Raphia Palm Forest Walk

Every guest at Kosi Forest Lodge deserves to experience a guided walk in the Raphia palm forest, a vegetation type that is unique to this part of South Africa. A walk in the Raphia palm forest is a nature lover’s delight, due to the fascinating flora and fauna. Our knowledgeable guides all are locals from the area and have a wealth of fascinating information about the forest that will make your experience all the more interesting.

Raphia palms reach impressive heights of about 25 metres, with leaves that are almost as long as the entire height of the tree, giving them some of the largest leaves in the entire plant kingdom. Since fronds are spongy, they float with ease and are used by locals for building canoes to travel and fish across the lake system.

The Raphia palm forests are home to the palm-nut vulture, which gets its name from its favourite food; unlike other vultures, the palm-nut vulture’s diet isn’t primarily made up of meat, but the nut of the Raphia and elaeis palm fruit. The fruits of the Raphia palm are found in the highest reaches of the tree and are covered with razor sharp leaves and spines and are difficult to reach. Watching a palm-nut vulture feed on fruit in the forest is a real treat – they hang upside down below the fruit, pull the palm nut off the tree with their beaks and then hold it in their feet to eat it. The Maputuland area boasts the largest population of palm-nut vultures in the world. Your guide will help you look out for this iconic Kosi forest bird.

“Kosi Forest Lodge was perfect from start to finish of our two-night stay. We were a Mom, Dad, daughter (20) and son (17). Blessing is a great host, and we had the pleasure of interacting with wonderful Jerome on the Forest Walk, who shared his life and personal knowledge of the area and its people.” – TripAdvisor