The arrival of the revitalising warmer weather in September is drawing more people outdoors, and with the inviting ocean and forest views found on the KZN South Coast, there’s no place better to visit. This spring, why not #GoSouth to enjoy some of the best nature-based dining options in a range of delectable local flavours?
“We’ve noticed a definite trend in outdoors travel with people wanting to reconnect with nature after so much time in isolation,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT). “In addition to this, prevailing research indicates a much lower rate of Covid-19 transmissions in outdoor spaces, which is particularly important in places where people are dining. The KZN South Coast has some of the best eateries that allow for relaxation in a scenic environment while enjoying a diverse selection of tastes in the beautiful spring sunshine.”
10 delicious reasons to #GoSouth this spring
1. Crocworld Conservation Centre’s Fish Eagle Café
Located within the idyllic Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh is the popular Fish Eagle Café. With its newly-revamped wraparound deck, diners are able to enjoy endless sea views – and even catch sight of frolicking dolphins or breaching whales – while tucking into the great menu selection. Carefully crafted by renowned chef and Fish Eagle Café manager, Morne van Zyl, the menu is suited to all manner of tastes, with a recent addition of a Gourmet Burger Menu a real hit. The café is located within this animal haven which is home to a variety of birds, reptiles and other furry creatures.
2. Leopard Rock Coffee Shop & Lookout Chalets
Found just 26km from Port Shepstone in the world-renowned Oribi Gorge valley is the enticingly rustic Leopard Rock Coffee Shop. Set on a rocky incline, diners enjoy a truly majestic view of Umzimkulu River Gorge from the 21m deck, while eating home-cooked meals prepared by Sue Bruwer and her team. The burgers, steaks, curries and cakes can be enjoyed while listening to the rushing river and taking in the garden surrounds home to a wealth of birdlife. There’s also the famous Overhanging Rock and a variety of activities, walks and attractions to explore in a 12km range.
3. Oribi Gorge Private Game Lodge & Spa
Another Oribi Gorge spectacular, Catharina’s on 15 gives visitors the chance to enjoy views of an unspoiled nature’s paradise within the KZN South Coast. Winning the 2014 World Luxury Hotel Award for Best Lodge in the global category, this owner-managed boutique lodge provides world-class service and fine dining in a timeless environment. Chef Alicia Giliomee is a Christina Martin graduate with a passion for French traditions in a uniquely South African flavour that follow a ‘field to fork’ philosophy. The team also won the Coty – Chef of the Year competition in the High Tea category – definitely something to try! And visitors can let the meal settle with a walk through the indigenous forest and grasslands home to 255 bird species.
4. The Packshed
The Packshed on Sweetdale Farm near Margate is owned and managed by four young Swiss entrepreneurs together with the executive chef Brandon Bisset. The five-strong team share a professional vision of creating a place of freshness, honesty, love and sustainability. Drawing on years of travel, they’ve created an enticing menu with food prepared using earthly techniques like wood grilling, hot or cold smoking, even fusion-styled dishes from all over the world. Meat and seafood are sourced from local farms with simple techniques creating a wealth of flavours. The Packshed is tucked away from the hustle and bustle in the heart of a natural, unspoiled bush vegetation, within the 120ha farm.
5. Zuri Beach Club
Found in Margate, this is a family-friendly beachside restaurant and event’s venue catering to anything from small-scale meetings to high-end celebration dinners. Zuri Beach Club brings is an entertaining venue for poolside cocktails and premium nibbles, or a delectable meal from its popular restaurant. The menu offering includes all-day breakfast, seafood tapas and mains, burgers, curries, pastas and mouth-watering desserts.
6. The DogHouse Craft Café
For a truly relaxed KZN South Coast dining experience, it’s worth visiting the Pennington-based DogHouse Craft Café. They offer an affordable yet delicious menu in a rustic garden setting withing a private nature reserve. The home-made meals can be washed down with tasty craft beer made by Basset Breweries. Four-legged friends are welcome to accompany patrons on this dining experience.
7. The Farmer’s View Country Restaurant & Coffee Shop
This is an amazing KZN South Coast restaurant located on Fairacres Estate in Oribi Gorge. Visitors are invited to a relaxed, family-orientated environment in tranquil surroundings. Enjoy a delicious meal on the expansive deck that overlooks the gorge and farmlands. For those with a big thirst, the restaurant serves cold drinks, creamy milkshakes, crips wines, craft beer and its famous watermelon-infused gin on tap. Otherwise, choose from a variety of coffees made from freshly-roasted beans sourced locally.
8. Impithi Beach Kiosk
Endless sea views, great food – and all for a good cause! The Impithi Beach Kiosk at Pennington is a flagship for Pennington Conservancy which generates funds for its many conservation projects in the area. There are breathtaking views, with whales often spotted in the winter months, surrounded by lovely indigenous gardens. The kiosk serves delicious homemade meals including the curry special for Friday lunch and a three-course Sunday lunch special. It’s also best to try the famous carrot cake!
9. C Bali Restaurant
Shelly Beach’s C Bali Restaurant combines great sea views with great seafood including sushi dishes prepared by their award-winning chef. For those who prefer a ‘turf’ option, there’s a gourmet burger selection that will fill the spot! Visitors can also enjoy an expertly-made cocktail – including their signature craft gin specialties – or a wonderful craft beer while enjoying the relaxed seaside vibe.
10. The Waffle House
This famous KZN South Coast venue has been serving freshly-made Belgian waffles since 1991 using only quality ingredients, including organically-grown produce wherever possible. Nestled on the tranquil sub-tropical edge of the Ramsgate Lagoon, visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk across a quaint wooden bridge to Ramsgate Beach for a swim, after having tucked into these unique waffles.
#AdventureAwaits on the beautiful KZN South Coast where the drinks are cold, the meals are warm and the views are spectacular! USCT has encouraged all tourism establishments to adhere to the strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols. USCT has also 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.
To discover these and more outdoor eateries on the KZN South Coast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores, or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. Alternatively, visit the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or follow @infosouthcoast on Twitter.