The South Coast, the 160km seaboard stretching from Durban to Port Edward on the Eastern Cape border, is a ribbon of seaside suburbs linked for most of its length by the N2 and R102 roads, running side by side. In the winter months it’s much warmer and sunnier along this stretch than on any of the beaches between here and Cape Town. Away from the sea, the land is very hilly and green, dotted with sugar-cane fields, banana plantations and palm and pecan nut trees. Note that many beaches shelve steeply into the powerful surf, so only swim where it’s indicated as safe.
Margate, 133km from Durban, is the transport and holiday hub of the area, with plenty of resorts lying to the east and west of it. The highlight of the South Coast, however, lies just inland, where Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve has lovely forest hikes, breathtaking views and good-value accommodation.