As tough a year as it was, if there’s one thing we can take from 2020 is that there’s no time like the present to explore and make special memories with family. Fortunately, the KZN South Coast is brimming with affordable, family-friendly activities. As part of Ugu South Coast Tourism’s (USCT) “Thokozela Ihlobo! Celebrate Summer’ campaign, there’s all the more incentive to explore the best the area has to offer.
“When it comes to family holiday destinations, the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom has long been a favourite spot with its many beaches, nature reserves and child-friendly activities,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu. “This year, through our Thokozela ihlobo! Celebrate Summer campaign, we’ll make sure it’s truly a memorable experience for all families holidaying on the KZN South Coast.”
1. Mountain biking
Those viewing the sights and sounds of the beautiful KZN South Coast by bike are spoilt for choice. There are many well-maintained biking routes, as well as a number of leading mountain biking competitions, including joberg2c, sani2c, and the 5-stage South Coast Fever MTB Series. Some biking routes to try include:
– Burry Stander Bike Park in Umtentweni: 079 493 7499.
– Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge: 082 851 6687
– ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest in Harding: 082 927 9335
– Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward: 039 311 2315/47
– Clear Water Trail Centre in Port Edward: 083 549 6710
– Red Desert Nature Reserve in Port Edward: 039 695 0460/083 631 9331
2. Horse and pony rides
Experience the KZN South Coast from the back of a horse (or pony for the little ones) by booking through one of the local establishments. Anyone, from newbies through to experts, can enjoy a trot along the beaches, or meander through the cane fields following a local guide. Riding facilities can be found at:
– Selsdon Park Estate in Trafalgar: 083 301 2941, 082 451 9827
– Wild Coast Sun Hotel & Casino: 039 305 9111
3. Animal farms
Animal conservation is an important part of KZN South Coast ethos. There are a number of animal and reptile parks established around this. Families are kept engaged with tours, talks and animal feeding at these stunning establishments. Among them are:
– Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh: 039 976 1103
– Pure Venom Snake & Reptile farm near Shelly Beach: 082 965 0932.
– Butterfly Valley Butterfly Farm in Ramsgate: 073 422 5357.
– Riverbend Crocodile Farm in Southbroom: 039 316 6204
4. Running and walking trails
Active families looking for adventure are treated to many running and walking trails throughout the KZN South Coast. Some of the venues to try out include TC Robertson Nature Reserve, Rocky Bay Resort, Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, River Valley Nature Reserve, Beaver Creek Coffee Estate, Bushbuck Trail, Clearwater Trail, ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest.
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5. Casting a line
From those looking to learn a new hobby, through to the dedicated anglers, will find the perfect place to cast a line along the 120km shoreline – as well as the many rivers and dams. Two renowned fishing spots are Uvongo Fishing Pier and Margate Fishing Pier, and there are several companies renting or selling fishing equipment.
6. Picnics in nature
The aforementioned nature reserves, Lake Eland Game Reserve, KwaXolo Caves, beaches, dams, rivers and waterfalls are all ideal spots for a family picnic. The KZN South Coast has many famous eateries and shops that can provide the required picnic basket assortment.
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Experience the KZN South Coast on the water by hiring a canoe from one of the many suppliers based at St Michael’s, Uvongo, Margate and Ramsgate. They will gladly show you how the equipment works and all safety gear is provided.
Discover the mysticism and history of the shipwrecks along this treacherous shoreline. For divers, there are many ships that met a tragic end, waiting to be explored below the water. These include the Nebo which sank in 1884, and the Produce which sank in 1974, near the world-renowned dive site, Aliwal Shoal. There is also The Uni XII at Pennington, The Nevonia at Umzumbe, The Nightingale at Palm Beach, The Ivy at Glenmore, as well a Port Edward’s Sao Joao and Sao Bento. On the Port Edward beach, families can view the Sao Joao Portuguese Monument, erected on North Sand Bluff to commemorate the souls lost in 1552 when the Portuguese ship sank in the shallow waters off Port Edward.
After a long hike in a nature reserve, there is nothing quite as welcome as the revitalizing sound of cascading waterfalls, inviting the tired traveller in for a dip. Explore the scenic waterfalls of the KZN South Coast. These include Hoepoe Falls, Lehr’s Waterfall and Samanga Waterfall in Oribi Gorge, as well as Uvongo Waterfall and Nyandezulu Waterfall.
The holiday memories can be enriched with a visit to one of the area’s top museums. Get to know the local heritage of this spectacular area by visiting the Port Shepstone Maritime Museum, Margate Art Museum, Pistols Saloon Museum in Ramsgate or the Munster Motor Museum.