The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is a renowned leisure tourism destination, and while sunbathing and seaside strolls might appeal to some, the region is also home to some of the most extreme outdoor adventures for visiting thrill-seekers.
“The captivating landscape, resident wildlife and adventurous spirit of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast make it the ultimate destination for tourists looking for something extreme,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism. “Whether it’s speed, heights, or close encounters with apex predators, the area has the world-class facilities and services suited to any type of extreme adventure.”
We look at 7 extreme adventures to get the adrenaline pumping on the KZN South Coast
1. Extreme swinging
The Wild Gorge Swing in Oribi Gorge, which forms part of the award-winning Wild 5 Adventures, is the ultimate experience for those who enjoy some height. The Wild Gorge Swing is the world’s highest swing of its kind, and it provides thrill-seekers with the chance to jump of the edge of Lehr’s Waterfall, dropping an incredible 55 storeys while strapped in a full-body harness.
2. Shark diving
The KZN South Coast is home to two internationally-renowned dive sites – Aliwal Shoal just 5km offshore of Umkomaas River, and Protea Banks which is 8km off Shelly Beach. These two Marine Protected Areas are home to incredible apex predators and mystic shipwrecks that make for a memorable dive.
Tourists can expect to encounter diverse shark species including duskies, Zambezis, tiger sharks, hammerheads and occasionally a great white. Any time of the year, divers will encounter a ‘pack’ of oceanic black tips (more than 100 resident sharks) while Protea Banks offers the unique shoaling hammerhead encounters at select times in the year (among many other creatures!)
3. Offroad biking and 4×4 adventures
The inviting sub-tropical climate makes the KZN South Coast a popular outdoor sporting destination with a variety of incredible 4×4, mountain biking and offroad biking routes. Ugu South Coast Tourism recently launched the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails as part of the Great Drives Out routes. This offers tourists the chance to experience the stunning coastal landscape through 4×4 excursions and trail or mountain biking adventures.
4. Crossing the Lake Eland Suspension Bridge
The beautiful Lake Eland Game Reserve takes views to another level with its 80m suspension bridge some 130 metres off the ground. Bridge walkers are treated to some of the most breathtaking views from this cable-suspended bridge.
If that’s not enough excitement, Lake Eland Game Reserve also offers a guided zipline tour consisting of 14 slides that reach speeds of up to 160km an hour. The first slide is sure to get the heart racing with a 1km slide straight down.
6. Microlight adventures
For a thrilling ride from the skies, World of Wings offers microlight flips in 15-minute, 30-minute or one-hour time slots, promising incredible views of Aliwal Shoal, Scottburgh and even the lower South Coast. It’s a thrilling adventure ride with experienced pilot, Noel McDonogh, at the controls.
7. Thrilling surfing
With 58 golden beaches – including several Blue Flag Beaches – the KZN South Coast is a surfing mecca, with some of the biggest point breaks attract global surfers taking to the waves annually. Some of the top surfing spots include Amanzimoti, Scottburgh, Southbroom and St Michael’s-on-sea – the home base for SA Champs and SA Masters Champs.
Don’t miss out on any of the extreme KZN South Coast action! Download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za.