Does golden beaches, blue lagoons, sub-tropical forests and the warm Indian Ocean sound like your kind of paradise? KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast, affectionately known as the Hibiscus Coast for the thousands of beautiful shrubs that bloom along the coastline, comprises all of the above and more. Add sleepy villages, Blue Flag beaches, rivers and nature reserves and you have an apt description of this exciting region.
Stretching from the border of the Eastern Cape in the south to Durban in the north, this coastline offers plenty of excitement for the adventure traveler.
The most unique attraction of the South Coast is the annual sardine run. During late autumn or early winter, this phenomenon attracts divers and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. The sardine run occurs when millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds of Agulhas Banks. Heading north on a current of cold water and along the Eastern Cape towards the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the sheer number create a feeding frenzy along the coastline. The huge shoal of moving fish is thought to be the world’s largest migration. They are preyed upon by thousands of predators, including sharks, dolphins and seabirds.
Scuba diving is a popular adventure activity all year around. For an exhilarating diving experience try Aliwal Shoals near the town of Umkomaas or Protea Banks near Shelly Beach. Both dive destinations are rated as some of the top spots in South Africa and divers come here to experience close encounters with Zambezi, black tip, ragged tooth and hammerhead sharks.
If you prefer to stay closer to shore, try horse back riding on the beaches or catch a wave at one of the South Coast’s many excellent surfing beaches.
Further inland, the magnificent Oribi Gorge offers more adrenaline filled adventures. This canyon, situated just west of Port Shepstone, is cut by the Mzimkulwana River and offers adventure seekers a wide variety of options. Try abseiling, bridge walking, zip lining or how about a gorge swing? As you plunge over the edge and swing high above the deep gorge you know that you have made the right choice selecting the South Coast for your adrenaline pumping holiday!