The South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal is an endless summer playground for holidaymakers in South Africa. Stretching from the Mtamvuna River at Port Edward to the seaside resort of Amanzimtoti, the South Coast is a subtropical paradise of forests, beaches, warm Indian Ocean waters, and plenty of sunshine. The coastline oozes laziness around every cove yet has plenty of fun activities on offer.
With a moderate subtropical climate that puts the WIN in winter, the South Coast has plenty of reasons to stay outdoors from the first light of dawn to long after the frogs begin their nocturnal chorus. Spend a day in one of the many nature reserves, go abseiling in the Oribi Gorge, take a hiking trail, play your way around the excellent golf courses, or soak up the sunshine on one of the many Blue Flag status beaches – Umzumbe, Southport, Lucien, Trafalgar, and Marina. If you enjoy water-based activities, the Indian Ocean averages a pleasant 21°C all year, so you can spend hours fishing, snorkelling, diving, or surfing at some of the internationally acclaimed surf spots.
Scuba diving is a popular sport on the South Coast with excellent deep-sea diving at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. Protea Banks is one of the world’s top shark dives, while Aliwal Shoal, approximately 5km off the coast of Umkomaas, is rated one of the most exciting scuba diving destinations in the world. Named after the near-sinking of the 3 Masted vessel Aliwal, the rocky reef is what remains of an ancient sand dune. Aside from hard and soft corals, and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish, Aliwal Shoal is known for its ragged tooth sharks that mate there between August and November. There are 2 nearby wrecks that are prime diving sites.
Aside from mild temperatures that hover between 16 and 25°C, winter on the South Coast has another big draw card. Every year from May to July, the phenomenal sardine run sees millions of sardines travel along the coastline from the Agulhas Bank to Mozambique. Known as “the greatest shoal on earthâ€, the swarming mass (measuring up to 15km long, 3,5km wide, and 30m deep) is pursued and preyed on by sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, and sea birds, and is quite a spectacle to behold. The shoal travels close to the shore and people come from far and wide to scoop up the natural sardine harvest.
Visit the South Coast and enjoy your own outdoor adventures along this holiday playground!