KZN South Coast in the spotlight: 9 reasons why it’s a top film location

South Africa has fast become an in-demand film location, but for production scouts seeking sites with expansive natural offerings, temperate climates and uninterrupted filming, the KZN South Coast is a prime location.

“The KZN South Coast has attracted a number of local and international film makers over the years, and we truly believe it is on track to become one of the country’s leading locations for a number of reasons,” explained CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu, said: “From a tourism perspective, this is hugely beneficial as a form of job creation and economic growth, but it also gives far-reaching audiences the chance to see the incredible sites found here.”

1. Diverse aquatic locations

When it comes to water-based filming, the KZN South Coast has every natural aquatic feature available, including five of the province’s six Blue Flag Beaches – internationally-rated for their water quality, hygiene, safety and environmental management. From the warm Indian Ocean lapping the shores, through to the many tidal pools, rivers, estuaries, lakes and dams that provide the ideal backdrop or sites for boating and water sports. The pristine coastal waterfalls create iconic locations and there are two world-renowned dive sites – Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks – for underwater footage.

2. Unique cultural and heritage sites

From the coastal shores through to the hinterland, the KZN South Coast boasts an immense selection of distinguishing cultural and heritage sites. These include the ancient KwaXolo Caves, home to centuries-old San paintings; traditional sites such as Isivivane seNkosi uShaka, the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails, and Ntelezi Msane Heritage Site; the world’s smallest desert – Red Desert; age-old lighthouses and a number of shipwreck sites. There is also the famous Dezzi Raceway, ideal for nail-biting action scenes!

3. Diverse landscape

When it comes to settings, the KZN South Coast’s landscape is as diverse as it is captivating. Found in this region are protected coastal forests, Blue Flag beaches, 11 idyllic golf courses, nature and game reserves, parks, cliffs, gorges and valleys…alongside the afore-mentioned aquatic sites.

4. Wildlife experience

With its abundance of natural landscapes, the KZN South Coast also has a variety of wildlife and unique natural experiences. These include annual winter Sardine Run and whale migration, with the local game reserves home to African wildlife including zebra, giraffe and buck. The nature reserves echo the call of hundreds of bird species, many of which are unique to the area, as well as smaller wildlife such as civet, genet and Vervet monkeys.

5. Proven film destination

Many filmmakers have discovered the benefits of selecting the KZN South Coast as a site location, including Discovery, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. The site has also welcomes feature filmmakers and television crews – local and international – with episodes of Netflix show, The Kissing Booth, recently filmed at Clansthal. USCT also supports the annual Ugu Film Festival which promotes the local film industry, as well as hosting the KZN Film Commission recently.

6. Minimal red tape

The KZN South Coast boasts film-friendly municipal by-laws as a way to encourage this burgeoning industry and attract film crews to the area.

7. Ease of accessibility

On-site is Margate Airport, with King Shaka Airport directly accessed along the national highway, the N2. From Scottburgh, it is only a 30-minute drive to Durban, and a seven-hour drive to Johannesburg, or less than an hour by plane.

8. Accommodation offerings

Film crews can be easily accommodated throughout the KZN South Coast in everything from the budget-friendly self-catering units through to five-star resorts.

9. Ideal climate

With its year-round warm weather and sunny days, the KZN South Coast is a location which allows for uninterrupted filming, ensuring everything is kept within budget.

To find out more about the KZN South Coast, simply download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. You can also follow the KZN South Coast on social media – ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook and YouTube, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter and Instagram.

High resolution images are available upon request.
(Images: Supplied by USCT)

Nyandezulu River.

Isivivane sika Shaka.

Leopard Rock.

Annual humpback whale migration.

Giraffe at Lake Eland.

Cabins on Dam – Lake Eland.

Ideal climate all year round.

The KZN South Coast offers award winning accommodation such as the 5-star Days At Sea Beach Lodge in Trafalgar.
(Photographer: Dr Guido Schoeldgen)

About Ugu South Coast Tourism
Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is the official destination management organisation of the Ugu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The Ugu District comprises four local municipalities that include Umdoni, Umzumbe, Umuziwabantu and Ray Nkonyeni. USCT’s mandate is to grow tourism within the KZN South Coast. This involves implementing marketing and development initiatives that are aimed at showcasing the diverse offerings and experiences of the South Coast as tourist destination. A board of directors oversees USCT, headed by CEO, Phelisa Mangcu.

About KZN South Coast
Known as the ‘Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’, the KZN South Coast stretches 120 kilometres from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding. Here, the spirit of adventure can be discovered among the many cultural experiences, as well as the 35 nature trails and 58 beaches, ideal for activities like river rafting, abseiling, suspension bridges, paintball, surfing, SUP, canoeing, beach horse rides, shark cage diving and free diving. Nicknamed ‘The Golf Coast’, there are 11 golf courses on the KZN South Coast ranging in difficulty, with endless hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails for more rugged excursions. Promoting sustainability, the KZN South Coast has a growing agri-tourism sector that offers world-class produce and hosts tours and excursions. The region boasts a number of permanently managed Blue Flag beaches, and is home to some of the world’s top diving sites, Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. The originality continues with the annual Sardine Run, coined the #GreatestShoalonEarth, which is the largest biomass migration on earth and a marvel to witness. The region’s many nature reserves are inhabited by indigenous bird and wildlife, and it holds the title for ‘smallest desert on earth’, The Red Desert in Port Edward. The KZN South Coast is a fast-emerging MICE destination which also plays host to a number of high-profile events including the The Bike Fest, Uvukile Gospel Festival, Ugu Jazz, Ugu Film Festival and the South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series.