THE SOUTH COAST IS AN AFFORDABLE AND FUN PLACE
This is where you kick back and relax and make magical memories to last a lifetime – the South Coast of KZN. With quaint coastal villages dotted along the 120km Indian Ocean coastline and a subtropical climate that lends itself to all outdoor pursuits, you are guaranteed an endless summer of fun in the sun. Take advantage of the relaxed, family-friendly way of life where there is always something on offer to keep the whole family entertained. From a heady mix of sun, sand, and surf to sensation-seeking thrills and spills, you will find it all right here, right now.
Navigate your way around the South Coast
Find all the South Coast Herald approved points of interest in the map below. Zoom in on the area you are interested in and select the icons which best represent the type of venue you are looking for. Alternatively, select a category on the menu to the left.
Nine points to find out if you are a coffeeholic
- A day without coffee is not a day worth living and your body knows it.
- Your entire day revolves around that first cup.
- You finally understand the difference between good coffee and bad coffee.
- You have a go-to order.
- You silently (or verbally) start to judge people who only drink frappuccinos.
- You’ve experienced your first caffeine headache.
- You accept the fact that coffee now takes up a substantial amount of your finances.
- You can spend countless hours in your favourite local coffee shop.
- You truly believe coffee has changed your life for the better.
A PIECE of golfing mecca exists between Durban and the CH Mitchell Bridge in Port Edward, where no fewer than 11 courses offer a variety of experiences for golfers of all levels.
Technically, the famed Wild Coast Sun Country Club forms part of the Eastern Cape, but we claimed it long ago.
It’s the jewel in the crown; a rugged jewel yes, but a course offering stupendous beauty and breathtaking views.
In the early days it attracted many of the world’s top golfers, when it played host to the popular Skins game in the 1980s.
There are numerous great holes, but the tee shot off the 12th, nicknamed Green Mamba, is one which thrills.
The likes of multiple Major winners in the late Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and John Daly have all played here.
Over the Umtamvuna river is Port Edward’s charming 9-hole track, fun to play. Even more fun is to be had in what has been described as one of the friendliest pubs anywhere.
San Lameer Country Club is a beautiful, scenic parkland course, where buck roam and birdlife is plentiful.
Southbroom Golf Club is tucked up almost on the beach in places, with the 114m par three 4th hole, with a panoramic view of the beach and ocean, one of the most talked about holes by anyone who has played the course.
Margate Country Club is just off the highway, with some deceptively difficult par threes, like the 11th, which has a rockery at the back and a waterfall feature in front.
Port Shepstone Country Club is famed for its two distinct nine, with the front woody and secluded, and the back open and subject to the mood of whatever wind might be blowing.
A little inland, you’ll find 9-hole Harding Country Club. It’s a humble track, with the local farmers helping keep it in good nick.
It’s the only course visible from the national highway, and golfers can’t but help take in a second look as they breeze past.
Umdoni Park is a fairly steep course, with some challenging uphill climbs, but this only makes way for some spectacular views of the ocean.
Scottburgh Golf Club is unusual in that it has a par 69 but don’t be fooled, as on a windy day, scoring can be difficult.
The view from the 18th tee, with the clubhouse in sight, is superb.
Umkomaas is the home club to PGA pro Tim Clark and its shortish layout meant he learnt to master the wedge game.
The 13th, a par three from an elevated tee to a raised green can be quite terrifying into a strong wind.
For the love of food
From quaint and quirky family-owned restaurants to upscale eateries, here on the South Coast, you are spoilt for choice with a wide variety of restaurants and takeaway establishments that cater for all budgets and tastes. So take your taste buds on an adventure and savour the fabulous fare on offer. From fusion-inspired foods, pub grub, authentic German, Italian, Portuguese and English dishes to local shisha nyamas, this holiday mecca has it all. Or, if you prefer, while away the hours over a cocktail or two at one of the many terrace bars and cocktail lounges that overlook our fantastic coastline. Look out for the amazing Sunday lunch deals that are offered at many of our dining establishments but do remember to book a table.
Harbourview Super Spar is the ideal stop for a delicious, fresh and affordable meal. We have a large menu that caters for a broad variety of different tastes. Make a stop it will be worth your while.
Barn Owl Bistro: Situated in the heart of Port Edward at Rassey Corner, Barn Owl Bistro is the perfect place for a great cup of coffee fantastic breakfasts and tasty lunches.
Choose sustainable fish on the menu
In order to protect fish species from extinction, in 2004, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) established the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) to inform and educate all participants in the seafood trade, from wholesalers to restaurateurs through to seafood lovers, about sustainable seafood.
By using a ‘traffic light’ system, the colour-coded SASSI list categorises selected South African and imported seafood species according to their conservation status.
This is the group from which consumers are encouraged to choose, as it contains the most sustainable choices from the healthiest and most well-managed populations. These species can handle current fishing pressure.
This group includes species that are either depleted as a result of overfishing or the fishery may cause particularly severe environmental damage and/or has a high bycatch, or the lifestyle of the species makes it vulnerable to high fishing pressure. Consumers are encouraged to think twice and consider the implications of these choices.
This group includes both unsustainable species from collapsed populations with extreme environmental concerns and a lack of management. These species are illegal to buy or sell in South Africa (no-sale species) and should never be bought by consumers.
If you’re unsure about the status of any species of fish you want to purchase, send an SMS with just the name of the fish to the SASSI Fish SMS number: 079 499 8795. If the species is on one of the SASSI lists, you’ll receive information about that species, as well as its associated SASSI colour. SMSes are charged at standard rates.
