The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast oozes laid-back beach charm. Secluded coves, lagoons and beach walks provide a relaxing way to enjoy its offerings. However, this slow pace is heightened significantly by its collection of adventure activities, from surfing the warm Indian Ocean to bungee jumping at the magnificent Oribi Gorge.
The South Coast stretches from Durban, all the way south to the start of the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. Margate, Port Shepstone, Scottburgh, Hibberdene, Uvongo and Ramsgate are some of the towns that make up the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Its beautiful beaches are the main highlight, although golfing and adventure destinations also feature prominently among the popular attractions.
The region is blessed with pristine beaches and boasts Blue Flag beaches at Margate, Marina/San Lameer, Ramsgate and Trafalgar. Blue Flag beaches are those that have achieved excellence in water quality and environmental education and adhere to international safety standards.
Just off KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast are Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks – two popular deep-sea diving haunts. Both are frequented by large shark populations, with the latter being ranked as one of the top shark-diving sites in the world.
If you’re looking to up your adrenaline visit Oribi Gorge. This 27km-long, 400m-deep gorge cuts its way through 365 million-year-old rock and is a haven for thrill-seekers. The world’s highest bungee swing is located here—a heart-stopping, 33-storey jump from the top of Lehr’s Falls into the gorge. You can also do the world’s highest natural commercial abseil at Oribi, take the Wild Slide across the gorge, white-water raft or hike the edge of the gorge or the area at the foot of the falls below.
Golfers will be pleased to know there are eight golf courses in the vicinity, one of which, San Lameer, is rated among South Africa’s top 30 courses.
The South Coast, with its sub-tropical vegetation, sustains an abundance of birdlife – more than 400 bird species have been recorded along the coast. Birds, as well as the floral diversity of the area, can be enjoyed at numerous small reserves including the Oribi Gorge, Umtamvuna, Mpenjati and Vernon Crookes nature reserves.
On the commercial side, apart from many smaller centres, there are two massive shopping malls along the South Coast; the Galleria in Amanzimtoti and the Shelly Centre in Shelly Beach. Both have movie theatres and the Galleria has an ice rink.
Courtesy of SA Tourism.