Visitors coming through to the KwaZulu-Natal this holiday should put the iconic South Coast on the itinerary. Already an established holiday destination, the local tourism implementing agency – Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) – is driving the ‘The Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’ as an international attraction, boasting a range of exciting activities and heritage experiences all within some of the country’s most beautiful locations.
“There are so many reasons the KZN South Coast continues to draw in holidaymakers but one of our biggest strengths is the sheer diversity of the region,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of USCT. “From our Blue Flag Beaches and internationally-rated diving sites, through to our nature reserves and extreme outdoor activities, everyone is ensured of a really memorable holiday experience.”
If you haven’t yet visited the KZN South Coast and are in need of some convincing, here are 10 reasons to put this seaside location on your holiday schedule.
1. KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails
Get a taste of traditional culture and natural beauty through any of the three recently-opened multi-trails – the 20km 4×4 trail; 10-kilometre trail run; or the 4km hiking trail traversing the Mpenjati River valley.
2. Shark Diving
Get an up-close experience with some of the oceans’ most important inhabitants with any number of reputable shark diving organisations.
3. Wild 5 Adventures
Suspension bridges…wild water rafting…abseiling…foefie sliding…wild swing jumps…if it’s extreme, Oribi’s Wild 5 Adventures has it! Feel the ultimate adrenaline rush with this award-winning adventure company.
4. Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve
Experience the grassland, parkland, wetland and coastal forest habitats indigenous to this area and home to more than 300 bird species and a variety of beautiful wildlife. Take it in with a hiking trail or 4×4 adventure – whatever suits your style!
5. Surfing lessons
Find out what all the fuss is about by taking up some introductory surf lessons with any number of local surf schools. Become one with the waves this summer!
6. Gamalakhe Township
Get a taste of local history during this enlightening township experience, discovering the history of forced removals and establishment of Tin Town. This is also home to the vibrant Ugu Sport Leisure Centre was created as a practice stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an ideal venue for conferences, events and exhibitions.
7. Crocworld Conservation Centre
The perfect family day out can be found in Scottburgh’s Crocworld Conservation Centre, home to a wide variety of local birds and animals. Make sure to visit at 11am or 3pm for the crocodile feeding and talk. The December holiday programme also includes a snake demonstration at 10.15am, a vulture feeding every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2pm, a fun (and safe!) snake and crocodile interaction session at 1.30pm daily. And don’t miss out on Henry the Nile Crocodile’s 119th birthday celebration on Monday, 16 December!
8. Nkomba Conservation Area
Take a hike through the recently rehabilitated Nkomba site located within the Pennington Conservancy. This significant environmental gem gives visitors a view of what can be achieved when a space is transformed back to its natural status.
9. MTB Trails
The incredible natural landscape within the KZN South Coast has seen mountain bikers countrywide and beyond drawn to the many well-maintained trails. Ingeli Forest Lodge, Lake Eland Nature Reserve, Clearwater Trails, Rocky Bay…and so many more trails to explore on the KZN South Coast!
10. The Golf Coast
A golfer’s holiday dream, the region is home to 11 golfing destinations, most of them set against a backdrop of endless ocean views and designed within the indigenous coastal vegetation.
If you’re visiting the KZN South Coast around 13 December, you can expect to be personally welcomed by Mayor of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (RNM), Cllr Cynthia Mqwebu! This annual Mayoral Roadblock is a time-honoured South Coast tradition that ensures visitors get a welcome from the top level of the region.
There’s so much to enjoy on the KZN South Coast! For more information on USCT and upcoming events, visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za, the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page or @infosouthcoast on Twitter using the #travelsouthcoast #tourismsouthcoast #kznsouthcoast hashtags, or download the FREE ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app (available mid-December).