Blue Flag Beaches are beaches awarded for beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards. Certificates, which FEE refers to as awards, are issued on an annual basis to beaches and marinas of FEE member countries. On the South Coast of KZN, we are delighted to host Seven Blue Flag Beaches.
So take the family, your umbrella and suntan lotion and enjoy a great day out, on a pristine South Coast Blue Flag Beach…
Red Desert Conservation Area: The Red Desert is the smallest desert in the world, and is situated in the otherwise tropical greenery of Port Edward, near Margate. At just 200 metres wide, the rich red of this arid landscape stands out against the jade of the local vegetation.
The cause of these desert conditions remains unknown. Theories range from extraterrestrial interference to overgrazing. Whatever the reason behind it, the Red Desert Nature Conservation Area is aesthetically beautiful and interesting to explore.
The trail through the area can be walked or cycled, and showcases the unique landscape, archaeological finds and plenty of bird life. The Umtamvuna Estuary promises breath-taking views that are sure to impress.
Riverbend Crocodile Farm: Home to more than 200 adult nile crocodiles and numerous juveniles of all sizes, tourist visiting Riverbend Crocodile Farm are able to view the crocodiles in their natural habitat. Beautifully landscaped breeding enclosures are not only home to crocodiles but to numerous bird species as well.
An education centre provides visitors with information related to crocodile biology, and a comprehensive audiovisual presentation in English, Afrikaans, German and Zulu runs continuously. This presentation also covers the life cycle of crocodiles and snakes which details the day-to-day activities of the Farm. Crocodiles are fed weekly on Sundays at 15h00 and on certain advertised Wednesdays in summer.
Mac Bananas is a fun venue for the entire family, situated within the idyllic surrounds of a banana farm. This is a farms stall with a difference as it includes so much more to see and do than the traditional farm goods.
Of course, preserves, fresh produce and sweet treats are all part of the experience too, but Mac Bananas also boasts a wine cellar, art gallery and nursery.
For the young ones, there is an animal farm, mini golf course, quad biking facilities, and a playground, which means that parents can relax and enjoy the surrounds while the children are occupied. The Banana Café produces a range of delicious dishes, including its famous giant pancakes (with sweet or savoury fillings).
The Port Edward Lighthouse was established in 1968 and rebuilt in 1999. As an operational lighthouse it is a vital part of the lighthouse network with two beams. The light is half a million candlewatts in power and is visible for 40km.
As of mid-2012, the Port Edward Lighthouse is no longer open to the public. Previously, the Ships Galley Coffee Shop served light meals, cakes and refreshments but is now no longer open to the public.
The Good Life Café in Shelly Beach. An aroma of coffee will greet you as you open the door, to a coolly air-conditioned but warmly welcoming atmosphere. The venue sits up to 50 patrons and has a 10 seater private boardroom for those that want to conduct an offsite business meeting or small private function. It is in the perfect location to meet up for any social or business engagement. Ideally located on Marine Drive in Shelly Beach, you can simply pull in, meet up and then get going again. Open Mon-Friday 07h00-18h00 and Sat-Sun 07h00-15h00, you will definitely find the time to pop in and enjoy either a great breakfast and smoothie or a delicious light lunch of your choosing.
The Wild Waves Water Park at the Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward has a water ride that will excite all ages, no matter if you’re a tiny tot who is just getting their toes in the water or one of those water babies who has been playing in water for years! This multi-million water park is guaranteed to get your pulse racing.
Some of the funtastic rides include the Aqua Loop which is a body slide adventure that you do in a capsule, if you’re into thrills then you must not miss out on the Boomeranga and fantastic tube ride.
Other exciting rides are the SuperBowl and Speed Slides which is the tallest, steepest and fastest water spray experience! If speed and thrills are not for you while away the hours on the lazy river. Your little ones will have a ball in the AquaPlay area.
Pure Venom Reptile Park. Touted as the biggest reptile farm in Africa, Pure Venom Reptile Park lies just inland from the town of Shelly Beach n a beautiful, old estate in Izotsha, surrounded by huge wild olive trees that date back to the 1800s. The reptile park, as its name suggests, has an incredible collection of indigenous and exotic reptiles and it’s an ideal way to get up close and personal with a series of snakes, iguanas and crocodiles on the Hibiscus Coast.
At the Pure Venom Reptile Park one comes face to face with a whole range of interesting snake facts about which one knew little before, including the fact that egg-eating snakes have teeth in their necks and mole snakes have up to ninety five babies! You can have a photo taken holding a python, mamba, cobra or a viper (if you’re brave enough) and the park includes nine species of rattlesnake, the largest variation of this species outside of America, as well as five species of crocodile.
Pure Venom Reptile Park just happens to be set on the part of the country’s coast that supports the most unique live reptile collection in South Africa. At the park you’re also able to get a bird’s eye view of the mating and courtship rituals of gaboon vipers, boomslang and mambas, and, despite their reputation for not breeding easily in captivity, the park has bred the highly threatened giant sungazer lizard. There are guided tours, daily snake demonstrations and on Sundays the highly fascinating crocodile and alligator feeding, should you enjoy such enormous displays of appetite.
Lake Eland Game Reserve: Covering an impressive 2500 hectares with diverse ecosystems of bushveld, grassland, coastal forest and wetland this natural landscape offers a place of peace and tranquility. A large lake shaped like the eland common in bushman paintings gives the reserve its name “Lake Eland” in honour of this magnificent antelope and its symbolic meaning to the San.
This natural landscape is truly a place of peace and tranquility and can be found just a quick 40 minutes drive from Port Shepstone, South Coast of KwaZulu Natal.
Lake Eland Game Reserve is the perfect venue for day visitors, a family holiday, team building or romantic getaway. Activities to choose from include a self game drive, viewing the abundant wild life and flora to be seen from the comfort of your car. In addition guests can walk across our 80m suspension bridge, as well as our fabulous Zip Line Tour.
Horse rides, walking and single track mountain bike trails, paint ball, fishing, picnic sites and specific 4×4 track are available. The restaurant and fully licensed tea garden is close to a children’s playground.
Shopping on the South Coast is also a must, with four great Centre to choose from:
- Hibiscus Mall-Margate,
- South Coast Mall, Shelly Beach,
- Shelly Centre-Shelly Beach
- Oribi Plaza-Port Shepstone,
you will find a great array of retailers, restaurants and speciality shops. Therefore, when you have had too much sun or just need some Retail Therapy, pop in and shop till you drop.
Source and ref: Lake Eland, & SA Venues