Areas on the South Coast


Amanzimtoti is a coastal town just south of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on the South Coast. According to local legend, when the Zulu king Shaka led his army down the south coast, on a raid against the Pondos, in 1828, he rested on the banks of a river. When drinking the water, he exclaimed "Kanti amanzi mtoti" (isiZulu: "So, the water is sweet"). The river came to be known as Amanzimtoti ("Sweet Waters"). The Zulu word for "sweet" is actually mnandi, but, as Shaka's mother had the name Nandi, he invented the word toti to replace mnandi out of respect not to wear out her name.

Amanzimtoti is renowned for its warm weather and its lovely beaches. It is a popular tourist destination and is also very popular with surfers. Many South Africans flock here during the summer, to get away from it all. It has a mall, arcades and a water park.

Amanzimtoti made the international news when on December 23rd, 1985, during the peak of the Christmas shopping season, MK cadre Andrew Sibusiso Zondo detonated a bomb in a rubbish bin, at the Sanlam shopping centre, in an act of anti-Apartheid terrorism. Five people died in the blast and more than forty were injured.

There are well established sports facilities in Amanzimtoti, situated at Hutchison park. Included is a tennis-, squash-, cricket-, rugby-, soccer-, cycling- and bowls club.


Scottburgh is a resort town situated on the mouth of the Mpambanyoni River (confuser of birds), 58 km south of Durban, on KwaZulu-Natal south coast in South Africa. Neighbouring towns include Pennington, Renishaw, Freeland Park, Umkomaas, Sezela, Bazley, Amahlongwa, Clansthal, Park Rynie and Dududu.

It was named after Natal Colony Governor, John Scott and in 1860 it became the first township to be laid out south of Durban, but was initially known as Devonport. It became a municipality in 1964.

Scottburgh is situated on the South Bank of the Mpambinyoni River, a short river that culminates in a lagoon. The Mpambinyoni mouth has fluctuated in surface area and volume dramatically over the years, largely due to the frequent droughts, occasional cyclones, and other extreme weather conditions that can affect KwaZulu-Natal.

Most notorious of the above-mentioned cyclones, was Cyclone Demoina of 1984, which resulted in widespread flooding and infrastructural damage, including the destruction of the Old Main Road bridge, from Durban and Umkomaas.

Scottburgh has a number of educational institutions, including a number of pre-primary schools, a bilingual Primary School, and an English Language High School.

Wildlife found regularly inside the township, includes snakes, skinks, geckos, numerous insects, millipedes, bushbuck, mongi, and most famously, large numbers of vervet monkeys. Genets have been sighted, and there are occasional unverified spottings of civets and similar small felines and cat-like mammals. Birds are abundant, perhaps the most noticeable being the raucous and much-loved Hadeda Ibis. The Indian Mynah is widespread, but regarded as a pest, due to its habits of defecating in public restaurants and eating areas and pillaging the nests of native birds. This bird has presented similar problems in other areas in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Sardine Run is also visible from the shores of Scottburgh and its surroundings, most winters. The Umdoni and Strelitzia are the best-known trees specifically associated with Scottburgh and its environs.

Well-known people associated with Scottburgh, include Dr T.C. Robertson, world-renowned conservationist and author; former Springbok rugby player Joel Stransky and the late conservationist Tony Pooley.

Scottburgh is also particularly renowned for its large surfing community, although superior waves are in fact usually found about 5 kilometres north, at Green Point, Clansthal and at Back Beach, Pipeline, south of Scottburgh Point and the Main Beach. However, one appeal of Scottburgh Beach is in its grass-covered banks leading down to sandy beaches, which have made it a popular holiday resort for South Africans and foreign holidaymakers alike for many years. Surfers and Bodyboarders from around the world also come to Scottburgh to surf Main Beach, Pipeline and Back Beach. Pipeline and Back Beach is very well known for the hollow barrel-waves it creates during winter time.
Most Scottburgh residents work for small local businesses, or the state sector, while larger industries are located in the nearby towns of Umkomaas, Umzinto, and Sezela. A number of residents also commute to work in Durban and nearby parts of the wider eThekwini metropolitan area, such as Amanzimtoti and Kingsburgh.

