If you’re an eco-adventure traveller looking to tick off some bucket list items this year, you will find endless opportunities along the stunning KZN South Coast. FromScottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding, the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom has almost every outdoor activity available, from lush coastal forests to exquisite beaches and dive sites, all in one of the most scenic areas of South Africa.
“This is the year many people are looking to try something a bit different, to get out and embrace life’s many opportunities,” says Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE).
“We want to ensure every visitor to the KZN South Coast has a fantastic experience, which is why we’re sharing our list of the 23 must-try bucket list activities found here.”
1. 58 golden beaches
Along the 120-kilometre coastline, you’ll find 58 golden beaches open and ready to welcome visitors. The KZN South Coast is also home to the highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in the province and some of the country’s best surfing spots.
2. 21 tidal pools
The KZN South Coast also boasts the province’s highest number of tidal pools, 21 spots ofprotected bathing.
3. Ocean adventures
Your maritime adventure doesn’t end there – the KZN South Coast has two world-renowned diving sites at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. These are two of three Marine Protected Areas found here, with Trafalgar adding to the great freediving and snorkelling sites.
4. The Wild Coast Sun Resort
With its unspoilt beaches, golf course, casino and water park, Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward remains a family favourite in the Sun International stable. The resort has undergone multi-million-rand upgrades, including the addition of the country’s first indoor Skypark.
5. The Wild 5 Extreme Adventures
This award-winning adventure spot in Oribi Gorge offers adrenaline-pumping activities such as the Wild Gorge Swing, the highest swing of its kind, and the 80-metre cable suspension bridge 130 metres off the ground.
6. Lake Eland Game Reserve
Enjoy an African adventure in this Oribi Gorge-based reserve. Thrill-seekers can try the Lake Eland Zip Lines – the longest zip line tour in Africa!
7. Great picnic and braai spots
Lake Eland Game Reserve, nature reserves, beaches, and more offer great settings for picnicsand braais with world-class views.
8. Ultimate hiking trails
Try out some hiking and biking trails including the Umzumbe River Trail and Weza Hiking Trail – both launched in 2022 – as well as ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest Resort, Clearwater Trails, and the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails.
Speed freaks should head to Margate for Xtreme Karting where drivers get to race it out on the tracks or test their skills on the paintball field.
10. Dezzi Raceway
Stop in at Port Shepstone for the only Motorsport South Africa-approved racing track in KZN – Dezzi Raceway. This includes two purpose-built drift circuits for some fast-paced entertainment.
11. Cascading waterfalls
There are so many waterfalls to chase along the KZN South Coast: Lehr’s Waterfall in Oribi Gorge, the nearby Samango Waterfall, the 90m Nyandezulu Waterfall, the Mkhoba Waterfall, and the 23m Uvongo Waterfall plummeting into one of the deepest lagoons in the country.
12. Great restaurants
From quick and easy takeaways to award-winning fine dining, the KZN South Coast has great food for every palate.
13. Retail therapy
Enjoy great shopping at Hibiscus Mall in Margate, or Southcoast Mall and Shelly Centre at Shelly Beach, or browse the many local traders selling handcrafted goods.
14. Fun on the farm
Get a taste of the region through the Agri-Culture Tours including a tour of Ubumbano Farm in Amandawe where you can sample farm-fresh goods at their Farm Stall or try some 20 adventure activities at Mac Banana Estate & Adventures in Munster.
Learn more about local reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids at Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh, or Riverbend Crocodile Farm in Southbroom, before heading over toRamsgate-based Butterfly Farm.
15. A view from the skies
Enjoy an aerial view of the KZN South Coast with a flip in a microlight, helicopter, or light aircraft!
If maritime history is your thing, learn more about the KZN South Coast’s treacherous past through its many shipwrecks. This includes the 1933 Nightingale Shipwreck in Trafalgar, and the 1552 São Joao Shipwreck in Port Edward.
17. Oribi Vulture viewing hide
Near Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve is this incredible vulture viewing hide where you can witness Cape Vultures in their natural habitat.
18. Beachside horse rides
Take in the coastal scenery via horseback by setting off from Selsdon Park Estate in Trafalgar, winding along beaches, farmlands and coastal forests.
19. Coffee farms
Beaver Creek is the world’s southernmost coffee plantation near Port Edward with a great Crop-to-Cup walkabout tour and some fantastic biking trails, while Mpenjati Coffee in Munster is home to some of the country’s greatest brews.
20. The world’s smallest desert
Just 10km west of Port Edward, in the Red Desert Nature Reserve, you’ll find yourself in theworld’s smallest desert. The Red Desert is 200m in diameter and 11ha in entirety – well worth a bucket list visit!
21. Award-winning spas
Unwind at one of the KZN South Coast’s many award-winning local spas. Extend your stay at a resort, retreat, or eco-sanctuary where mind, body, and soul can be replenished with spa treatments, meditation, and yoga.
22. Sweetdale Night Market
The award-winning Packshed restaurant in Margate hosts the popular Sweetdale Night Market on the last Friday of the month from 6pm to 10pm where you can enjoy local crafts, food, music and drink.
Support local craftsmanship and come away with quality-made leather shoes and sandals from S’Khumba Crafts based in Southbroom. Visit Polka.dot.coco at Ubumbano Homestead in Amandawe for handcrafted accessories, or Ndovies Creation for beautifully styled, traditional clothing. Iconic beaded crafts can be found at Stand and Shine in Umzumbe, Nqubele Holdings in Ray Nkonyeni, and Itshalo Lamachi in Umuziwabantu.
Find out more about these, and more, bucket list adventures on the KZN South Coast by downloading the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app or visiting www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za.