A microlight flight tells the story of a diverse and picturesque South Coast. Noel McDonagh
A microlight flight tells the story of a diverse and picturesque South Coast. Noel McDonagh

When heading South is a great thing

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Feb 7, 2021

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Durban - With the easing of Level 3 lockdown restrictions, it’s time to get out and try the incredible family-friendly ecotourism offerings on the #KZNSouthCoast with its wealth of sites and activities, suited to all budgets.

“It is fortunate that the many nature-based offerings of the KZN South Coast fall within the current restrictions of Level 3, with our local tourism establishments guided in all the latest Covid-19 safety protocols,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu.

“The Upper South Coast, which stretches from eMkomazi to Mthwalume, has a number of wonderful experiences and locations that are easily accessible to all our welcome visitors.”

Here’s a look at what’s on offer at the Upper South Coast

1 Scuba diving

For those looking to learn how to scuba dive, or for the more experienced divers looking to explore one of the world’s top diving sites, the Upper KZN South Coast is the place to visit. The Aliwal Shoal just 5km offshore of the Umkomaas River, is home to a number of ocean creatures, prompting several international documentaries and attracting an influx of global tourists.

Get close up to one of nature’s apex predators from the safe space of a shark cage. John Miller

2 Shark cage diving

Shark cage diving is one of the most exciting ocean adventures. With experienced instructors, visitors are able to get close to some of the region’s beautiful apex predators in their natural habitat. A thrilling and unforgettable experience.

3 Golfing

Known colloquially as “The Golf Coast”, the KZN South Coast boasts an abundance of well-maintained golf courses, many in the Upper South Coast region. From the novice to the pros, there’s a green for every golfer – most of which are surrounded by coastal forests with stunning sea views.

4 Microlight adventures

Experience the Upper South Coast region from the skies through a thrilling microlight adventure. Organised by experienced pilots, a microlight trip gives visitors an overview of the oceans, forests and other natural wonders in this part of the world.

5 Wildlife experience

The natural abundance of the Upper South Coast extends to its animal inhabitants as well, with the area renowned for its diverse birdlife, as well as the many unique animal species. At Scottburgh’s Crocworld Conservation Centre, families are able to engage with these incredible animals while the knowledgeable staff share insights and perform daily feeding demonstrations for audiences. There is also an on-site restaurant, Fish Eagle Café, and a fun animal farm and playground for youngsters.

  • Crocworld Conservation Centre (Scottburgh): 039 976 1103 or visit

6 Shop for handmade accessories

Find artistry and craftsmanship with the globally-renowned Polka Dot Coco Fashion. The brand specialises in handcrafted accessories using locally-sourced materials, such as the famous Shweshwe.

7 Nature reserves

Visitors have ample opportunity to get out in nature and experience the great outdoors. The Upper South Coast is rich with coastal forests and reserves which are home to a myriad wildlife and local bird species.

8 Local heritage

Integral moments of South African history were set against the backdrop of the Upper South Coast, determining a trajectory that has brought us to where we are now. Visitors can experience the rich cultural nuances of this area at the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre where local guides bring history to life through story, crafts and song.

Scottburgh Beach is a favourite spot for locals and visitors. Noel Mcdonogh/ World of Wings

9 Beach activities

As a renowned coastal holiday resort, the area offers visitors expansive golden sands and warm Indian Ocean water at its many beautiful beaches, with Scottburgh Main Beach a firm favourite among locals. There are several local “learn-to-surf” schools. The inviting beaches are also ideal for stand-up paddling (SUP), canoeing, snorkelling and general bathing, with many tidal pools providing safe bathing options. Visitors can also enjoy a cocktail and beachside meal while taking in the stunning sea views and even catching site of the resident dolphins.

  • Scottburgh Beach
  • Pennington Beach
  • Hibberdene Beach
  • Umzumbe Beach
Getting some exercise couldn’t be more beautiful than exploring the mountain biking and running trails on the South Coast. Rocky Bay Resorts

10 Mountain biking and running trails

Getting exercise has never been this much fun. The #KZNSouthCoast consists of some of the country’s best running and mountain biking trails that traverse coastal forests, and local farmlands for a truly immersive natural experience.

For events and activities on #KZNSouthCoast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za or follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.

The Independent on Saturday

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