In spring the Red Desert Nature Reserve grasslands are transformed into flower gardens.
THE aroma of braaiing meat wafts through the sunscreen-scented, salt-laden air; the summer holiday season has arrived and with it come the merry hoards of holidaymakers who give the South Coast its fabulously festive atmosphere each year.
There is no question about it. Sun-baked to perfection and offering every imaginable type of family holiday entertainment and facilities, the South Coast has to be the first choice when it comes to selecting a destination for the Christmas holiday season.
TAKE A LOOK AT OUR FESTIVE SEASON HOLIDAY GUIDE HERE!
As well as Margate’s iconic mile-long beach there are no less than seven Blue Flag beaches in this area, plus many surfing hotspots and plenty of smaller, quieter swimming beaches that never get too crowded.
Why drive when you can catch the bus? Malundi Excursions has experienced drivers and offers a range of tours. Busses are also available for hire, and there is a school bus service too - ideal for busy parents. Everyone loves pizza, especially those from Debonairs. Choose from vegetarian, rustic, something meaty or saucy chicken. And as 'tis the season for sharing, double up and spread the love! Harbourview Superspar strives to provide a great selection of goods at competitive prices, all served with a smile. And on't forget to visit the coffee shop if you find you need some refreshment. Tucked below the Ingeli Mountains is Anew Hotel Ingeli Forest Lodge. Perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors, the lodge's fine food and comfortable accommodation make it a winner. Body Harmony Gym, with branches in Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone, offers fully airconditioned health and fitness centres with a wide variety of options including weight training, taebo, Zumba, and more. A visit to AZ Pawnshop in Margate will be a treat for bargain-hunters. Perfect if you're searching for something unique, that discarded treasure or are looking to furnish your house on a budget. This modern medical practice in Shelly Boulevard offers acute and chronic patient care and after hours and emergency call outs. MD 24 can be reached at 039 3150275 or 074 5838585 (after hours). Situated on the banks of the river at St Mike's, Mhlangeni Lodge has a quirky 'Alice in Wonderland' feel and is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions or hold a fairy tale wedding. The Munchner Haus German Restaurant in St Mike's offers traditional German cuisine such as eisbein, bratwurst, bauernplatter or sauerbraten as well as game dishes, steaks, seafood and Italian-style pizza. Transform your home by combining functionality and style with exclusive blinds, shutters, awnings or security shutters from the wide range on offer at Windovert in Shelly Beach. Wild Coast Sun is a family-friendly resort, with lots to do, from the amazing Wild Waves water park, to sporting activities and leisure options. And if you're feeling lucky, try a flutter at the casino. Let the experts at Cole’s Kitchens make your dream kitchen a reality. Cole's also specialises in custom cabinetry from built-ins, vanities, dressers and wall units to freestanding units and custom furniture. Summer means it's time to go undercover with an awning or carport from the aptly-named Competitive Carports With a winning combination of affordable prices and great service, it's well worth a visit. Tuck in to a hearty Afro-Porto dish from the extensive menu at Mozambik Restaurant in the new Saint's View timeshare resort in Uvongo. A great venue for family and friends to gather over a meal. Don't allow a snapped guitar string to spoil your Christmas vibe, particularly as Uvongo Music Shop stocks a full range of instruments and accessories to suit musos of all ages and abilities. You don't need a special occasion to enjoy a drink with friends. And whether you're planning a party or just a casual get-together, Tyners Liquor Store in Shelly Beach has you covered. Treat the family to a tasty 'flame-grilled' meal from Tiagos. There are vegetarian and low carb options on the menu, and you can choose to either sit down and enjoy your meal in the restaurant or tuck in at home. Nothing sets you up for a great day quite like a good night's rest. A quality mattress from The Mattress Company will stop you waking up with aches and pains and will put an extra spring in your step. San Lameer is a dream holiday destination for golfers and non-golfers alike. The sub-tropical climate is pleasant,with cool breezes blowing off the ocean, and the natural surrounds are simply