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Port Shepstone

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Port Shepstone at a glance

The Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, is the most southern part of the province’s famous South Coast, south of Durban. It features an intimate collection of pristine beaches complete with sheltered coves and rock pools, numerous golf courses, nature reserves and one of the country’s most sought-after adventure tourism destinations.

The Hibiscus Coast boasts six Blue Flag beaches at Margate, Marina/San Lameer, Ramsgate, Trafalgar, Umzumbe and Lucien. Blue Flag beaches are those that have achieved excellence in water quality and environmental education while adhering to international safety standards.

A glorious coastline, protected pockets of sub-tropical bush and the Oribi Gorge offer visitors a wealth of Hibiscus Coast activities that can be enjoyed all year round.

Between May and July, the calm waters off the coast become a hive of activity when the annual Sardine Run takes place. This mass pilchard migration transforms the sea into one of the greatest feeding frenzies on Earth, as thousands of bottlenosed dolphins, sharks, game fish and gannets feast on the passing shoal.

Although the sardine run attracts many natural predators, anglers also make fantastic catches at this time of the year. Fishermen gather to try their luck from the rocky shore and from boats launched from local ski-boat clubs. Diving enthusiasts may explore some of the world's best shark-diving sites at Aliwal Shoal (a half-hour drive north) and Protea Banks (8km off Shelly Beach).

DID YOU KNOW?

The sardine run, an Hibiscus Coast attraction, is one of the world's greatest marine spectacles.

The Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, is so named for the thousands of beautiful hibiscus shrubs that bloom along this part of the coast. Hibberdene, Port Shepstone, Uvongo, Shelly Beach, Margate, Southbroom and Port Edward are the small towns and villages that make up the lower South Coast.

These spots feature a wide range of holiday accommodation, restaurants, shops and tourism facilities that support the main attraction, the beaches.

The Hibiscus Coast is also fondly referred to as South Africa's ‘golf coast' as there are seven golf courses in the vicinity, including two of the country's top courses – all offer varying levels of difficulty and majestic vistas over the Indian Ocean.

The scenic and spectacular Oribi Gorge is a local inland adventure destination that boasts the world's biggest bungee swing, the world's highest natural commercial abseil, and a range of wonderful hikes.

Twitchers will be in their element with the abundant birdlife in the area; get your fix on the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Birding Route or visit the Oribi Gorge and Umtamvuna Nature Reserve. These reserves are also home to a number of mammal species, including buck, and they offer a variety of walks and hiking trails.

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