Cape Town – The Great December Migration is looming in SA as the air warms…
Dedicated vacationers have their go-to beach spots where they park out every year, soaking up the southern sun – gazebos and all.
But some of us aren’t looking for the all-out extended family experience. Nope, a quiet beach day with only your best friends and/or partner would do perfectly fine, thank you.
Here’s where you can ditch the masses along the South Coast paradise this summer:
Kosi Bay - just south of the Mozambique border
It’s basically a Mozambican beach, but not yet. The beach forms part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is situated along a strip of high sand dunes interrupted by a sandy estuary. The beach is home to one of our favourite secret wonders during summer. In December and January loggerhead and leatherback turtles haul themselves up on the beach to scoop out nests and lay their eggs!
READ: The turtles of iSimangaliso
Mtunzini beach - Umlalazi Nature Reserve
Mtunzini Beach is a unique destination for nature lovers as it has abundant birdlife and amazing stretches of sand ideal for long walks. The dunes and beach are surrounded by the river, which meanders through the forest and pristine mangroves in the area. Be warned, however, there are no sharks' nets at this beach. Keep it shallow.
Zinkwazi beach - 80km north of Durban
Lapped by the warm surf of the Indian Ocean, where dolphins often frolic, the shoreline encompasses a beautiful lagoon, where one can go fishing or boating. Zinkwazi is Zulu for 'fish eagle', so you can image the abundance of birdlife in the area is something to see.
Take a look: PICS: Goliath Heron attempts to steal Fish Eagle's lunch
Blythedale beach - just north of Ballito
This beach is an unspoilt holiday haven set within the extensive Blythedale Conservancy. Blythedale beach is protected by shark nets and is perfect for swimming, surfing, as well as whale and dolphin-watching.
Umzumbe beach - in front on the Umzumbe Bowls Estate
Although this is an official Blue Flag beach, it’s still relatively ‘undiscovered’. Being Blue Flag, the beach has year round lifeguards on duty and is the perfect place for families to chill out in relative peace and quiet.
ALSO READ: KZN South Coast rivals Cape Town with 7 permanent blue flag beaches - here they are
Mabibi, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Mabibi beach is situated in the Coastal Forest section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It offers fantastic snorkelling and fishing opportunities and is the perfect beach option for a more adventurous beach-goer (not only the type that enjoys sunbathing all day long…). The beach is also situated close to Lake Sibaya, the largest freshwater lake in South Africa, where you can see hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birdlife. Make the most of the experience by camping at the Mabibi Camp site on the beach.
READ: iSimangaliso aiming to be 'Africa’s greatest conservation-based tourism offering'
Umkomaas beach - at the Umkomazi River estuary
This town’s name is derived from the Zulu name uMkhomazi, which means ‘the place of cow whales’, which should give you an indication of the marine life you might see when you hang around here.
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