6 ways the KZN South Coast is leading the way in 2024 travel trends

Tidal Pool
Tidal Pool

Sustainably exploring the natural world, experiencing authentic culture, and improving self-wellness are just some of the demands of the modern traveller. On the exquisite KZN South Coast where natural beauty abounds, visitors are enjoying the best in 2024 travel trends, with exciting new tourism activities being developed every year.


“The KZN South Coast is a well-established holiday destination, but many are still discovering the incredible tourism assets that extend beyond our Blue Flag beaches into the hinterland,” commented Deborah Ludick Acting CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “These are not only refreshingly unique and authentic, they actually speak to many of the current travel trends of sustainability, health, wellness, and connecting with nature.”


Trend #1: Eco-diving


The KZN South Coast is home to two incredible dive sites that are considered among the world’s best: Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. These are both Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) ensuring ocean health, and can be explored sustainably through eco-dive operators that put the environment first. This includes scuba diving, freediving, and even snorkelling among the reefs while enjoying the marine life found here. The Devil Ray Conservation Dive takes visitors to the shortfin devil ray cleaning station – one of only two known in the world – at Aliwal Shoal, with part of the funding contributing to ocean conservation.


Trend #2: Astro-tourism


Star-gazing is becoming a popular pastime for travellers, and with the beautiful clear skies found on the KZN South Coast, there are many sites to enjoy this astronomical pastime. Astro-tourism is a way to break from the digital world and replenish the soul by exploring the stars. There are many seaside campsites and open-air venues ideal for stargazing, including the renowned Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge.


The new Wellness Way Route launched includes astro-tourism opportunities with plans for astro-gazing at the KwazuluSpirit™ Festival 2024 (weather dependent) from 9 to 11 August at The Laughing Forest in Elysium. Then, from 15 to 17 November Secret Sithela in Munster, will host a Wild Forage and Feast Retreat during the full moon with a moon-gazing session. Speakers will include Wild about Weeds author, Nikki Brighton and Mycologist Jon McGillivray, an expert in foraging and identifying all types of mushroom species.


Trend #3: Rural tourism


This popular travel trend encourages visitors to connect with a region’s natural world and people more authentically. It benefits the traveller while also supporting entrepreneurs in rural areas, creating a more sustainable economy. SCTIE has established a number of rural tourism offerings for visitors to experience on the KZN South Coast. These include the KwaXolo Caves Adventures, the Agri Tourism Route, the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre, the KwaNzimakwe Experience, the KwaNdwalane Adventure Experience, the Umzumbe River Trails, the Weza Hiking Trail, the Mission Tourism Route, and the Gamalakhe Township Experience.


Trend #4: Water-centric travel


With the warmest winters in the country travellers heading to the KZN South Coast can cool off by booking into ‘water-based’ tourism spots. The KZN South Coast boasts the highest number of Blue Flag beaches and tidal pools in the province, as well as two world-class dive sites, making it a top seaside destination. The many rivers and water sports activities are also a refreshing tourism option, with hikes to waterfalls a must! The whole family will also enjoy the Wild Waves Water Park at the Wild Coast Sun, an epic water park with rides ranging from relaxing to extreme.  


Trend #5: Active / Adventure travel


It’s time to seize the day as travellers start ticking off their bucket list options. This means no time for simply resting on holiday, adventures need to be had. Fortunately, the KZN South is where ocean sunrises and hinterland adventures await! In addition to the rural tourism adventures, the KZN South Coast has the Beach-to-Beach Adventure hike, gorge swinging, ziplining, abseiling, suspension bridge crossing, microlighting, shark cage diving, and more!


Trend #6: Wellness tourism

Travel is a great time to reboot and re-energise body, mind, and soul with wellness. On the KZN South Coast, where the natural beauty supports overall health, The Wellness Way was recently launched and is supported SCTIE and The Southern Explorer KZN. There are around 82 practitioners along The Wellness Way dedicated to therapies of natural health and holistic healing from Amanzimtoti to the Wild Coast; 35 of these are available at short notice on the Wellness Way Portal.  


Get on trend by visiting the KZN South Coast where ocean sunrises and hinterland adventures await!


Find out more by visiting the KZN South Coast website; following South Coast Tourism on Facebook; South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; and South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise on LinkedIn. And click here to check out previous SCTIE press releases. Watch why KZN South Coast is a top tourism destination here. Check out the latest Southern Explorer Route Guide for the KZN South Coast here.


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