The view taken from the balcony of the Estuary Hotel, one of the places we stayed at during the SouthCoast Tour. Picture: Masego Panyane
The view taken from the balcony of the Estuary Hotel, one of the places we stayed at during the SouthCoast Tour. Picture: Masego Panyane

Exploring the South Coast of KZN

By Masego Panyane Time of article published Jul 6, 2019

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While South Africa is known for its stunning weather, our winter months are very cold. 

One of the country’s best-kept secrets is however that the Kwazulu Natal province has a permanent state of summer. 

I experienced this first hand on a visit this past weekend to the South Coast as a guest of Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal and South Coast Tourism. 

The one thing that I realised that the area is big on an adventure which means that there are a number of places that likers of things can get busy at, and for everyone else, fear not. There’s a couple of the won’t raise your blood sugar type of activities that you too can get busy with. 

Our weekend adventure began early in the morning on Friday, June 28. After a 05:55 am a flight to Durban, we touched down at King Shaka Airport where we met each other for the first time. Other people in the group had crossed paths before, so it was a sweet reunion for them too. 

After a hearty breakfast, we were off to the South Coast of KZN that would be our home for the next few days. 

Ziplining magic 

Our first stop was at Lake Eland Game Reserve, a stunning reserve that also caters for those who like treading on the adventurous side of life. 

Despite its rather bumpy drive into the reserve, I was struck by how simply breathtaking the views of the reserve were. I’m told that even the ones where the two zip lines cross are completely stunning. 

There are two options to pick from, one that has 14 stops and is 4.5kms long in length, and another called the Zip eXtreme has the first slide being a 1km “straight-down” thrilling ride reaching speeds of up to 160 km per hour and then 2 more slides to the collection point.

Our initial plan was that we’d get busy on the 14 lines, but we had time issues which lead to the collective deciding on just tackling the Zip eXtreme. Now for the plot twist, please find out before signing up what the weight limitations are.

See images below from the zip lining experience. Click here for details about the site. 

Did someone say Gorge?

The next item on our agenda was the Oribi Gorge Swing that’s a stone throw away from the swing site. The gorge swing is operated by Wild 5 Adventures and is the highest gorge swing in the world. Adventure junkies that try this swing, give into  gravity by hurling themselves off the edge of Lehr’s Falls. 

This activity means stepping (or diving) off the edge of the waterfall and plummeting into the 55-storey deep gorge. The free-fall will have you accelerating up to the astounding speed of 120km/hours in 2.5 seconds.

Again, the view to the bottom of the gorge is nature at its finest. But outside of the beauty, you must have guts of steel and a whole of self control because the area overlooking  the gorge is not fenced off-but this gives you unfiltered access to nature's bounty. I knew from the time I heard that this was on the cards that I was not a fan of this, so I shied away from it. But from my colleagues who did take the plunge I hear that it was nothing short of liberating. 

See the images from the swing and get information about the Oribi Gorge prices, here.  

The vast Blue waters await.

The lesson to be learnt ladies and gentlemen, is that a little bit of motion sickness never hurt anyone. The Ocean Safari was by far my favourite activity even though I spent a chunk of the time holding onto to dear life and willing myself not to hurl all the contents of the previous day into the vast blue waters. 

This, as you should have guessed by now, is the equivalent of a game drive, except in the ocean. 

It helped that our friends from 'Awesome Charters Shelly Beach' are masters of the ocean because they worked hard to get us to see whales, sharks and dolphins during the two hour boat ride. They were also courteous enough to oblige all the silly questions we had like what the difference between certain types of boats are, what knots are in kilometers and what the height we were at from the ocean floor was. 

I am chuffed to announce that I spotted, more than once majestic whales playing in the ocean, dolphins doing their thing and a variety of birds in the clear blue skies. It was also a blessing that the weather played along so beautifully. 

See images taken from our Ocean Safari below and if you too want to experience it, click here for more info.

The moral of the story: The South Coast is a magnificent place to go out and have some fun in the sun, especially in winter. 

There are a variety of activities to be enjoyed by the whole family, if only you're willing to travel just a little bit out of the city of Durban. Go on, the fun awaits! 

** Masego was a guest of Tourism KZN and South Coast Tourism. 

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