Photo Credit: Supplied by SCTIE - Photographed is Ramsgate Beach

With recent fears being shared online about the state of KwaZulu-Natal beaches, South Coast Tourism is sharing that its beaches are safe and open.


South Coast, South Africa (30 November 2022) – KwaZulu-Natal has had a tough two years due to the pandemic, the riots and then, the flooding. Many set off to KZN for their annual December holidays but with the province still recovering, there are some fears. Chatting to the South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) we got the scoop on what is happening on the beaches.

While there have been some problem beaches in the news lately, not all beaches should be painted with the same brush. The South Coast Tourism team confirms their beaches are safe and open to the public for all types of holiday fun; whether you are a master sandcastle builder, a bibliophile with a great umbrella and desire to soak in the sounds of the waves while disappearing into your next good read, or you really like to catch a wave.

Blue Flag South Coast Beaches

Speaking to the team, they celebrated yet another season of Blue Flag beach status too!

South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) has welcomed the announcement that the KZN South Coast has retained Blue Flag status at six of its beaches, with another five attaining pilot Blue Flag status. Marina, Trafalgar, Southport, Umzumbe, Ramsgate, and Hibberdene beaches – all in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality – will remain Blue Flag Beaches for the 2022/2023 season.

This is not only the highest number in KZN, but two of these have been noted for their longevity in the programme – Marina Beach for 21 consecutive years and Trafalgar Beach for 11 consecutive years.

In addition to these, five beaches have been awarded pilot Blue Flag status at Pennington, Rocky Bay, Preston and Umthwalume in Umdoni Municipality, as well as St Michael’s Beach in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality.

“With Blue Flag status and safe bathing conditions, the KZN South Coast is officially #SummerReady to welcome holidaymakers this festive season! From our fantastic holiday programme to our hinterland adventures, there’s so much to see and do in the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE.

If you are looking to head to the beach for more than just a few good rays, here are all the activities you can do. Please be sure to have the correct permits in place for any activities you may need.

“It is difficult to cast a line and not catch a fish on the KZN South Coast, but some local favourite spots, depending on the level of expertise, are as follows”

Rock and surf angling

  • Umkomaas River mouth and beach are good for kob and shad – all levels.
  • Scottburgh point is good for sharks, shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Rocky Bay is good for shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Umdoni Point and Pennington are good for queen mackerel, kingfish and sharks – experienced anglers.
  • Stiebel Rocks and Pumula are good for sharks, kob, garrick, shad and pompano – experienced anglers.
  • The Sandspit Beach in Port Shepstone is good for kob, shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Orange Rocks at St Michaels is good for sharks and gamefish – all levels.
  • Margate Pier is good for shad, kob and garrick – all levels.
  • Ladder Rock at Glenmore is good for sharks – experienced anglers.
  • Splash Rock in Port Edward is good for sharks and gamefish – experienced anglers.
  • Uvongo Pier is good for shad, garrick and kob – all levels.

Deep sea angling

  • Umkomaas – experienced skippers.
  • Rocky Bay – easy launch for all levels of skipper.
  • Pennington – experienced skippers.
  • Shelly Beach – all levels of skipper.
  • Port Edward – all levels of skipper.
  • Ramsgate – all levels of skipper.

Surfing spots

The KZN South Coast is considered a ‘point break heaven’, attracting those looking for incredible surfing opportunities along the 120-kilometre coastline. Some of the top surfing spots include:

  • Umzumbe
  • St Michael’s-on-Sea
  • Scottburgh

Dive sites

There are three Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the KZN South Coast, two of which are considered among the top dive sites in the world. These two are home to a variety of big marine life such as sharks, whales, turtles, rays, king fish, yellow fin tuna and barracuda.

  • Aliwal Shoal, just 4 kilometres off the Umkomaas.
  • Protea Banks, just 7.5 kilometres off Shelly Beach.

Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest

Near Port Edward is the incredible Petrified Forest where visitors can hike among the trees which were actually washed downriver and deposited in the area millions of years ago. There are guided tours of the forest which includes viewing the Mzamba fossils, a series of marine fossil beds exposed along the prominent reefs near the Mzamba River.

The information regarding safe beaches was accurate at the time of publishing, should the status of any beach change after-the-fact, please reach out to relevant municipality to discuss further.
Should you be looking for a beach not listed here, please feel free to reach out to the community/municipality to find out if the beach is open and safe prior to your departure.

Sources: SCTIE – Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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