The SASSI App allows you to check the sustainability of your seafood choice in real time. You can find out whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid all together. The App is free on Android and iOS!
For more information, visit the SASSI website at www.wwf.org.za/sassi Or, if you have specific questions, e-mail SASSI at [email protected]
Source: South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI)
It’s all about location
The South Coast is the perfect getaway destination with sea, sand, and sun… your passport to fun.
With numerous accommodation options to choose from, you are spoilt for choice. Try out some of our well-known establishments such as Selborne Golf Estate Hotel and Spa, which is a sophisticated haven of relaxation, nestled in the heart of the lush and tranquil South Coast or the Wild Coast Sun, that is a family-friendly resort that offers premium accommodation and leisure activities.
There is also San Lameer Hotel and self-catering villas which are based on the San Lameer Estate, known as South Africa’s own tropical paradise, offering a dream family holiday location or Mhlangeni Lodge set in a stunning location, overlooking breathtaking coastline and picturesque countryside.
Try Zizi Lodge in Leisure Bay for an upmarket authentic feel of Africa, where guests can experience the tranquillity of an unspoiled bush setting which is within walking distance of the beach; or Bill’s Best, which offers affordable, beachfront, self-catering holiday accommodation, in the village of Ramsgate, while Lake Eland Game Reserve offers cosy and rustic accommodation in a natural landscape just 40 minutes from Port Shepstone.
Tucked away in the twilight of the south coast, The Horizon On Shelly Beach consists of luxurious, spacious, self-catering apartments. Each apartment is fully furnished and has everything you need to enjoy a home away from home.
South Coast Blue Flag Beaches
Flying the blue flag
The South Coast currently boasts seven Blue Flag Beaches. What does this mean? According to the Wessa website: “The Blue Flag is an international annual award which focuses on the environmental management of our coastline and coastal waters to help tourism growth and development. Although it’s a voluntary eco-label, it’s become an international symbol of quality for beaches, boats, and marinas that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information, and environmental management.” More than 40 countries across the globe participate in the programme and South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches.
Exploring rock pools
Rock pools are teeming with marine life and these mini-ecosystems offer endless hours of beach holiday fun, any time of year. If you’re exploring rock pools at the beach, remember these important rules:
Here are some fascinating marine creatures you may find in a rock pool:
Starfish have hundreds of little tube
feet which they use to walk, stick to
rockfaces and respire. They have no
brain, heart or blood.
What they do have is a specialised
stomach. They can eject part of it out of
their body to digest food much bigger than their mouth, and then suck it all back in to finish digesting.
A starfish can drop an arm at will if it needs to. If one is grabbed by a hungry predator it will drop it off and make its escape, eventually growing a new arm to replace it.
Starfish are found in every ocean in the world
and there are over 2 000 known species.
Sea Anemones look like colourful, underwater blooms and get their name from the anemone flower.
They are in fact animals and are closely related to jellyfish and corals. They have no brain, heart or blood. Stinging tentacles help anemones catch tiny plankton which they draw into their mouths.
Crabs are crustaceans along with crayfish and shrimp. Crabs have eight legs and two claws. Instead of having a bony skeleton, crustaceans have an external skeleton which protects their body like a suit of armour.
As they grow, they sometimes get too big for their shell. They wriggle out of a hatch in the back of the shell and grow themselves a whole new, bigger shell.
Let the fun times never end
Dive into fun this summer with a wide range of activities the whole family can enjoy.
The South Coast certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sun, sea, and sand.
Check out the planned beach festivities taking place at various beaches along the coast or take a slow meander by car through our piece of paradise where you will discover delightful and interesting little shops just off the beaten track.
Get back in touch with nature and discover hidden delights on the numerous nature trails that abound in the area or mingle with the locals at craft markets and, when the sun goes down, the fun continues with the nightlife on our coast relaxed and chilled.
Go night karting, clubbing or have a flutter at the casino.
Keep the thrills and spills going
If you are keen to get your adrenalin pumping and looking for the ultimate rush, the numerous adventure activities on the South Coast will not disappoint.
Try out abseiling and the gorge swing, which, incidentally, is one of the highest swings in the world, or white water rafting at Oribi Gorge.
Lake Eland is the place to go for zip lining, paintball, an 80m suspension bridge, horse riding, mountain biking and the 4×4 track.
Take to the wild side and settle your need for speed with power-boating at The Old Pont in Port Edward or saddle up for beach horse rides or mountain bike trails in our scenic part of the world.
Check out local tour operators for more information.
If you can’t swim or do the doggie paddle at the very least, do not go near the water.
Avoid the beach if there is lightning forecast.
When heading out into the water be aware that the ocean floor can drop off unexpectedly.
Only swim at netted beaches and avoid swimming at dawn, dusk or at night when sharks are most active.
Keep a friend nearby in case either of you needs help.
Your ‘go-to’ in case of emergency:
NSRI 039 315 6973 and Ubuntu Lifeguards 072 481 1119
Beware of rip currents. They pull even the strongest swimmer out to sea. If you do get pulled out into the ocean, stay calm, save your energy (let the current carry you). DO NOT try to swim against the current. Conserve your strength and start swimming parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then turn and swim towards the shore. If you can’t make the shore, wave your arms and make a noise.
Lifeguards are there for a reason, as they know and can see things about the beach that most beachgoers don’t.
Take note of where they are stationed on the beach and stay near them when swimming.
Lifeguards are on duty from 7am to 5pm during weekends, public holidays and school holidays and from 7am to 6pm during the December season.
– Only swim in the areas designated as safe by lifeguards.