A South Coast holiday generally revolves around the beach – its golden sands, tidal pools and beaches offer something for everyone, from early morning beach walks to swimming, surfing and sunbathing. There are rocky outcrops and sandy beaches for the surf fishermen, launching spots for the deep-sea enthusiasts and several launching sites for kayak fishing. The region currently has five Blue Flag status beaches – Marina Beach, Trafalgar, Southport, Umzumbe and Hibberdene, an award given to beaches that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. Scuba diving is a popular sport on the South Coast with excellent deep-sea diving areas at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks which is the resting place for a number wrecks. Experience the delight of the ocean on a sea excursion and possibly share in the enchantment of watching dolphins frolic and swim around the boat and possibly spot a whale in season (May to November) – and if you’re there in winter, you may be lucky and experience the migration of millions of sardines, and event commonly referred to as the Sardine Run.
Need a break from the ocean? There are plenty of activities to keep you busy for days… the adventurous can attempt an exhilarating swing into the gorge, try the world’s highest abseiling site, and in the rainy season (November to April) white-water rafting is an option. Go hiking in the spectacularly scenic Oribi Nature Reserve – keep your binoculars close at hand as the riverine forest offers great birding, or go mountain biking in Lake Eland Game Reserve, taking time to pause on the banks of the lake for a picnic. Nature lovers will enjoy the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, which conserves plants found nowhere else in the world, or go birding – 400 bird species have been counted along this coastline. To make the most of your birding trip, be sure to use a local Birdlife SA accredited guide.
Head out on one of the regions culturally immersive ‘Great Drives Out’ authentic rural experiences. With the help of a local guide you can get an insight into a rich heritage, learn local customs, purchase beautifully crafted items to wear or display made by local artists and sample indigenous food and drink. These experiences include KwaNzimakwe, Nyandezulu, KwaXolo Caves, the Wild2SouthCoast Walk, the road less travelled between Oribi Gorge and Hluku, Harding as well as the scenic road routes from Bushy Vale to Izingolweni to Shelly Beach; as well as from Umzumbe to Kwadweshula to Batstones.
What to do In The South Coast
DID YOU know?
The Zulu name for whale is umkhomo. The Umkomazi River (aka Umkomaas River) was named in 1828 by King Shaka on one of his royal processions with his ‘Impi’ (warriors). During a hunting sojourn, he saw several cow whales and calves basking in the shallows a short distance out to sea from the river mouth. The name Umkomazi, literally translated means ‘The watering place of the whales’.