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Margate is the jewel along the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast. It is perfect for families seeking a memorable vacation, the wide curve of the pale sand and safe surf is rimmed with apartments, quaint shops, hotels and sun terraces. Beach restaurants, swimming pools, paddling pools and seasonal entertainment add to the vast attractions of this vibrant town.
For the nature lover, a trip to the South Coast is a magical experience. The flora and fauna that is endemic to the region is yours to explore with a well-planned choice of scenic nature trails through private reserves. Remember that the climate is sub-tropical, so take precautions such as hats, sun block, a stout stick, drinking water and your camera – with plenty of film – you’ll need it!
The Umtamvuna reserve in Port Edward has well laid out trails to suit all fitness levels and time constraints, from a 1 hour, half kilometre trail to an 8 kilometre, four-hour strenuous hike.
Braemar Trails offer guided or self drives through some of the regions’ most dramatic scenery. Catch glimpses of the shy mountain buck, troops of noisy Vervet and Samago monkeys and menacing baboons. Explore the caves, where Bushman paintings still exist. For an added adventure, book one of the night-drives to experience another side of nature’s wonderland.
The Mpenjati Reserve stretches its way along the coastline between Southbroom and Port Edward and offers prime game viewing, hiking trails and excellent facilities.
A visit to the Oribi Gorge should take preference when planning a day in nature. The spectacular scenery and view sites are only equaled by the variety of fauna and flora that are waiting to be appreciated. The nature reserve covers over 1800 hectare of wild canyon scenery featuring towering cliffs, coastal forest and valley bushveld. The Mzimkhulwana River has carved a 500m deep, 5 kilometer wide, 24km long gorge into the heart of the reserve that must be experienced to be believed. There are 6 main walks that feature waterfalls and picnic sites.
Taking a leisurely meander south from the beach along the promenade (which links up with the main road) will provide a fishing pier and tidal pools. Across the Nkhongweni River meaning “the place of entreaty” to the north lies another set of tidal pools on Manaba Beach, where sand dunes disappear off into the distance.
Margate lies within the Hibiscus Coast, the South Coast, the Golf Coast, regardless of its many names it is surely South Africa’s east coast best holiday paradise. Phenomenal beaches, vast golf courses and much more ensure that you will want to return to again and again.
The Hibiscus Coast is approximately 120 kilometres south of Durban and extends from Hibberdene in the north to Port Edward in the south with Port Shepstone and Margate being the main towns in between.
The warm, sunny, sub-tropical climate in the area appeals to all visitors and even winter days are warm enough to swim in the Indian Ocean. In addition to the beaches there are plenty of other activities including numerous sporting clubs, libraries, museums, and nature trails.
During winter, in June and July, Hibberdene lookout point is listed among the ‘hot-spots’ for viewing the millions-strong ‘Greatest Shoal on Earth’ – our warm Indian Ocean’s annual occurrence of truly epic proportions. The Hibiscus Coast vantage positions are, without question, the ‘best seats in the house’ for this panoramic blockbuster.
The vast sardine shoals being pursued by thousands of dolphins, sharks, game fish and fur seals – with the occasional whale in attendance – while vast squadrons of sea-birds wheel overhead before raining down to join the me-lee.
The South Coast’s beaches are considered to be among the best and most beautiful in the country. Whether you are looking for a secluded spot to perfect your tan or the hustle and bustle of a friendly family beach, your every need will be met. Many of them feature lagoons and rivers where you can rent a canoe or peddola and lazily drift in an ideal setting. Most beaches in the region are under the surveillance of internationally accredited lifeguards.
There are numerous tidal pools dotted along the coast that are ideal and perfectly safe for children, or those who wish to enjoy a refreshing dip without taking on the waves. The year-round, near-perfect weather allows you to enjoy our beaches whenever you visit – even in mid-winter! It is impossible to give you information on all of our beaches, but here are some pictures of a few of our particular favourites.