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.
The internationally recognised Blue Flag programme is an eco-award given to beaches that meet strict standards of excellence in safety, cleanliness, provision of amenities, environmental information and management.
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 KwaZulu-Natal, 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.
SCTIE was established as the official economic development arm of the KZN South Coast. It is a legal entity of the Ugu District Municipality with executive powers, serving Ugu District and its family of municipalities. The entity is committed to identifying and unlocking the full tourism and investment potential of the ‘Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’ which stretches 120 kilometres from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding.
The spirit of adventure can be discovered among the 35 nature trails, 58 beaches – 6 Blue Flag – three Marine Protected Areas at Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and Trafalgar, two iconic gorges – Oribi Gorge and Umtamvuna Gorge – and game reserves. These all set the scene for activities like river rafting, abseiling, suspension bridges, paintball, surfing, SUP, canoeing, fishing, beach horse rides, microlight and helicopter rides, birding, game viewing, shark cage diving and free diving.
Winter brings the annual Sardine Run, coined the #GreatestShoalonEarth, which is the largest biomass migration on earth. Nicknamed ‘The Golf Coast’, there are 11 golf courses ranging in difficulty, with endless hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails for rugged excursions. Hinterland adventures include agritourism and Umzumbe River Trail, with cultural and historical sites such as The Red Desert, KwaXolo Caves, Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest, Nyandezulu and KwaNzimakwe experiences, and Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre.
Petrolheads can head to Dezzi Raceway, the only Motorsport South Africa (MSA)-approved racing track in the province. The KZN South Coast is also a fast-emerging MICE destination which hosts several high-profile events including Ugu Jazz, Ugu Film Festival and KAP sani2c.