North of the Mpambinyoni lies the suburb of Freeland Park, largely residential but also possessing the Cutty Sark Hotel and a river populated by juvenile and adolescent crocodiles. These crocodiles are also the product of the 1987 cyclone, when infant crocodiles escaped from the nearby Crocworld theme park. South of Scottburgh proper, and separated from it by the Country Club, Golf Course, and a considerable expanse of bush, is Scottburgh South, and a few kilometres inland lies the Sugarcane farming hamlet of Renishaw, most well-known for its chapel.


Pennington is a small coastal town on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Apart from a large sugarcane and dairy farming, it also hosts scores of holiday makers, who flock to the seaside during the December holidays.

It is named after an English family named Pennington, who began farming there in the late 19th century. Sir Frank Reynolds, the sugar magnate, bought part of the farm and developed a country home, which he called Umdoni Park after the mdoni (water myrtle) trees in the area. Sir Frank built a seaside residence for South African prime ministers, as a sign of his admiration for the first premier of the Union, General Louis Botha. King George VI of Britain was offered use of this home, when his health was failing in 1952, and was planning to visit it just before he died.

The town is set on a hillside, looking down onto the Indian Ocean. The railway runs between the town and the beach (as it does all the way along this coast, from Durban to Port Shepstone), but trains are few and cause little problem for visitors.

Pennington is well served with roads, as the N2 Freeway runs down from Durban, connecting with the airport and passing Pennington.


Ifafa Beach is a small coastal resort, on the south coast, which is situated on the lagoon of the Fafa River mouth. The river's name is derived from the Zulu word "iFafa" which means (sparkling).


Hibberdene is a small town on the KZN South Coast. It was named after C. Maxwell-Hibberd, the former postmaster-general of Natal.

Hibberdene is considered the gateway to the Hibiscus Coast of Kwazulu Natal. It is a seaside town, situated 97 km south of Durban, halfway between Scottburgh and Port Shepstone.

Hibberdene has become a popular holiday destination, with both local and foreign tourists. It is known as an affordable destination and for its beaches. Hibberdene has five popular beaches, four of which are netted and thus are safe for swimming. Hibberdene’s beaches are popular because of the warm Indian Ocean flowing across its shoreline, making diving, snorkelling and scuba diving very pleasant. Hibberdene serves as a shopping centre for small settlements and the countryside surrounding it. There are plans afoot to establish a small craft marina in Hibberdene. A twice daily shuttle bus stops in Hibberdene, connecting the town with Margate, Port Shepstone, Durban and Durban International Airport.


Umzumbe is a seaside resort situated at the mouth of the Mzumbe River (bad kraal). The name of the river is derived from a band of Hlongwa cannibals who occupied the valley. The Hlongwa was almost wiped out by the Zulu king Shaka in 1828.


Umtentweni is a small coastal resort town, between the Mzimkulu River (the great home of all rivers) and the Mtentweni River (named after a species of grass the grows on its banks). This is a relatively clean, and quiet residential resort, it becomes very suitable for people moving away from the big city life. Most of the neighbourhood is filled with complexes, flats, B&B's and suburban-style houses. 10 years ago, the whole of Umtentweni comprised of a lot of greenery and wildlife. All this has changed, due to the growing popularity of this small resort and the constant clearing for new housing.

The major town of Port Shepstone is on the opposite bank of the Mzimkulu River.

Port Shepstone

Port Shepstone is situated on the mouth of the largest river on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the Mzimkulu River (the great home of all rivers). Port Shepstone, 120 km south of Durban, is the administrative, educational and commercial centre for southern Natal. Its industries include a sugar mill, a lime works and a marble quarry. Timber, wattle bark and sub-tropical fruit are produced in the district.

The town features as a boundary between areas in the SABC weather forecast, where it appears in the phrase "from Port Shepstone to the Tugela mouth...".

