North Coast

What, Where and When on The

The Zulu Kingdom’s North Coast, also known as the Dolphin Coast, stretches from Zimbali in the south to the mighty Thukela River in the north. This is the playground of bottlenose dolphins, which frolic in the waters close to shore and are visible all year round. The North Coast offers luxury, beauty, sport and history, and is a place to indulge the senses. Tee off on the excellent golf courses, or for the sheer thrill of it – take to the air for a birds-eye view of this magnificent coastline.

The Dolphin Coast shoreline offers a perfect combination of golden beaches and sheltered coves for the definitive beach pleasure – sun, surf, fishing, horseback beach rides or snorkelling. There are coastal forests and nature reserves to be explored as well as an abundance of adventure activities on offer. Added to that, this playground is infused with the presence of the Zulu King, and the pioneering spirit of the early European and Indian settlers – a kaleidoscope of culture, nature and adventure.

The North Coast was once part of the great Zulu empire built by King Shaka, and the region’s multi-cultural heritage makes for many memorable experiences. Walk a ‘muti’ (African medicine) trail through the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve or visit historic battle sites such as the Ultimatum Tree, Ndondakusuka or Fort Pearson, or visit the burial place of the great Zulu King at Kwa-Dukuza.

Zulu hospitality is warm and the people friendly, and they are proud to show you their heritage. This region is also home to a large Indian community, so look out for their temples, sample their spicy foodstuffs or shop for fresh produce at any of the numerous markets.

The Luthuli Museum is a site of international historical significance and is an encounter not to be missed – an opportunity to fill in the gaps of South Africa’s political history. It celebrates the life and legacy of a human rights champion, an exemplary African leader and the recipient of the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli. This national legacy project is situated in Groutville on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, at the historical home of Chief Luthuli’s family.

Adventure activities abound within a few minutes of the seafront, along with crocodile and animal farms for the curious-minded – a visit to Monkeyland in Salt Rock will keep both kids and adults enthralled as you view a variety of primates roaming free in this sanctuary. Head off-road on the back of a quad bike – experience a breath-taking ride that meanders across private sugar estates or trails that take riders along the scenic rivers edge, through amazing river crossings, along magnificent cliff faces, into muddy areas, over log bridges, narrow bush paths, and up rocky hill climbs. Or get a birds-eye view of the North Coast with one of the aerial adventures and experiences that are available in this region, from helicopter flips originating from Virginia Airport to microlight flights from Ballito. Or, how about ziplining in ta valley along the Sampoya Rver?  With abundant birdlife and forest surroundings nature lovers are sure to enjoy the walking trails that that form part of the adventure.

Did you know?

Dolphins are air breathing, warm-blooded marine mammals and of the 40 oceanic dolphins found worldwide, the two commonly sighted along the North Coast are the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, and the common dolphin, with occasional sightings of the rare humpback dolphin. In isiZulu dolphins are called ihlengethwa.

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