The Turtle Season at Thonga Beach Lodge extends from November to February. It’s an awesome experience to meet giant turtles at night, on Mabibi Bay’s long stretches of beach sands, where Loggerhead and Leatherback females come up to lay their eggs. These magnificent creatures return to the Maputuland coastline every year – to the very beach where they themselves once hatched, having swum the full length of the African continent. Exclusive Getaways tells you what you can expect when you book a stay during turtle season at the fabulous Thonga Beach Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal.
Thonga Beach Lodge is situated just metres above the high-water mark on the shores of remote Mabibi Bay. During turtle season (November – February), there is a turtle drive each evening at low tide, when guests have the privilege of being driven along the beach looking for turtles and hatchlings. The time of each drive is variable, and is determined by low tide. A turtle drive can last for anything up to three hours.
Research has shown that mother turtles keeps returning to the same beach to lay their eggs, and what’s more, a mother turtle lays her eggs within metres of the place where she herself once emerged as a hatchling.
The new hatchlings make their appearance from the nest about 60 days after being laid. Their emergence is a real miracle, after digging 40 cm to the surface and crawling some 50 m to the sea, where they often fall prey to kingfish and seabirds. The survival rate is less than one in 50.
Turtle viewing is offered at Thonga Beach Lodge from November to the end of February in the evenings. There are also other wonderful activities at Thonga, and an abundance of exclusive barefoot luxury.
Accommodation at Thonga Beach Lodge is luxurious and enchanting. Remote and set in a tropical dune forest, this is an idyllic nature getaway far from the crowds.