Kosi Bay (affiliate link) is a place dear to my heart. Every year we would go here for our annual holiday in December. I remember the trips to get there from Eshowe felt like it would take the whole day. The Landy and the boat would be packed with everything we needed for about 2 weeks. That would be tents, food, fishing rods and the kitchen sink. The packing and planning started many weeks before and the reels would all get serviced and if need be new line would get but on. The tackle shops would get a visit and the tackle boxes would all get stocked up. My mom was the big fisher woman and things had to be done correctly for that big fish. My mom has caught many a big fish in Kosi bay. 19kg Rock salmon a over 25kg King Fish and many more. The trip would all start with the friends meeting in Eshowe long before the sun would be up. There would be a odd bit of checking if everything was tied down and then off we we go in convoy. Sometimes on the trip something would break down and there would be a plan made. My dad is a bush mechanic of note and he would make a plan. There would be no turning back so it was always moving forward. I think by lunch time or late breakfast we would be somewhere near lake Jozini, here we would stop and have some food. In the early days there was no tar road over Jozini and it would be a long trip over dirt road. When you got to Manguzi Town (KwaNgwanase) that is when the road became a sandy track and you needed to go through a few rivers. I remember this is where the 4X4 would really be tested and many a time they would cut out in the river and the Q20 would be sprayed onto the spark plugs, we would get tested as the heat was rising. Also when you go up the hills along the sandy tracks you would get stuck and would have to roll back down and start again with a bit more of a run up. This was all part of the fun in getting to Kosi Bay. Then you would be in a tunnel from the trees and it was downhill you just knew you where less then a kilometer from the 3rd lake.
Kosi Bay is made of 4 lakes, 3 are able to be used by boats and people. The 4th on and the furthest away from the mouth to the sea is closed off to boats and fishing. We did manage to get a tour there once. The water is black and rather scary to look at, this is just because of the decaying matter in the water. The 3rd lake is the biggest and is fresh water, the water is more like a tea colour. The 1st and 2nd lakes are made up of salt water and they are crystal clean. The 2nd and 3rd lake are joined by a long channel that take about 20mins on dead slow to get through. It twists and turns and snakes its way between the 2 lakes. On the spring tide the clean water pushes from the 2nd lake into the 3rd lake and the channel become crystal clean. You get to see the amazing fish life that lives in this echo system.
Ok back to the trip. Then it would happen you would drive down a one car at a time road and you would see the lake in front of you. There would be some boats parked on the water in the bay, for a moment you would be just drawn to staring at the lake and seeing the beauty of the place, taking in the smell of humidity and heat. Once that was over then it would be the mission of setting up camp. The boat and cars would need to be unpacked and the layout of the camp would need to be thought out. No tents in any hollow areas because if it rained you would be sleeping in a puddle. The communal kitchen tent would need a spot and the sleeping tents would also have to be put up and you don’t want to trip over any tent ropes in the middle of the night when you needed to go for a wee. This process would get many a temper flaring and there would be much huffing and puffing. Well in the end it would get done and some beers would get cracked open and the nerves would calm down. The next mission would be to get the boats of the trailers and into the water and the trailers stashed at the back of the camp. My mom would always book the campsite right on the water. When you would sit at camp you would be right next to the water, us as kids would swim all day long and our parents could watch us.
The next mission would be to get all the rods and reels setup. The camp would again look a bit like a tackle shop as all the gear was spread out. Reels would be put onto rods and the traces would be added and then once that was done it would all get stored on the boats. Maybe the boats would be taken for a quick spin to make sure all was in working order. Kosi Bay is a great fishing place, I will be adding some fishing stories and some close calls with hippos in the posts to come.