The KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast is also known as the Dolphin Coast due to the frequent sightings of bottlenose dolphins which can often be seen frolicking in the waves from many of the secluded bays and golden beaches. Pretty coastal holiday towns like Ballito, Salt Rock, Umdloti and Zinkwazi bask in sunshine-filled days with perfect swimming and surfing conditions, and a collection of tidal pools and excellent fishing spots. And the patches of natural coastal forest give way to endlessly rolling hills covered with sugarcane. The North Coast offers luxury, beauty, sport and history, and is a place to indulge the senses… see a bottlenose dolphin for the first time; taste the spicy foodstuffs of the large Indian community that has made this region home; touch the fine detail of hand crafted art; smell the subtle fragrance of lemon grass as you relax at a spa; hear the sounds of sea gulls as you stroll along the beach… and that’s just on the first day. Explore pristine estuaries and coastal forest at one of the many nature reserves. Adventurous activities abound, from quad biking through the sugar cane fields and horse riding on the beach to taking a flip along the magnificent coastline by microlight. For kids, and the curious-minded, there are the crocodile and animal farms. Tee off for a round of golf at one of the scenic golf courses this region has to offer, often with a backdrop of beautiful bays, green sugar cane and indigenous forests. Keen golfers will appreciate the sweeping fairways of Umhlali’s golf course at the Umhlali Country Club – its water holes often attract antelope and zebra, and the exotic palm trees give it a tropical feel. The internationally designed golf course at Zimbali provides further playing pleasure for those who fervently pursue the sport and are up for a challenge. One natural highlight in the region at this time of year is the arrival of the European Barn Swallows. It is an incredible sight to witness up to 3 million of these tiny migratory birds as gather together about half an hour before sunset, flying in their vast numbers over the Wetlands in Mount Moreland. An opportunistic Bat Hawk or Sooty Falcon may even be spotted swooping in for a quick bite during the evening display! As dusk falls, the swallows suddenly drop into the reed-beds to roost and are gone. Enjoy an evening picnic or a few sundowners at the Lake Victoria Conservancy in Mount Moreland and witness this a spectacular natural event, with mid-November being the best time.
whats on in north coast
did you know?
Barn swallows enjoy a perpetual summer – breeding between late April and August in the Northern hemisphere summer, then heading south to enjoy the Southern hemisphere summer. Whilst in transit, the swallow eats and drinks ‘on the wing’, making its migration of thousands of kilometres across the globe quite an extraordinary feat.