Durban is South Africa’s warm and friendly coastal city. With many flocking here all-year round for the Indian Ocean waters, we have rounded up the ten best secret beach spots in the region, for the days when you want to kick back and enjoy the shores with a dose of solitude.
Umzumbe BeachLocation: KwaZulu-Natal South Coast
To reach this Blue Flag beach, you need to make your way down a steep walkway. This is a perfect spot for swimming, either in the ocean itself or in the sandstone rock pool. It has an unspoilt sandy coastline, surrounded by the cloak of the dune forest for added privacy. It remains off the radar, though there are lifeguards on duty to keep a watchful eye on families who visit this area for a day at the beach.
Kosi BayLocation: South of the Mozambique border
Just before you reach Mozambique, you’ll find Kosi Bay. This beach is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It is home to high sand dunes and during the festive period, loggerhead and leatherback turtles visit the bay to lay their eggs.
Mtunzini Beach Location: Umlalazi Nature Reserve
Mtunzini Beach is known for it’s birdlife and sandy shores that are perfectly suited to nature lovers who fancy a walk along the sand. There surrounding area has a forest and river, though the waters are untamed (i.e there are no shark nets).
Zinkwazi Beach Location: North of Durban
If you’d love to laze around a lagoon, this is the spot for you. Feel the warm Indian Ocean waters and look out for dolphins in the distance and birds circling the skies. This is an ideal beach spot for fishing and boating.
Blythedale Beach Location: North of Ballito
This beach is within the Blythedale Conservancy. It is unspoilt and protected by shark nets, making these waters ideal for swimming, surfing and marine life viewings: Is it a whale? Is it a dolphin?
MabibiLocation: iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Situated in the coastal forest section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, this is where you want to go if you’d like to go snorkelling or fishing. If you want a full day’s experience, opt to stay at the Mabibi campsite which is located right on the beach. If you want to explore further, head to the nearby Lake Sibaya, the largest freshwater lake in South Africa where you’ll be able to spot hippos and crocodiles.
Umkomaas Beach Location: Umkomazi River Estuary
Umkomaas Beach affords visitors the opportunity to feast their eyes on marine life.
Amatikulu EstuaryLocation: Central KwaZulu-Natal coast
Amatikulu is a secluded and rural area, which is home to many untouched beaches. Pay a visit to the Amatikulu Nature Reserve, where you’ll be able to view wildlife and the wonders of the vast Indian Ocean at the same time.
Elysium BeachLocation: Umdoni Coast
For a pristine white, sandy beach experience, this is exactly where you need to be. Elysium is surrounded by a village, making it the perfect destination for a secluded getaway. Enjoy the warm waters and be sure to catch the sunset when you visit.
Cape VidalLocation: Isimangaliso Wetlank Park in St Lucia
This is a must-visit when exploring the northern part of KZN. It is a haven to fishermen and marine life enthusiasts. Visit this golden beach, with a backdrop of a coastal forest, to swim and snorkel to your heart’s content.
Which of these beaches do you plan on visiting on your next trip to KwaZulu-Natal?