There is a vibrant Abahlali baseMjondolo branch in the Gamalakhe township. It was founded by Lungisani Jama.

Port Shepstone was founded in 1867, when marble was discovered nearby and is named after Sir Theophilus Shepstone, of the Natal government of the 1880s. William Bazley built a harbour and the first coaster entered the harbor, on the May 8, 1880. In 1882, a party of 246 Norwegian immigrants settled here and played a large part in the development of the area. After the opening of the railway to Durban, in 1901, the harbour fell in disuse and eventually the river silted up again, making it impossible to use. The 27,000 candela lighthouse still stands at the mouth of the Mzimkulu River.

The first school was opened in 1883, but by 1950 the school became too small. The Port Shepstone School split into two, the Port Shepstone Primary School and the Port Shepstone High School.


Uvongo is a seaside resort, south of Port Shepstone, at the mouth of the Ivunga River. The river has a waterfall that flows into a small gorge near the mouth. The name of the river is derived from the Zulu word, describing the sound of a waterfall or the wind in a gorge.

Uvongo beach lost its "Blue Flag" Title, due to storms damaging it in April 2007.


Margate is a seaside resort town in the south of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, just about 20 kilometres southeast of Port Shepstone. The river which flows into the sea at Margate is called "Nkhongweni" (place of entreaty) because the original inhabitants were reputed to be so mean that travellers had to beg for hospitality.

In 1908, Henry Richardson, an English surveyor, laid out the town and named it Margate, after another seaside resort on the northern coast of the county of Kent, in the United Kingdom.

It features attractive beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. It is known for its one mile of user friendly, sandy beach. Many apartment buildings offer accommodation for residents and visitors. Complemented by a nice shopping street and lots of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs, Margate is a spot where lots of South Africans and foreign visitors spend their vacations.

Margate is busiest during school and public holidays, when inland residents travel to the coast. Christmas and Easter are especially busy times, with Margate's main street often clogged with heavy traffic during those times.

Margate hit the world headlines in 1922 (although this date is often disputed and stated as 1924) when an enormous, white, furry creature (dubbed "Trunko" due to it having an elephantine trunk) was washed up on the beach. Unfortunately the "Margate monster" was too decomposed to be identified accurately.


Ramsgate is a resort and retirement town on the south coast, just south of Margate. The name was given by a surveyor to the coastal farm, at the mouth of the Bilanhlolo River, (the marvellous boiler).

In 1922 the only person living there was a romantic character, called Paul Buck, a painter and violin maker who called the place Blue Lagoon.

Port Edward

Port Edward is a small resort town, situated on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, near the Eastern Cape Province border.

Port Edward is a fanatical tourist resort, for seasonal visitors from more affluent regions of South Africa. The coastline between here and Port Shepstone to the north, is popularly known as the Hibiscus Coast, because of its lush sub-tropical gardens.

There are many tourist seasons that influence Port Edward, but the most significant is the Christmas / New Year period, spanning from mid-December to mid-January. Port Edward's Silver Beach hosts an annual New Year's Eve party, frequented by white people, whilst on New Year's Day itself, black people populate the beach for continued celebrations. Another main season coincides with the Sardine run natural phenomenon in May to July.

Leisure Bay

Is another very popular spot. This consists of a natural bay, known as Kidds Beach and a tiny sheltered cove known as Peter Pan.

In 1831, there was a crisis between the settlers in Port Natal (Durban) and Dingane, the Zulu king. Some settlers boarded a ship that was in the harbour and the others, including Henry Francis Fynn and his family, fled down the coast. The Zulu warriors caught up with them where Port Edward is today and massacred the fleeing settlers, which included local tribespeople of Langeni, on a hill called Isandlundlu (in English, shaped like a hut). The place has been known ever since, as Tragedy Hill and its slopes are still littered with the bones of the victims.

In 1878, the ship "The Ivy" ran aground on Port Edward's beach.

In 1925, the area was owned by TK Pringle, and named Banner Rest. A village was laid out and was named Port Edward, in honour of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.

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