South Africa has fast become an in-demand film location, but for production scouts seeking sites with expansive natural offerings, temperate climates and uninterrupted filming, the KZN South Coast is a prime location.
“The KZN South Coast has attracted a number of local and international film makers over the years, and we truly believe it is on track to become one of the country’s leading locations for a number of reasons,” explained CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu, said: “From a tourism perspective, this is hugely beneficial as a form of job creation and economic growth, but it also gives far-reaching audiences the chance to see the incredible sites found here.”
1. Diverse aquatic locations
When it comes to water-based filming, the KZN South Coast has every natural aquatic feature available, including five of the province’s six Blue Flag Beaches – internationally-rated for their water quality, hygiene, safety and environmental management. From the warm Indian Ocean lapping the shores, through to the many tidal pools, rivers, estuaries, lakes and dams that provide the ideal backdrop or sites for boating and water sports. The pristine coastal waterfalls create iconic locations and there are two world-renowned dive sites – Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks – for underwater footage.
2. Unique cultural and heritage sites
From the coastal shores through to the hinterland, the KZN South Coast boasts an immense selection of distinguishing cultural and heritage sites. These include the ancient KwaXolo Caves, home to centuries-old San paintings; traditional sites such as Isivivane seNkosi uShaka, the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails, and Ntelezi Msane Heritage Site; the world’s smallest desert – Red Desert; age-old lighthouses and a number of shipwreck sites. There is also the famous Dezzi Raceway, ideal for nail-biting action scenes!
3. Diverse landscape
When it comes to settings, the KZN South Coast’s landscape is as diverse as it is captivating. Found in this region are protected coastal forests, Blue Flag beaches, 11 idyllic golf courses, nature and game reserves, parks, cliffs, gorges and valleys…alongside the afore-mentioned aquatic sites.
4. Wildlife experience
With its abundance of natural landscapes, the KZN South Coast also has a variety of wildlife and unique natural experiences. These include annual winter Sardine Run and whale migration, with the local game reserves home to African wildlife including zebra, giraffe and buck. The nature reserves echo the call of hundreds of bird species, many of which are unique to the area, as well as smaller wildlife such as civet, genet and Vervet monkeys.
5. Proven film destination
Many filmmakers have discovered the benefits of selecting the KZN South Coast as a site location, including Discovery, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. The site has also welcomes feature filmmakers and television crews – local and international – with episodes of Netflix show, The Kissing Booth, recently filmed at Clansthal. USCT also supports the annual Ugu Film Festival which promotes the local film industry, as well as hosting the KZN Film Commission recently.
6. Minimal red tape
The KZN South Coast boasts film-friendly municipal by-laws as a way to encourage this burgeoning industry and attract film crews to the area.
7. Ease of accessibility
On-site is Margate Airport, with King Shaka Airport directly accessed along the national highway, the N2. From Scottburgh, it is only a 30-minute drive to Durban, and a seven-hour drive to Johannesburg, or less than an hour by plane.
8. Accommodation offerings
Film crews can be easily accommodated throughout the KZN South Coast in everything from the budget-friendly self-catering units through to five-star resorts.
9. Ideal climate
With its year-round warm weather and sunny days, the KZN South Coast is a location which allows for uninterrupted filming, ensuring everything is kept within budget.
To find out more about the KZN South Coast, simply download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. You can also follow the KZN South Coast on social media – ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook and YouTube, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter and Instagram.