Did you know?
Locals believe that the annual South Coast sardine run starts when the last of the coastal aloes bloom.
The Southern Explorer Route welcomes the curious traveller keen to discover the unspoilt beauty of KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast.
Sparkling blue seas and beautiful beaches fringed by lush tropical vegetation present a coastal playground that stretches for 200km, offering a smorgasbord of outdoor activities that include swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, body boarding and canoeing. Most of the beaches along the route have lifeguards on duty and shark nets in place.
The quality of the beaches and their facilities in this region is evident by how many were awarded international Blue Flag status for 2010/2011: Lucien, Margate, Marina, Trafalgar, Ramsgate and Umzumbe are the latest to join the ever-growing list of Blue Flag beaches in South Africa.
Scottburgh is a great starting point to get a feel for the South Coast way of life. Here you’ll find top-notch surfing, swimming and diving, plus a miniature railway for the kids. Regular dive charters whisk divers out to the Aliwal Shoal, a world-renowned dive site.
Shelly Beach is a choice spot for ski-boaters, fishing charters, diving and whale watching. Further down, St Michaels offers excellent surfing and a tidal pool for the kids. A deep gorge and waterfall make Uvongo a popular spot and the beach has excellent wind protection.
Margate is the main town along the Southern Explorer Route, packed with holiday apartments, luxury hotels and premier entertainment offerings. Tidal pools, a great beach, plus local arts and crafts are added attractions. Its baby cousin, Ramsgate, is smaller but offers similar attractions.
Southbroom, Marina Beach, Lucien, Trafalgar and Munster are other stops worth investigating along the Southern Explorer Route.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Southern Explorer Route
Tel: +27 (0) 39 316 8221
Fax: +27 (0) 86 647 2980
How to get here
From Durban take the N2 south. Follow the road until you reach Scottburgh, where the Southern Explorer Route starts.
Best time to visit
Thanks to the tropical climate the beaches are excellent at any time of year. Surfing is best in winter when big swells move inshore.
Hiring your own vehicle is the best way of getting around, allowing you to explore the region at your own pace.
What to pack
Beach gear, diving and fishing equipment, plenty of sunscreen and a hat.
In June-July the annual sardine run takes place along the South Coast.
Many of the South Coast beaches provide areas where crafters sell items such as baskets, mats, clay pots, figurines and other assorted curios.