breakthtaking. Enjoy extended shopping hours and a gift wrapping service at Shelly Centre this festive season. Browse around the wide selection of popular stores, enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or chill at the movies. Endorsed by medical practitioners, Oasis Water goes through an intense purification process, where ozone is injected into the water killing all bacteria and viruses while sterilising the container. Established in 1968, Luckys Discount Centre in Manaba has a proud tradition of providing a range of exclusive top brands in imported furniture for the lounge, dining room, bedroom, patio and garden. Head inland to Lake Eland for a change of scene. It offers a choice of accommodation, an on-site restaurant, ample birding and game viewing opportunities, and a host of other activities. If you're tired of the beach, visit Kart Freaks for a day of family fun, including paintball, a play area for the little ones and a car wash for Dad. If you're hungry, refreshments are available at the coffee shop. Fancy a craft beer with your braai? Looking for a good wine for a special occasion? Need an after-dinner liqueur? For all this and more, all at amazing prices, pay Panjivans Liquors a visit. Whether you're throwing a party or planning a romantic dinner, let Hopdens Kwikspar make it a stress-free experience with its range of fresh produce, party platters, cakes and sushi. Looking for somewhere a little different for dinner? Why not try The Packshed Restaurant in Sweetdale for freshly prepared fusion food, served in a rustic and relaxed setting. Also available for functions. In the unfortunate event of you falling ill while on holiday, Hibiscus Private Hospital is a top-class medical facility, fully equipped and staffed to make sure you are soon on the road to recovery. Regardless if you are going away for Christmas or having a house full of guests, safety is important. Visit Hibiscus Coast Security Distributors in Manaba for friendly service and advice. If you or your family a have a medical emergency, getting to hospital quickly and safely is a must. KZN Private Ambulance staff are fully trained to respond to emergency calls and traffic accidents. After a lazy day at the beach no one feels like cooking. The Dolphin Pub & Grill is a great spot to hang out with friends, and enjoy a good meal, prepared by someone who is NOT on holiday! Create the kind of seaside holiday you have always dreamed of this year. Book your well-earned break at one of the affordable range of self-catering accommodation, provided by Bill's Best. Summer’s here and your feet need to relax too. Aerosoft offers you both comfort and quality at incredible prices. Visit Afro-Thai Imports in Trafalgar to get your feet in the holiday mood. Get back to nature at Zizi Lodge in Leisure Bay with superb lodgings in an unspoiled bush setting. Watch the resident buck in their natural habitat. Stroll down to a tranquil beach, go golfing, or simply relax around the beautiful pool. Household security is of paramount importance to homeowners. Landosol Welding and Fencing in Munster takes your security needs seriously. When it comes to security solutions, this company will give you peace of mind.
Scattered in between the protected swimming areas are the most beautiful little bays and hidden coves, perfect for strolling, shell collecting, rock pool exploring or just quietly contemplating the beauty of nature.
Of course, the South Coast isn’t just about the surf and beach. It is well-resourced regarding good shopping malls, little specialist shops, farm stalls, food emporiums, eateries, coffee shops and entertainment centres.
Travelling between them, exploring the picturesque little villages along our byways and quieter coastal roads, adds to the fun as the sub-tropical, rain-rich South Coast is also exceptionally well endowed with natural beauty.
Golfers are spoilt for choice, with the South Coast offering several scenic courses. (Pic: David Rush)
What is not always acknowledged is the fact that this area has an abundance of lesser known beauty spots, with most of our coastal villages offering well-maintained nature walks and trails. There are also many birding hot spots along the coast and in our inland areas.
A must for the nature lover is the Oribi Gorge area. It is not only renowned for its dramatic scenery but for its birding and wildlife experience opportunities as well.
And then there is the South Coast’s cultural side, in the form of a wide range of top class galleries, craft shops and music venues. However you envision your summer holiday, the South Coast will be perfect for you.