Year-round sunshine, golden beaches and adventure activities aplenty, the KZN South Coast is still the best value holiday for South Africans!
Take a road trip to the Hibiscus Coast! It’s summer all year round along these 150 kilometers of golden beaches. From Amanzimtoti to Port Edward, this pristine coastline has given many generations of South Africans childhood holiday memories to last a lifetime. And now it’s packed with even more things to do and places to see. If animals are your thing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Adventure and extreme sports abound here and you can try anything from abseiling and bungee jumping to shark diving and white-water rafting. If you’re a foodie, you’ll find a smorgasbord of tempting eateries to sample the best of the South Coast cuisine.
Animal AnticsSome of the deadliest animals make their habitat on the South Coast! At Croc World near Scottburgh live the Nile crocodile and its cousins – alligators, African dwarf crocodiles and African snout crocodiles – or get face-to-face with the most lethal of Africa’s snakes in the snake tunnel. Another great place to take the kids to see reptiles is Pure Venom Reptile Farm at Izotsha, just inland from Shelley Beach. They offer daily educational snake demonstrations, an animal farm and for sustenance there’s the Viper restaurant. For a daring adventure try a shark dive! Experienced divers from Blue Wilderness Expeditions, based at Rocky Bay, near the famous Aliwal Shoal, take guided underwater expeditions, introducing you to packs of Tiger and Blacktip sharks. Snorkelers, swimmers, free divers and certified scuba divers can swim safely with these fluid, agile creatures, but if you don’t fancy a personal encounter, learn all about sharks and other marine animals from the safety of the boat. Whale shark expeditions and Dolphin safaris are also available. Available to persons 13 years old and above, and you don’t need a scuba diving license. Near Oribi Gorge is Lake Eland Game Reserve, a paradise for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Spot giraffe and antelope in self-drives or from the reserve’s open vehicles or take a trip to the caves typical of those inhabited by the San people. Ever dreamed of fulfilling a movie-moment and riding a horse along the beach? Selsdon Park Estate at Marina Beach and Ocean Trails Equestrian Centre at the Wild Coast Sun will match you to a suitable horse and you’ll soon be cantering along the sand with the wind in your hair!
Adventures for AfricaRocky Bay Resorts mountain biking trail is a 10 kilometre combination of jeep tracks and single track through cane fields and indigenous bush, and the last five kilometres is downhill with fantastic views of the ocean as you descend down to Rocky Bay. Mountain bikers and runners alike will find well marked and exciting trails at Clearwater Trails at Port Edward, winding through picturesque farmlands and mixed terrain. Bikes and gear are available for hire. Experience the ultimate rush of the Wild Swing at Oribi Gorge, the world’s highest gorge swing at 100 metres. Launch yourself off Lehr’s Falls into the abyss, free fall for 75 metres and then swing out across the dramatic gorge and back. Guaranteed to make your adrenalin pump. Or try the wild slide across a cable to the centre of the gorge and back. For the energetic type there’s the wild abseil down to the bottom of the gorge and 170 metre hike back up. Adventurers can take a one or two day wild water-rafting trip, offered all year depending on river levels. A surfing lesson is a must when you’re on the Hibiscus Coast where the waves are warm and manageable. Surf Action based in Margate offers people of all ages the chance to experience the thrill of being at one with the ocean. An affiliate of the Learn to Surf Association of South Africa, their instructors are all ISA and SSA accredited. Don’t miss all the action at Port Edward or “The Pont” as it’s affectionately known. The Umtamvuna River is the big attraction for canoeing, waterskiing, fishing and swimming. Protect your vehicle’s interior carpets from sand, mud, coffee spillages or any other damage with BOOXE Floor Mats and Boot Mats. Choose the 20mm Raised Lip for containing spillages inside the mat and the Bumper Guard to protect your bumper when loading and offloading.
Coffee Addicts Destination!
