season there should be no night fishing and certainly if you are on the beach you are requested to use only red light so as not to disturb the sensitive turtles. This is not always enforced but with additional pressure by tourism on our area its only a matter of time before rangers are going to stop this practice. Turtle season occurs from November to February.

Many methods of fishing on our beaches are used from heavy surf rods and tackle to light tackle depending on what is being targeted. The heavier rods tend to slide either live or dead baits for bigger fish and sharks.

Lighter tackle for inshore game fish species is these days very popular. If you are fishing the heavier brand of tackle then night fishing would produce better results as the larger predators move closer to shore in the dark and approaching darkness. For the light tackle guys drop-shot and fly-fishing often produce something and you can be surprised by what is caught in daylight hours in the surf.  Normally the best time for any fishing is after the turn of the tide with the tide pushing in. This is when fish are more readily found entering the surf zone to hunt.

Kosi Bay place names. End the Confusion.

Kosi Bay

 

Kosi Bay does not exist. It is a name that refers to the general area of the northern most coast of South Africa, also called the Elephant Coast. Although it is in daily use in place and business names the only real area that possibly could be considered Kosi Bay is the area at the mouth where the lakes join the ocean, in the actual bay itself. The name is thought to be derived from Inkosi which is Zulu for king. So it would be the Bay of the King or The King’s Bay.

 

Emanguzi or Manguzi

 

The small town that is our central hub for commerce is confused with KwNgwanase. The name Manguzi is given due to the high number of mango trees and the bountiful harvest of these sweet wild mangos (manguz). Most if not all local people will refer to the town as Manguzi and not KwaNgwanse. The town is a bustling African coastal border town with travelers passing through on their way to or from nearby Mozambique. Where our town differs from others is that is underdeveloped and thus has a real African feel with street vendors on the sidewalks, goats and chickens roaming the streets with throngs of people. Although it looks small and rough you can find most of what you need at the various shops and vendor.

 

KwaNgwanase

 

This name originates from one of the tribal kings Ngwanase, the kwa is Zulu for place. So the name is Place of Ngwanase. Being a tribal area ruled by a king its likely this king decided to stamp his name on the town and area. This name seems to have stuck on maps and with some government departments. So if you are going to post a letter to our local post office you will find that the postal code 3973 is associated with KwaNgwanse and not Manguzi.  However the hospital which has been in existence since 1948 is “Manguzi Hospital”. As is our library “Manguzi Library”.

 

UMhlabuyalingana

 

For most this is a mouthful and not the easiest name to pronounce it is the immediate magisterial area. Its meaning is a place without mountains. This you will see when you arrive in the area. It’s very flat with only hilly vegetated sand dunes. The area is very sandy with fine sands, undulating grassed and forested sand dunes.  

 

Umkhanyakude

 

This is the name for our district Municipality and in Zulu means Fever Tree or “seen from afar”. The yellow green bark of the fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) stands out in the African bush with its very different coloring.

Malaria in Kosi Bay

What is Malaria?

Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite, Plasmodium, which infects red blood cells. Malaria is characterized by cycles of chills, fever, pain, and sweating. Malaria has plagued mankind since the beginning of time.

Kosi Bay is classified as a low risk malaria area. Please consult the map for a better understanding of malaria travel risks in South Africa.

Map supplied by www.malaria.org.za.

Map courtesy www.malaria.org.za

 

So what does this mean for the traveler?

If you are staying in any of the high risk areas you are advised to take precautions.

If you are staying in any of the low risk areas adjacent to a high risk area it’s advisable to make Mosquito image courtesy Mitchell Krogsure that if you feel any symptoms you advise your doctor to test for malaria.

The symptoms are easily confused with flu and the common cold, but where flu and the common cold will get better malaria won’t necessarily and can be life threatening.

The best course of action is to do research on malaria and if visiting your doctor make sure you ask for an opinion especially if pregnant or traveling with children under the age of 5. Remember it’s very important to finish your prescription of malaria prophylaxis.

Malaria is very well documented on the web and information is easily found. Some searches on popular search engines will give you all the information you will need. Remember that most reported stats on deaths caused by malaria relate to impoverished areas of the World where good health care is limited or non-existent. Certainly many tropical destinations have malaria and this should not deter the tourist from visiting these areas but make them aware of the dangers and available treatments.

If in doubt ask your doctor and or do some research.

Kosi Bay warm to hot while the rest of SA freezes.

As the rest of South Africa freezes Kosi Bay is still warm if not hot by comparison. With the exception of cool nights and mornings our daytime temperatures are still above 25 C. If you don’t like the hot weather of our summers and don’t enjoy freezing, now is the time to visit Kosi Bay.

Kosi Bay mistakenly reported as a dangerous shark area.

Please don’t get the wrong idea, sharks live in the ocean and if you go into the ocean you are swimming in their backyard. Don’t be fooled about bogus reports you read on the internet about Kosi Bay being one of the most dangerous shark infested places in the World. This is simply not true.

The only report I can find on the internet is an attack in 1971 where a woman’s foot was bitten by a shark near Kosi Bay. That is 41 years ago, in that time countless hundreds of thousands of people have entered the waters around Kosi Bay without any reported incidents.

Firstly 99% of people either don't have the fitness or understanding to swim deep enough to ever encounter a shark.

Secondly you should never swim after dark when the sharks are inclined to be inshore in shallow water.

Simply put when you see articles on the web touting Kosi Bay to be dangerous look at the dates of the articles, they are years old. Have you read in any news paper or seen any reports on TV about any recent shark attacks in the area? No. If you have please point me to them I would like to know about this news too.

There are more people killed each year by coconuts falling on their heads than sharks. There are more people killed by toasters than sharks each year.

So please put sharks and dangers into perspective you would have to consider yourself lucky to be killed or maimed by one of these creatures. Certainly when you drive your car each day you are at more risk than taking the odd swim in the sea. When sharks are inshore and could pose a danger don’t swim hoping to tell your mates you had a near close encounter with a shark because if you do you will come off second best.

Common sense is the order of the day.