Team & Reviews


“Paradise is not merely a place, it is the friends that you make while there and the memories that you take home with you”.

We at Thonga Beach Lodge are committed in every way to ensure that our guests’ experience creates happy memories for them to take back home leaving only their footprints behind in our pristine world heritage site.

What Our Guests Say



  • All the staff members, from management, to all the hospitality personnel, waiters, cleaning ladies, were always extremely friendly, helpful, accommodating, well informed. Throughout our whole stay Siphiwe spoke to us in the finest Afrikaans. Chef Carl's food was exquisite - great variety, good quality meats, lots of fresh fruits, salads, veggies, and the nicest South African braai! The area is spectacular and secluded. Pristine coastal forest and beach. Snorkeling in the warm and crystal clear waters is probably the best in SA and for the 4x4 enthusiast, lovely patches of sand tracks! Really expensive (for South Africans!) but really worth ever SA rand! Stayed March 2016, travelled as a couple
    Testimonial
  • Bev and I (and the rest of the Sleep Party) wanted to thank you for an absolutely wonderful trip that you organized for us. Both Rhino Ridge and Thonga Beach Resort were outstanding. The accommodation, food and hospitality were world class and we were treated like royalty. Most notable was how all the staff treated all of us.
    Darryl and Bev Sleep
  • Everything was perfect and I will definitely recommend your resort to friends and family. Thank you for everything and for making our stay most enjoyable.
    Meinhardt
  • We spent the most amazing few days at Thonga Beach Lodge. The staff were friendly and helpful and the accommodation suited our needs and the environment perfectly. The lodge is cleverly-hidden by the trees and right on the beautiful, unspoiled and uncrowded beach with a wooden deck if you don't want to sit on the sand. We saw the turtles laying their eggs at night and hope to be back again soon to see the eggs hatch. We enjoyed activities like snorkelling and kayaking and treated ourselves to massages at the spa. I loved the sign "No shoes no news" There is limited wifi in the lounge and no cell phone signal. I would recommend Thonga to anyone wishing to have a quiet holiday away from the crowds.

Our Team




Yolande Hay-Buchanan
General Manager

Yolande comes from a long line of hoteliers in the Drakensberg where she was raised. She has two children, Caitlin and Ash (26 and 24 respectively). Her passion and interests are horseriding, her two dogs and hiking in the Drakensberg. Yolande is a very knowledgeable indigenous gardener and is fiercely committed to maintaining an indigenous environment wherever possible.


Ashley Brownlie
Logistics and Activities Co-ordinator

Ashley who is our Skipper & Events Co-Ordinator has been with the company for four years originating from the fairest Cape. He played first team rugby at school and then started his career restaurant and bar management.  He obtained his FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) guiding qualifications through Bhejane Nature Training in Kwazulu Natal. However, a passion for ocean and nature brought him to Thonga Beach Lodge to complete his practicals after which his vibrant and joyous personality secured him a permanent position at Thonga. Ashley is the designated Turtle Guide and introduced the highly popular Spider and Scorpion walks. He is also offers basic astronomy talks as well as early morning birding trips to the Lake Sibaya.


Lee-Ann Couper
Dive Instructor

Lee has been our dive instructor since April 2015. She started working as an auctioneer (hence her fast speech!) and then went into tender administration. She started getting intrigued with diving due to looking after her mother, who was struggling with her diving, so she began diving as a hobby but then decided she would like to start instructing. Her first 70 dives were in a dam with visibility of less than one foot, so when she came down to the ocean she was spoilt. Lee completed her instructor course at Sodwana. She always gets very, very excited when she finds a species that she has never seen before, and is passionate about teaching people.



Carl Moller
Chef

Carl was born in Addington Hospital in Durban, and went to school in Hillcrest. He was passionate about food from an early age and did his training straight after leaving school at Chantecler School of Chefs. After graduating he worked at various restaurants in both Durban and Johannesburg, including Durban's well-known Café 99. He ran his own catering company for a while and then saw the opportunity at Thonga in 2009. He has been wowing our guests ever since. He is passionate about healthy food. Carl loves fishing, trail running and diving. He is a keen swimmer and has competed in both Midmar Mile and Dolphin Mile. He loves being outdoors all day – but hates camping!!!


Bheki Tembe
Guide

Bheki is one of Thonga’s longest serving staff members, having started work 10 years ago in the maintenance department. Bheki who loves interacting with guests moved into the position of Barman where he was very popular with his large smile and stories of growing up as a member of the Thonga tribe in the nearby village of Mabibi. Bheki who is passionate about the magnificent area in which he grew up swimming and fishing in nearby Lake Sibaya, now works as a Guide at Thonga sharing his local knowledge with guests from all over the world.