10 reasons to #ExtendYourStay when you #GoSouthKZN this holiday!

Selsdon Park Estate Horse Riding
Selsdon Park Estate Horse Riding

The glorious winter weather along the KZN South Coast attracts holidaymakers looking for a relaxed, #FamilyFriendly destination. And to ensure all visitors make the most of their #GoSouthKZN holiday, Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is sharing 10 exciting reasons to activities #ExtendYourStay in the #ParadiseoftheZuluKingdom.

“For visitors who are new to the KZN South Coast, the feedback we most often receive is that they couldn’t believe how much there is to do in the region,” explained South Coast Tourism (USCT) CEO, Phelisa Mangcu. “To better prepare visitors and give them a reason to stay even longer, we’ve compiled an extensive list of the many incredible sites and activities on the KZN South Coast.”

1. Seaside activities

When visitors #GoSouthKZN, they can be assured of some unique coastal activities centred around the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. There are five Blue Flag Beaches – Marina Beach, Trafalgar Beach, Southport Beach, Umzumbe Beach and Hibberdene Beach – promising high-quality swimming conditions. The #KZNSouthCoast also boasts the highest number of tidal pools within the province with rock pools and golden sands for children to enjoy. The two Marine Protected Areas at Aliwal Shoal and Umkomaas are considered some of the world’s best dive sites; while Umzumbe, Shelly Beach, St Michael’s-on-Sea, Scottburgh, Southbroom, Margate, Port Edward and Lucien Beach are renowned for their great surf. Deep sea fishing and shore angling are other popular coastal pastimes, particularly during the annual #SardineRun in winter – a must-see migration that attracts all types of marine animals. The cooler months are also renowned for the annual whale migration, with Umtentweni Conservancy Whale Deck, Ramsgate Whale Deck, Impithi Beach Kiosk, and Umdoni Golf Club Whale Deck great sites for viewing.

2. Horse and pony rides

For those with equestrian skills or visitors looking to experience the #KZNSouthCoast by horseback, there are experienced guides ready to assist. From Selsdon Park Estate in Trafalgar, visitors can explore the Lower South Coast on horseback, there are some incredible local trails that cut across farmlands, coastal forests and sandy beaches. The Wild Coast Sun Hotel & Casino in Port Edward also offers exceptional horse-riding tours.

3. Animal and reptile farms

Animal lovers should #ExtendYourStay on the #KZNSouthCoast to visit the many animal conservancies as well as animal and reptile farms within the region. These include:

· Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh
· Pure Venom Snake & Reptile farm in Shelly Beach
· Riverbend Crocodile Farm in Southbroom
· Butterfly Valley Butterfly Farm in Ramsgate

4. Agri-tourism adventures

The warm climate and fertile land make #KZNSouthCoast a prime farming destination, with many farms offering #FamilyFriendly excursions and tastings! #GoSouthKZN to enjoy a really memorable day out while learning a bit about the local agricultural offerings. Some agri-tourism sites include:

· BBS Farm in Umtentweni
· Banana Farm Tours in Southbroom
· Mac Banana Estate & Adventures in Munster
· Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward

5. Nature reserves and indigenous forests

#GoSouthKZN to get immersed in nature! The region has some of the most incredible nature reserves and indigenous coastal forests that are renowned for their incredible hiking trails and picnic spots that include sightings of a variety of bird species as well as smaller game such as buck, mongoose and monkeys. Get into nature at:

· TC Robertson Nature Reserve at Scottburgh
· Umdoni Park Trust Golf Club & Nature Reserve in Pennington
· Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve in Umzinto
· Bendigo Nature Reserve in Port Shepstone
· Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve and Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide
· Ingeli Forest in Harding
· Skyline Nature Reserve in Uvongo
· River Valley Nature Reserve in Margate
· Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar
· Red Desert Nature Reserve in Port Edward
· Umtamvuna Nature Reserve in Port Edward

6. Adventure activities

It’s more than just rest and relaxation on the #KZNSouthCoast – there’s something for those looking to get some adrenaline pumping as well. The adventure and extreme activities are suited to a range of ages and interests, all set in the beautiful natural landscape. #GoSouthKZN to enjoy:

· Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge
· Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge
· KwaXolo Caves Adventures
· Wild Waves Water Park in Port Edward

7. Running, walking and biking trails
In addition to the many trails that can be found in the #KZNSouthCoast nature reserves, the area has a number of exciting hiking, running and biking trails traversing the incredible landscape. Get the heart rate up and enjoy some family time in nature at:

· Rocky Bay Resort
· Umdoni Parkrun
· Uvongo Parkrun
· Burry Stander Bike Park in Umtentweni
· Ramsgate Marine Ramble
· Bushbuck Trail in Soutbroom
· KwaNzimakwe Multi-trails Experience
· Clearwater Trails in Port Edward
· Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest Trail in Port Edward

8. Historical maritime experiences
The treacherous coastline was a tragic fate for many intrepid adventurers, and there are several shipwrecks that still tell the tale of these seafarers. These include:

· The Uni XII in Pennington
· The Nevonia 1934 in Umzumbe
· The Nightingale 1933 in Palm Beach
· The Ivy 1876 in Glenmore
· Sao Jao 1552 in Port Edward
· Sao Bento 1542 in Port Edward
· Port Shepstone Maritime Museum

9. Cultural and traditional experiences
The cultural history and traditions can also be experienced at a number of museums and heritage centres when you #GoSouthKZN. Among them:

· Margate Art Museum
· Pistols Saloon Museum Museum in Ramsgate
· Munster Motor Museum
· Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre in Umzumbe
· Nyandezulu Cultural Experience

10. Waterfalls

For an unforgettable family adventure, #GoSouthKZN for a hike to one of the region’s incredible waterfalls. With scenic views and the sound of cascading water, there’s no better place to feel invigorated!

· Hoopoe Falls in Oribi Gorge
· Lehr’s Waterfall in Oribi Gorge
· Samango Waterfall in Oribi Gorge
· Uvongo Waterfall
· Nyandezulu Waterfall

Covid-19 safety protocols

Because of the many outdoor activities offered on the #KZNSouthCoast, visitors benefit from reduced Covid-19 risk at these open-air venues and sites. In addition to this, USCT has been communicating up-to-date Covid-19 information with all tourism establishments via the website’s dedicated Covid-19 portal, as well as the many social media platforms.

#ExtendYourStay on #KZNSouthCoast by downloading the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores. Once downloaded, visitors can easily plan their stay, from booking accommodation and finding local eateries to discovering specials and planning day trips. Visitors can also visit the website www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za, or follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.