Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Coast
The Natal South Coast
The Natal South Coast
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The coast from Durban to the Eastern Cape border extends approximately 160 kms (100 miles) and is KwaZulu-Natal's premier holiday destination.
The area is characterized by wide open beaches set against the warm Indian Ocean, thick coastal dune forest and placid lagoons.
The rich soil supports a wide variety of plant species such as frangipani, orchids, hibiscus and bouganvillea. Like a string of pearls, small towns and resorts nestle beneath the canopy of the subtropical forest amidst the calls of many bird species and the chattering of innumerable vervet monkeys.
Apart from its popularity as a resort area, the South Coast is much sought after as a retirement area. Some are towns of some size while other villages nestle amongst the verdant forest, but all have their own charm.
The area is served by a freeway to Port Shepstone, the old main road that visits the South coast resorts and by a railway to Port Shepstone that hugs the coast and clatters over the many estuary bridges.
The area from the Umkomaas River to the Umtamvuna River is known as the South Coast.
Each year between June and August, huge shoals of sardines migrate from the cool waters of the Cape to warmer waters where they can spawn.
For most of the journey they keep well out to sea but they are forced close inshore at the South Coast as a result of counter currents.
The millions of these small fish are pursued by flocks of cormorants, gannets and other seabirds but, more importantly by large numbers of game fish which feed at the edges of the shoals. These include sharks, tunny, kingfish, barracuda, shad and snoek which provide superb angling opportunities.
If the huge churning shoals are driven close enough inshore, local people scoop them from the surf by the thousand using any available implement - buckets, bags or clothes. It is an amazing, frenetic sight!
During the sardine run, approximately 3,000 bottlenose dolphins and between 15,000 and 30,000 common dolphins move inshore to feed. As they surf the waves they provide a never-to-be forgotten spectacle.
The humpback whale, the Southern right whale and the minke whale are also sigthted close inshore and whale watching is at its best, especially when the humpbacks leap clear of the water.
All the towns of the South Coast are members of the Southern Explorer Arts and Crafts Route.