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Friday, January 22, 2021

North Coast

Just north of Durban, and a stones throw from the King Shaka International Airport, is the Zulu Kingdom's North Coast. This region is also known as the Dolphin Coast and offers visitors luxury, beauty, sport and history – an unspoilt natural environment with a lush tropical coastline and the warm Indian Ocean. It is a malaria-free region of infinite beaches and gentle rolling hills covered in sugar cane, a place to indulge the senses – with sublime spa experiences, great restaurants and a buzzing nightlife.

north coast

The North Coast is well located with easy access to both Durban and the game reserves of Zululand and the Elephant Coast and its balmy sub-tropical weather makes it a year-round favourite for holiday makers. The unspoilt beaches are perfect for sun-worshipping and long strolls, its rocky shores and tidal pools ideal for exploration and snorkelling and there’s nothing quite like a dip in the warm Indian Ocean. There are beautiful reefs offshore which will give divers hours of enjoyment, including three artificial reefs that were created by the Oceanographic Research Institute where a wide variety of marine life can be seen.

Whilst its natural setting provides opportunities for several outdoor adventures from horse riding and hiking, surfing and fishing to mountain biking, golf and micro-lighting. Down-time can be spent indulging at one of the region’s luxury spas, enjoying cappuccinos with friends or shopping up a storm. For kids, and the curious-minded, there are the crocodile and animal farms. This region boasts some of the finest golf courses in the Southern Hemisphere – golfers visiting this region will be spoilt for choice with no less than six golf courses of varying standards of difficulty available. The Zimbali Golf Course which is amongst the top 10 courses in South Africa in terms of the ultimate golfing experience and a must visit to any keen golfer accepting the challenges of narrow fairways and bunkers surrounding the greens. The sweeping fairways of Umhlali’s golf course at the Umhlali country club are equally popular – its water holes often attract antelope and zebra, and the exotic palm trees give it a tropical feel.  

A fascinating cultural mix exists in this region that was once part of the great Zulu empire built by King Shaka. This was created by the subsequent wave of adventurers moving into the area, from the arrival of colonialists, the French Mauritian sugar cane growers to the indentured Indian labourers. During the 1860s indentured Indian labourers arrived to work in the sugar plantations and the town is one of the largest sugar-producing districts in the world and Hindu temples are testament to their having made Tongaat, the oldest Indian community in South Africa, their home. Sample some of their culinary delights, including pineapple-on-a-stick covered with tangy spices. For culture and history, visit historic battle sites such as the Ultimatum Tree, Ndondakusuka or Fort Pearson, or visit the burial place of the great Zulu King or the Luthuli Museum in KwaDukuza. Zulu hospitality is warm and the people friendly, and they are proud to show you their heritage.

whats on in north coast

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did you know?

The Zulu name for dolphin is inhlengethwa. Bottlenose dolphins are plentiful in the warm subtropical waters of this region and can often be seen surfing the waves in pods. They can swim at speeds of up to 30km an hour, can launch themselves out of the water up to five meters and swim to depths of around 250m below the surface.