for quality writing

Ken Borland

Kosi Bay 0

Posted on April 17, 2017 by Ken


The view over Kosi Bay estuary with the traditional fish traps

The view over Kosi Bay estuary with the traditional fish traps


The KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife camping site at Kosi Bay is situated in thick coastal forest close to the edge of the kuNhlange lake, the biggest of the four that make up the estuarine wonder at the remote north-eastern border of Natal.

Each camp site is secluded away amongst the mangroves, thereby providing ideal habitat – one of their favourite trees and close to water – for the special gem that is Blackthroated Wattle-Eye.

These busy little birds, that are somewhere between a flycatcher and a batis, are uncommon and easily overlooked, but they’re easier to spot when they pass through the trees in your campsite, as they did at Kosi Bay!

Other birds seen without having to venture far from the comfort of my camping chair were Pygmy Kingfisher (a pair had taken up residence on the road to the ablutions and were seen every day), Natal Robin, which was resident at my site and put on a superb performance of all its many calls, imitating tchagras, cuckoos, nightjars and even African Fish Eagle; Olive Sunbird, Squaretailed Drongo, Terrestrial Bulbul, whose presence I was alerted to by a loud tapping noise as it thumped a caterpillar on a branch; Goldentailed Woodpecker and Blackbellied Starling. I was also surprised to see African Hoopoe in such thick forest.

Kosi Bay is also home to an isolated population of the Red Bush Squirrel and there was an endearing family at my campsite, full of cuteness and a penchant for nibbling at my soap! Samango Monkeys kept to the treetops and were far more pleasant to live next to than their Vervet cousins.

Red Bush Squirrel

Red Bush Squirrel

One of the main attractions at Kosi Bay is the marvellous snorkelling that can be done at the Sanctuary Reef inside the mouth of the estuary. Unfortunately the tide was going out when I dived, meaning there was a strong current and with snorkellers encouraged not to put their feet down on the bottom due to the presence of Stonefish, it was hard work and not able to be maintained for very long.

Kosi Bay estuary - the mouth

Kosi Bay estuary – the mouth

Fortunately there is always birding to be done and there were several Common Tern on the bank of the estuary and the impressive Whimbrel was spotted coming over the sand dune as one approaches Sanctuary Reef. Even a Caspian Tern came flying over the aquarium-like waters.

Emeraldspotted Wood Dove were seen on the way down to the parking area.

Back at camp, a gentle stroll along the Samango Trail produced a pair of elegant Tambourine Dove and a pair of Brown Robin were also seen on a particularly thick, jungle-like portion of the trail, on the actual path. They are obviously not welcome in camp, presumably out-competed by the Natal Robin. Just to ram home the point, a Natal Robin pooed on the picture of a Brown Robin in the bird book I had left open in camp!

The trail also provides lovely elevated viewsites above the lake, with Purplecrested Lourie flying amongst the tall trees and Whitebreasted Cormorant flying, landing, diving and catching fish.

KuNhlange Lake itself boasted plenty of Pied Kingfisher, their lives made easier by the crystal-clear water, Yellow Weavers and African Pied Wagtail. A pair of Trumpeter Hornbill were seen in the morning flying over the 24.6km long lake and then again back across the water in the late afternoon, leading me to wonder if they were the same pair returning to the same perch?

The attractions at Kosi Bay are spread out over a large area, linked by confusing sandy tracks, and 4×4 and a local guide are essential.

The drive out to Black Rock, a promontory jutting out to sea, provided a pair of Whitefronted Plover on the landmark itself, while Gymnogene and Rufousnaped Lark were seen on the way there, along with Fantailed Widowbirds fluttering slowly about, in the grasslands that are around the Kosi Bay area.

