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.Read More
The sardine run
The sardine run
Around June or July, the South Coast is witness to the extraordinary annual migration of millions of sardines moving northwards along the coast in massive shoals. They leave their feeding ground off the Southern Cape coast and move up the coast towards Mozambique, followed by about 23,000 dolphins, 100,000 Cape gannets and thousands of sharks and game fish, attracting fishermen from all over the province to join in the jamboree. The shoals appear as dark patches of turbulence in the water, and when they are cornered and driven ashore by game fish, hundreds of people rush into the water either to scoop them out with their hands or to net them. For updates on shoal co-ordinates and other information of use for sardine-spotting, call the Sardine Hotline on 083 913 9495 or visit shark.co.za.