KZN South Coast launches Umzumbe River Trail, a unique hinterland tourism experience

For Immediate Attention
05 May 2022

KZN South Coast launches Umzumbe River Trail, a unique hinterland tourism experience

“Hiking trails are the best way to experience South Africa’s scenery, sunny climate and outdoor culture – it’s one of the world’s most popular hiking destinations. Whether you like to hike up mountains, along rivers or through valleys, you’re certain to find a perfect route.” – South African Tourism Board

The development of tourism routes in the hinterland is a key role of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), bringing unique experiences to visitors while creating valuable job opportunities for local communities. The launch of the Umzumbe River Trail at the Durban ICC on Wednesday, 4 May is the latest hinterland initiative that takes visitors into the heart of the KZN South Coast for an authentic Zulu experience.

“There are more than 1 000 registered hiking trails across South Africa’s nine provinces offering visitors an incredibly immersive experience,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of USCT. “Drawing on this popularity, we considered a dedicated KZN South Coast hiking trail the perfect way to provide visitors with an unmatched hinterland excursion that brings in natural and cultural enlightenment along the way. In this way, we’re creating a sustainable rural tourism product that further entrenches the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom as a prime holiday destination.”

Those embarking on the Umzumbe River Trail will be given a traditional welcome at the start at Mhlabatshane Dam in Phugashe before a week-long hiking adventure that winds along 70km of spectacular natural landscape. Knowledgeable local trail guides will lead guests, either hiking and biking, while sharing information on the unique geology, flora and fauna of the region as well as the many medicinal uses of plants that have formed part of Zulu culture for centuries.

This trail winds across a landscape that is home to six Zulu clans; the eNhlangwini, eMabheleni, KwaCele, kwaNdelu, kwaQwabe and KwaMadlala. Guides will take hikers on detours along the trail to places of interest and privately owned refreshment stops. Every night, visitors will be welcomed into authentic homestays where they get to experience the traditional culture of each of these clans.

Drumming, song, dance and storytelling will give insights into a history stretching back to the days of iNkosi uShaka and beyond. Guests will also enjoy the opportunity to venture out and experience the taverns, sights and sounds of nearby villages. The world-renowned skill of local artisans will be showcased through handmade arts and crafts on display.

There is so much to ‘sea and do’ on the KZN South Coast! To find out more about the Umzumbe River Trail and other KZN South Coast experiences, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores, check out ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook or YouTube, @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram, or ‘Info Ugu South Coast Tourism’ on LinkedIn. Follow the hashtags #seaanddo #greatestshoalonearth #sardinerun #subtropicalparadise #kznsouthcoast. Visit for more information on tourism offerings.

For access to all previous USCT press releases, please visit:


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(Image: Supplied by USCT)

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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.

Issued on behalf of: 
Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT)

Disseminated by:
Olivia Jones Communications

For more information please contact:
Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720

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