Endless opportunities for outdoor adventure on the KZN South Coast!
Known as The Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom, the KZN South Coast is home to a unique variety of iconic natural sites extending along the coastline from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding. The rich biodiversity of the region makes it both an ecologically important and a valuable tourism asset for the country.
The 120km coastal stretch consists of an impressive 58 golden sandy beaches, six of which boast the internationally renowned Blue Flag status – the highest number in the province. Two of these beaches, Marina and Trafalgar, have even been honoured for holding this status for 20 and 10 years consecutively – Marina Beach being the only one to hold this title nationally.
Heading further offshore, visitors will find three Marine Protected Areas at Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and Trafalgar. Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks also top the world rankings in terms of dive sites, with marine life and shipwrecks waiting to be explored. The experience is enhanced in winter when the annual Sardine Run passes by. This is the planet’s largest biomass migration, with millions of silver fish attracting dolphins, sharks, whales and overhead birds. The cooler months are also a great time to spot the migrating humpback whales heading north.
Those who enjoy spotting wildlife on land can head to Lake Eland and Nyamazane game reserves. Visitors can take self-drive game drives, hike or bike through this uniquely African landscape or even embark on the newly launched Umzumbe River Trail. Bird lovers are also spoilt for choice in terms of viewing opportunities at the many nature reserves, among them TC Robertson, Oribi Gorge, Mpenjati and Vernon Crookes. And for something really special, Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide is a must.
Oribi Gorge is also one of two iconic gorges found in the region, the other being Umtamvuna Gorge. The dramatic landscape found here is not only incredibly eye-catching, but it also sets the backdrop for the ultimate in extreme adventures. The award-winning Wild 5 Adventures includes white-water rafting, paintball, quad biking and the Wild Gorge Swing – the highest swing of its kind dropping 55 storeys! There’s also the 80-metre cable suspension bridge, and a zipline across Oribi Gorge.
Millennia of geographic activity has also resulted in the formation of some of the world’s most unique natural sites, including The Red Desert, the world’s smallest desert near Port Edward. There’s also the Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest, a series of trees which were washed downriver and deposited in the area millions of years ago with marine fossil beds exposed along reefs near the Mzamba River. And conservation of local culture is also prioritised at various locations such as the vibrant Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre.
There’s also the chance to sample local produce on a rural tourism adventure along the KZN South Coast Agri-CULTURE Tours. Enter the subtropical farming heartland for a guided tour of the farming process, some farm-based adventures, and a home-grown delicacy.