South Coast - Seaside Suburbs and Holiday Homes
The South Coast, the 160-kilometer seaboard from Durban to Port Edward on the Eastern Cape border, is a ribbon of seaside suburbs where thousands of upcountry families have built holiday homes along what is the closest stretch of sand to Johannesburg. Although in wilderness terms the area is unexciting, it does have some lovely beaches and ample accommodation, and it wins hands down in the winter months when it's much warmer and sunnier along this stretch than on any of the beaches between here and Cape Town.
South Coast beaches are sandy and backed by luxuriant wild banana trees wedged between the holiday developments. Many shelve steeply into the powerful surf, so only swim where it's indicated as safe. Away from the sea, the land is very hilly and green, dotted with sugar cane fields, banana plantations and palm and pecan nut trees. Gardens are bright with flowering trees and shrubs, and in some places alive with monkeys.
Transport from Durban and Johannesburg to the South Coast is good and there are plenty of caravan parks next to the beaches, a couple of backpacker lodges and plenty of mid-priced places to stay.