The World’s Southernmost Coffee Estate is on the KZN South Coast!If you thought the world’s best coffee originated in Colombia, Indonesia or Ethiopia, think again. Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward boasts world-class coffee beans from a farm of 60,000 trees. Starting in 1984 with just four trees, this family run estate is fast gaining a reputation for supplying top South African restaurants with their 100% locally grown, harvested and roasted Arabica coffee. They pick and harvest by varietal, giving the coffee a distinctive touch. Their 100% Estate Reserve range includes Izolwana, SL28 Bourbon and Cataui, available in beans or capsules. The ‘Crop to Cup’ tour is essential for coffee aficionados; revealing the characteristic flavours of the world’s coffee regions and the various ways of creating the perfect cup of coffee. Afterwards there is a bottomless cup of coffee for you to sample all the Beaver Creek varieties. The Estate Café is open every day for breakfast and lunch.
South Coast Cuisine
Choose from an endless selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes all the way along the Hibiscus Coast; here are just a few recommended by locals:The Cellar is an intimate dining venue in Sea Park with a regularly changing menu of contemporary fusion style cuisine. Captains Anchor Pub and restaurant in South Port is value for money and great for both kids and adults; with seven different burgers, great steaks, fresh seafood and four brands of draught beer. Trattoria Casa Mia in Umtentweni will have pizza lovers relishing the camembert and cranberry super thin-based pizza, or Alfonso will create a pizza with your own choice of topping. Book a table on the deck overlooking the river for a relaxing vibe. Long Fen Chinese Restaurant in Shelly Beach offers an authentic Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. Customise your own menu from a wide selection and the sushi is rated the best on the South Coast. Watch the sunset while sipping on a colourful cocktail at C-Bali in St Michaels-on-Sea. Seafood is a speciality and there’s a touch of Thai spice to the rest of the menu. Ramsgates’s Burlesque Café is a “little French Café” offering diners a decadent gourmet experience complete with saucy descriptions and the décor is a fantastic treat! Perched on the edge of the Ramsgate Lagoon, The Waffle House is a South Coast institution famous for its spectacular selection of sweet and savoury Belgian waffles. Modern Italian cuisine is served up at Trattoria La Terrazza in Southbroom, a popular eatery overlooking the Umkobi Estuary. Savour fresh baby squid or west coast mussels, innovative pastas and fresh fish. Fish on the Pond is situated in a wooden A-frame structure overlooking the fishpond at Marina Beach. Fresh fish from the owner’s commercial fishing boat is served and regular seafood specials pull in the crowds, especially for Sunday lunch when it is imperative to book. You can’t leave the South Coast without trying one of the pancakes from Mac Banana Farm Stall and Pancake House near Munster. Then stock up on fresh farm goods and the biggest selection of jams, preserves, pickles, chutneys and other yummy delicacies, this side of New York!
WHERE TO STAY
Cutty Sark Hotel
Scottburgh, South Coast, off the N2 60km from Durban
039 976 1230
Rocky Bay Lodge & Caravan Park
039 976 0336
Lake Eland Game Reserve, Near Oribi Gorge, near Port Shepstone.
039 687 0395
Old Pont Holiday Resort, Camping, Caravan and Waterpark Resort
039 311 2211
WHAT TO DO
Croc World, Scottburgh
Pure Venom, Izotsha
039 685 0704 www.purevenom.com
Blue Wilderness Expeditions
083 303 1515 www.bluewilderness.co.za
Horse and Quad Trails, Selsdon Park Estate
083-301 2941 www.marinabeach.co.za
Ocean Trails Equestrian Centre
083 334 771 www.dirtyboots.co.za/operators/ocean-trails-equestrian-centre
Clearwater Mountain Biking and Trail Running & Café,
083 549 6710 www.clearwatertrails.co.za
Rocky Bay Resorts Mountain Bike Trail
039 976 0336 www.rockybay.co.za
Wild Five Adventures at Oribi Gorge Hotel
039 687 0253/082 566 7424 www.oribigorge.co.za/wild5
Surf Action, Margate
039 317 3604 www.dirtyboots.co.za/operators/surf-action/
WHERE TO EAT
The Cellar Boutique Restaurant
039 695 1036
Captains Anchor Pub and Restaurant
039 681 3584
Trattoria Casa Mia
039 695 1391
Long Fen Chinese Restaurant
039 315 0355
C-Bali Restaurant and Beach Bar
039 315 0473,
039 314 9886
The Waffle House
039 314 9424
Trattoria La Terrazza
039 316 6162
Fish on the Pond
039 313 0907
Mac Banana Farm Stall, Cafe & Pancake House
039 319 1454