Whitefronted Plover on Black Rock

Whitefronted Plover on Black Rock



Kosi Bay is at the north-eastern border of KwaZulu-Natal



Sightings List

Pygmy Kingfisher

Natal Robin

Olive Sunbird

Red Bush Squirrel

Blackthroated Wattle-Eye

African Hoopoe

Pied Kingfisher

Trumpeter Hornbill

Yellow Weaver

Squaretailed Drongo

Tambourine Dove

Purplecrested Lourie

Whitebreasted Cormorant

Terrestrial Bulbul

Southern Boubou

Goldentailed Woodpecker

Little Bee-Eater

Blackeyed Bulbul

Emeraldspotted Wood Dove

Common Tern

Fiscal Shrike

House Sparrow

Spectacled Weaver

Pied Crow

African Pied Wagtail

Blackbellied Starling

Samango Monkey

Familiar Chat

Lesser Striped Swallow

Common Myna

Blackheaded Heron


Hadeda Ibis

Rufousnaped Lark

Whitefronted Plover

Vervet Monkey

European Swallow

Redeyed Dove

Eastern Coastal Skink

Brown Robin


Caspian Tern

Yellowbilled Kite

Fantailed Widowbird


Cobras bowlers tie down Titans brilliantly at death 0

Posted on November 26, 2014 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans were brilliantly tied down in the closing overs by the Nashua Cape Cobras bowlers as the coastal side won their RamSlam T20 Challenge match by 14 runs at the Wanderers on Sunday.

With both openers blazing 72 off 48 balls, the Titans required just 56 runs from the last five overs with nine wickets in hand. But with Kieron Pollard and Mthokozisi Shezi mixing up their pace superbly, the Cobras reached the last two overs with 34 runs to defend.

Dane Paterson and Lizaad Williams both produced excellent closing overs and the Titans finished on a disappointing 193 for four, scoring just 41 runs and losing three wickets in the last five overs.

The Cobras’ total of 207 for five, after being sent in to bat, was inspired by two superb innings by Richard Levi and Pollard.

Levi was in sublime touch and ruthless mood as he opened the batting and hammered 81 off just 34 balls. In the fifth over, bowled by JP de Villiers, Levi hit four successive fours and then completed the over with consecutive sixes, taking 28 runs in all off the unfortunate seamer and raising his half-century off just 22 balls.

Twenty-one runs came off left-arm paceman Rowan Richards in the sixth over, Levi hitting the last four balls for six, four, four and six, and the Titans were in dire straits when Davids wisely turned to spin.

Roelof van der Merwe bowled two overs for 11 runs but it was fellow orthodox left-armer Dean Elgar who made the crucial breakthrough, claiming a steepling return catch from Levi.

Further breakthroughs would come for the Titans as Omphile Ramela (12) was well-caught by Van der Merwe running from midwicket off Elgar, who then bowled Justin Ontong first ball as the Cobras captain unwisely tried to reverse-sweep a quicker, flatter delivery.

Elgar finished with outstanding figures of three for 20 off four overs and could well find himself getting more regular employment as a bowler by the Titans.

It was overseas pro Pollard who earned his keep in the final overs, slamming 72 not out off just 36 balls, with six fours and four sixes, the last five overs proving fertile for the Cobras as 64 runs were scored.

Dane Vilas used some cute deflections to score 19 and help Pollard add 65 for the fifth wicket off 44 deliveries.

The Titans’ run-chase began sedately, but steadily picking up speed and although there was none of the frenetic bashing of Levi, Davids and Elgar kept up the required rate. In fact, the crowd was most animated when a teenager in the eastern stand claimed a one-handed catch off an Elgar six to seemingly qualify for the R1 million cash pool. He was subsequently disqualified, however, because he was under 18 and there are bound to be numerous opinions aired over RamSlam’s lengthy and stringent criteria for the prize. Suffice to say that they don’t seem to want to encourage children to come to the games, which is bizarre behaviour for a sponsor.

Davids and Elgar raised 50 in the sixth over and their century stand was up in the 10th over, as the left-hander went to a 31-ball half-century, with two fours and four sixes.

Davids hit six fours and a six as he reached his fifty off just 28 deliveries and everything seemed to be going wrong for the Cobras when Ontong had Davids caught in the deep on 63, but had over-stepped.

It was Pollard who bowled the Cobras back into the game when he had Elgar caught by Ontong running in from long-on in the 15th over and then removed Davids as well in the 17th over, a slower bouncer coming off the glove and being caught behind.

That brought Darren Sammy in to face his West Indian team-mate but the overseas pro lasted just two balls before he also fell to the slower-ball bouncer, paddling it to short fine-leg, where Shezi dived to take the catch.

Pollard finished with a top-class three for 22 in his four overs and with Shezi bowling a fine over in between, the Titans had suddenly lost all momentum.

Mangaliso Mosehle launched a massive six out of the ground, but a degree of panic had set in and Theunis de Bruyn (13) skied a catch into the covers for George Linde to calmly take off Paterson.

A brilliant opening stand fizzled out into a lame finish for the Titans.

↑ Top