Scenic beach and inland splendour turns KZN South Coast into hive of winter tourism
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DURBAN - The arrival of the world-famous sardine run and the annual whale migration were already big tourist drawcards this winter tourism season, the Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) has said.
Amid a call to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols, the tourism body said it welcomed visitors to the pristine beaches and a host of a variety of other tourist attractions as part of the #WozaForWinter tourism promotion campaign.
“When it comes to winter holiday destinations, the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast region is undoubtedly one of the best, with our temperate, subtropical climate, sunny skies and an abundance of natural activities to enjoy,” said Phelisa Mangcu, the chief executive officer of the USCT.
“We’ve had reports that a number of our local establishments are already full and people are flocking to see the incredible sardine run, which is putting on a particularly impressive spectacle this year. While this is all very encouraging news, we do urge our visitors to adhere to the mandatory Covid-19 safety measures - even outdoors - which includes mask wearing, social distancing and sanitising. Although we’re on holiday, Covid-19 is not and we really need to be mindful of this, especially with the rising infection numbers countrywide,” she said.
In addition to the sea pleasures, the campaign which has been dubbed the “safecation” in line with the heath protocols, seeks to emphasis activities in nature and game reserves, waterfalls, gorges and cliffs that provide the ideal backdrop for outdoor adventures.
And with research indicating that outdoor venues are safest in terms of minimising Covid-19 transmission, said Mangcu, there are lots of safecation outdoor activities to try out along the South Coast.
Holiday makers can watch the sardine run and whale migration while relaxing along the golden sands of any of the 58 golden beaches - five of which have Blue Flag Beach status - all suited to bathing, surfing and snorkelling.
The coast is also home to the highest number of tidal pools for protected bathing conditions.
Here are some other activities on offer:
– Get deep at one of two Marine Protected Areas - Aliwal Shoal just 5km offshore of Umkomaas River, and Protea Banks which is 8km off Shelly Beach - both of them world-revered dive sites. “Diving here, visitors will be surrounded by diverse shark species, including duskies, Zambezis, tiger sharks, hammerheads and, occasionally, a great white,” she said.
– Take it to the maximum with some extreme adventures in the great outdoors, including the adrenaline-pumping wild gorge swing, suspension bridge walking, white-water rafting, 4x4 adventures or take a walk on the wild side in the nature or game reserves.
– Experience tradition and culture in the hinterland with the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails through the idyllic Mpenjati River Valley.
– There’s also the KwaXolo Caves Adventures, a 300m cableway hike alongside the cliffs through to the caves which are home to centuries-old San paintings.
– Just outside of Port Edward is the Red Desert, described as the world’s smallest desert.
Also known as “The Golf Coast”, the region is home to 11 scenic golf courses all boasting incredible coastal settings, from 18-hole championship courses to relaxed semi-links courses, there’s a green for every golfer.
Follow the KZN South Coast Sardine Run action on the “South Coast Tourism” Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter. For more information about what to see and do on the coast, download the free “Explore KZN South Coast” app from Google Play and Apple stores, or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za.