Destinations & Attractions in Dolphin Coast, in Durban

Dolphin Coast Destinations & Attractions

When you spend some time watching the playful schools of dolphins surfing the waves and leaping out of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, it is not surprising that this part of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline has been called the Dolphin Coast. The bottlenose dolphins happily share the inviting waters with the locals and the many visitors that come to these shores to indulge in its refreshing retreat.

The Dolphin Coast is a popular spot for summer holidays, and is frequented by friends and families that love its laid-back atmosphere and balmy weather conditions. The beaches are ideal for swimming and surfing, and are safe for even tiny tots, who love exploring the rock pools. The towns of this region that are particularly trendy in terms of being summer vacation spots include Ballito, Salt Rock and Umdloti.

Although this area is generally rather quiet, it remains well-equipped with plenty of restaurants, accommodation and attractions for its many visitors. There are even one or two nightclubs for the young and the young at heart.

KwaZulu-Natal enjoys a rich history. As a result, much of it is fascinating to explore. The Dolphin Coast is no exception. The grave of King Shaka Zulu is situated at Kwa-Dukuza (Stanger) and was erected in 1932, just four years after he was assassinated by his half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana. The grave is situated opposite the alleged site of the assassination. Also close to Shaka’s grave is the final resting place of Albert Luthuli, who was a Nobel Laureate.

Indian culture is prominent along the Dolphin Coast. So, visitors are assured of some fabulous cuisine and fresh produce while they are in the area. In addition, their exquisitely ornate temples are a sight to behold.

Ballito is home to a fantastic selection of beaches; including Willards, Clarke Bay and Ballito Point. These beaches are frequented by surfers, as well as families with little ones that want to build castles, swim in safe waters, and run for miles to burn all of their young energy off. It also has a number of excellent fishing spots (such as Tongaat River Mouth, Salmon Bay, Dave’s Rock and Umhlali River Mouth).

Similarly, Zinkwazi is a beautiful escape from the real world, characterised by a pristine lagoon that stretches for seven kilometres amidst the subtropical greenery of KwaZulu-Natal. If you are able to tear yourself away from lazy days spent on the banks of the lagoon, a cruise along its waters or a day spent bird-watching may be just the tonic for tired minds and bodies.

Other recommended attractions along the Dolphin Coast include the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve and the Ballito Lifestyle Centre.

Ballito

The clear, warm waters of the Ballito coastline are popular for many tourist activities, but also among the schools of bottlenose dolphins that love to frolic in this part of the Indian Ocean. In addition to its safe, beautiful ...

Blythedale Beach

Blythedale Beach oozes all of the beauty for which the Dolphin Coast is renowned. Stretches of white sandy beaches are kissed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean against the backdrop of emerald subtropical vegetation. The hub ...

Darnall

Just inland from Zinkwazi beach, between the seaside village of Blythedale Beach and the Tugela River mouth, lies Darnall - a small sugarcane village close to Nkwazi. Darnall has largely managed to stay 'off the map' in the ...

Kearsney

Kearsney lies just outside Stanger, now known as KwaDukuza (locals called it Dukuza long before the official name change), just inland of Durban's north coast. To some of us 'Kearsney' immediately brings to mind the boys ...

La Mercy

The coastal conservancy of La Mercy is home to a gorgeous beach and is a fabulous whale watching point. Every year, Southern Rights and Humpbacks pass this part of South Africa, providing intriguing antics for the humans on shore ...

Princes Grant

Prince’s Grant has always been a secluded little getaway from the crowds, a relatively unknown gem along the Dolphin Coast. However, when the golf course was established, it suddenly gained acclaim. Still, its lovely beaches are ...

Salt Rock

Salt Rock first gained notoriety as the home of King Shaka of the Zulu Kingdom. Today, though, it is the picturesque beach resort of choice for families from all over the country. Its beach is safe for swimming and surfing, while ...

Shakas Rock

Shaka’s Rock is an elegant village that is small and inviting. It is popular amongst surfers, and its beach is the perfect place from which to launch a ski-boat. It is also a favourite amongst fishermen, who enjoy spending time ...

Sheffield Beach

Sheffield Beach is one of the lovely little havens of the Dolphin Coast, safe for young ones to explore, complete with fascinating rock pools. Snorkelling, SCUBA diving and fishing are the orders of the day here, and the ...

Stanger

As part of the Zulu Heritage Route, KwaDukuza-Stanger is a significant historical element of the region. However, its surrounding landscapes are also quite breath-taking, offering visitors fantastic photo opportunities and a ...

Thompson Bay

The province of KwaZulu-Natal continues to be the destination of choice for those that love the extensive, beautiful coastline of South Africa. The warm Indian Ocean waters are inviting and the waves are excellent for surfers who ...

Tinley Manor

Just 15 minutes’ drive north of Ballito, via Salt Rock, Sheffield Beach and Umhlali, lies the hamlet of Tinley Manor, reputed to have some of the most magnificent sea views and glorious beaches, and regarded as the closest beach ...

Tongaat

Mention the name ‘Tongaat’ and the next word on the average South African’s lips is ‘sugar’ and indeed, Tongaat is a sugar-producing town with a quintessentially English colonial flavour that lies on the banks of the Tongati ...

Tugela

Tugela is a water-lover’s dream. Its beach is at the Tugela River mouth (this is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal) and is nothing short of awesome. The beach is scenic and inviting, while the views of the surrounding mountains ...

Umhlali

Umhlali is a quaint farming village with a distinct colonial look and feel. It is quiet and tranquil, not the hub of tourist activities, which is an attraction in itself. This is an inland village, and is home to a well-known ...

Umvoti River Mouth

Drive up the north coast from Durban to Blythdale Beach, park at the ski-boat launch and you can stroll from there, a little further south to find the Umvoti River Mouth. It is a protected estuary about which people know little, ...

Westbrook Beach

Pretty Westbrook Beach, lying between La Mercy and Ballito on the north coast roughly a half hour's drive from Umhlanga, is a pretty beachside resort with a wonderful swimming beach and sands that stretch for miles. The little ...

Zimbali

Zimbali is a residential-cum-golf estate just outside the heart of Durban. Situated just on the borders of Umhlanga, it is close to a number of fabulous tourist-centric attractions and activities, but retains its exclusivity and ...

Zinkwazi

Zinkwazi may be a tiny village, but it offers no shortage of spectacular scenery, with its enormous lagoon and stunning subtropical greenery. It is an amazing bird-watching spot, but is also fabulous for those simply wanting to ...
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