Shelly Beach is a small seaside town situated halfway between Margate and Port Shepstone on the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Shelly Beach is aptly named after the thousands of stunning seashells that get washed up onto the beach after high tide, and offers a plethora of golden beaches, friendly locals, endless water sports, and fantastic dive sites. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise without the expensive air fare, Shelly Beach is for you.
Shelly Beach is one of the fastest developing commercial and residential towns on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The exotic feel of the town is hard to miss with its golden beaches, tidal pools, lagoons, and warm ocean waters filled with brightly coloured coral reefs. It is an exceptional spot for diving and snorkelling where divers can see numerous tropical fish, sharks, and coral, and explore underwater caves. Popular dive sites include Potato Reef, The Caves, Deep Salmon, Arena Reef, Bo Boyi Reef, Protea Banks, and Adda Reef. The world famous Aliwal Shoal is set off the coast of Umkomaas, 81km away.
Diving and snorkelling aren’t the only water sports to be enjoyed here. Shelly Beach has the largest ski boat base between Durban and East London, offering plenty of opportunities for boating. Other water sports include surfing, canoeing, waterskiing, and rock, surf, and deep sea fishing. Shelly Beach hosts several deep sea angling competitions throughout the year.
For those who prefer to stay closer to shore, Shelly Beach is one of the safest swimming beaches around. It has shark nets and lifeguards on duty during the school holidays. The beach is a shell collector’s paradise with plenty of seashells scattered on the shores after high tide, including tiny pink lady shells. Other leisure activities include whale and dolphin watching between June and November, beach walks, and trips to Shelly Centre Shopping Mall which offers an array of shops, cinemas, and restaurants.
If you enjoy something a little different, you can visit Pure Venom Reptile Park, the biggest reptile farm in Africa. Other activities include day trips to Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve for the highest commercial abseil, and Uvongo River Nature Reserve which is fantastic for bird watching.
Don’t miss the Sardine Run and festival, an incredible natural phenomenon that occurs between May and August each year. Thousands of fish, dolphin, seal, shark, and birds go into a feeding frenzy and create what is called “the greatest shoal on earthâ€ which is truly special to observe by boat, and beach, or air. During this time, there are plenty of attractions along the coastline, such as marathons, mountain biking, fishing competitions, sardine tasting, and beach activities.
With beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and numerous activities, Shelly Beach is the perfect summer holiday destination with something for everyone.