One of the self-catering units at Sea Cottage. Picture Myrtle Ryan
One of the self-catering units at Sea Cottage. Picture Myrtle Ryan
The view from Sea Cottages' deck. Picture Myrtle Ryan
The view from Sea Cottages' deck. Picture Myrtle Ryan

Durban - Zinkwazi, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, has always been popular with holiday-makers looking for a relaxed time at the coast. In season, it is expensive, mainly attracting up-country visitors prepared to pay large sums to stay.

It’s a village with enormous double-story houses perched at different levels up the steep hillside. Most are still surrounded by sub-tropical undergrowth, and many command views of the distant sea.

Within easy striking range of Durban, those wanting a peaceful weekend or few days away, out of season, have different options.

The accommodation closest to the sea and lagoon is Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge. Its caravan park, must be delightful in the height of summer, with large trees providing shelter from the blazing sun. There is also a fair amount of privacy. Those not wanting to camp, can stay in the chalets next to the restaurant which overlooks the lagoon.

It was drizzling and overcast, when we first popped in, so no-one was on the beach. On our return, it was more sunny.

Sea Cottage, self-catering close to the beach, seemed inviting. Here guests wander down a short pathway through the dune vegetation to the beach, but can also sit on a wooden deck, which overlooks a stretch of beach and waves below. The agapanthus were in bloom, adding misty lilac to the garden, with its swimming pool. There are four cottages of varying sizes. Rates out of season, vary between R800 for a two-sleeper cottage, to R1 250 for a four-sleeper and R1 500 for a six-sleeper.

On the more luxurious front, the Ocean Reef Hotel has rooms for two, and self-catering apartments for four or six people. All have balconies with sea views, though some might find the tiled roofs of the apartments below a bit distracting. Bushy dune vegetation reminds visitors they are on the coast.

The hotel’s Bamboo restaurant, which leads on to the deck with rimpool, is popular with locals, we were told, as it lays on different specials – such as Pensioner Tuesday and half-price deals on different days of the week.

We found Fish Eagle Estates in the village most helpful. They gave us a leaflet listing self-catering, B&B and rental options.

l Some contacts: Fish Eagle Estates 032 485 3000; Ocean Reef Hotel 032 485 3065/3776; Sea Cottage 082 905 1352. - Sunday Tribune