The South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, oozes laid-back beach charm. Secluded coves, lagoons and beach walks provide a relaxing way to enjoy its offerings. Although this slow pace is heightened significantly by its collection of adventure activities, from surfing the warm Indian Ocean to bungee jumping the magnificent Oribi Gorge.

Did you know?

The South Coast attraction, Crocworld, is home to Henry, the heaviest and oldest known crocodile in captivity.

The South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal stretches from Durban, south to the start of the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast.

Margate, Port Shepstone, Scottburgh, Hibberdene, Uvongo and Ramsgate are some of the towns comprising the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Its beautiful beaches are the main highlight, although golfing and adventure destinations also feature prominently among the popular attractions.

The region is blessed with pristine beaches and regularly boasts Blue Flag status beaches, most often at Margate, Marina/San Lameer, Ramsgate and Trafalgar. Blue Flag beaches are those that have achieved excellence in water quality and environmental education and adhere to international safety standards.

Just off KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast are Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks – two popular deep-sea diving haunts. Both are frequented by large shark populations, with the latter being ranked as one of the top shark diving sites in the world.

If you're looking to up your adrenaline even more, visit Oribi Gorge. This 27km- long, 400m deep gorge cuts its way through 365-year-old rock and is a haven for thrill-seekers. The world's highest bungee swing is located here – a heart-stopping, 33-storey jump from the top of Lehrs Falls into the gorge.

You can also do the world's highest natural commercial abseil at Oribi, take the Wild Slide across the gorge, white-water raft or hike the edge of the gorge or the area at the foot of the falls below.

Golfers will be pleased to know there are eight golf courses in the vicinity, one of which, San Lameer, is rated among South Africa's top 30 courses.

The South Coast with its sub-tropical vegetation sustains an abundance of birdlife; more than 400 bird species have been recorded along the coast. Birds, as well as the floral diversity of the area, can be enjoyed at numerous small reserves including the Oribi Gorge, Umtamvuna, Mpenjati and Vernon Crookes nature reserve.

On the commercial side, apart from many smaller centres, there are two massive shopping malls along the South Coast: the Galleria in Amanzimtoti and the Shelly Centre in Shelly Beach. Both have movie theatres and the Galleria has an ice rink.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Hibiscus Coast Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)39 682 7944
Fax: +27 (0)39 682 1034

South Coast Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)39 682 7944
Email: info@tourismsouthcoast.co.za

How to get here

Fly from any of South Africa’s major cities to King Shaka International Airport.

If you’re driving from Johannesburg take the N3 freeway direct to Durban. From Cape Town, take the N2 freeway to Durban.

From Durban, travel south on the N2 motorway – this entire region down to Port Edward is the South Coast.

Best time to visit

The South Coast is an all-year-round destination due to its warm climate. Summers are hot and humid and often accompanied by afternoon showers. Winters are mild to warm.

Tours to do

Fabulous lighthouse tours of the coast's lighthouses; Oribi Gorge, Umtamvuna and Vernon Crookes nature reserves; Oribi Gorge adventure activities or walks and hikes; Crocworld, home to the Nile crocodiles, at Scottburgh; Uvongo Bird Park; Butterfly Farm at Ramsgate; Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Shepstone; Margate Art Museum.

What to eat

Fresh seafood is in abundance along the South Coast.

What's happening

The annual sardine run in May; South Coast Lions Show at Port Shepstone in July; Ski-Boat Festival at St Michaels Beach in July.