21 Things to do on the KZN South Coast for under R150 this Summer

Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge. (Images: Supplied by USCT)

It’s time for #summervibes and #familyadventure, and with budgets stretched this year, visitors are looking for places that offer #adventuretravel that doesn’t break the bank! Fortunately, the #KZNSouthCoast stretching from Umkomaas to the Wild Coast has the perfect selection of exciting, yet affordable, activities to keep the whole family entertained.

“With summer on its way, many families are considering nature-based travel options that provide unique experiences within a reasonable budget,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu. “With our many nature reserves and animal farms, the KZN South Coast has a wonderful variety of family-friendly excursions that are great either for day trips or for those wanting to extend their stay. We’ve compiled a list of the top 21 fantastic options – and this is outside of the 58 beaches, world-class dive sites and numerous tidal pools found here!”

#gosouth for these 21 activities under R150*

1.      Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve in Scottburgh

This indigenous coastal forest has several hiking trails to view bird- and wildlife with picnic sites available.

Cost: R30 per adult, R15 for children U12

Contact: 039 974 2222 or 073 911 8200 or email zeph.dindikazi@kznwildlife.com

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

2.      TC Robertson Nature Reserve in Scottburgh

On the bank of the Mpambanyoni River near the beach is this wonderful coastal forest that offers visitors great trails and scenic picnic spots.

Cost: R30 per vehicle with 5 passengers, R10 more for an added passenger

Contact: 082 406 9891 or info@tourismsouthcoast.co.za

3.      Ntelezi Msane Heritage Site in Mtwalume 

This is ideal for visitors seeking an authentic traditional experience. Here they can learn about local indigenous history through stories, crafts and song.

Cost: R140 per person for a minimum of five people per group

Contact: 060 473 3712 or info@tourismsouthcoast.co.za              

Website: www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za

4.      ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest

There are beautiful picnic spots along the trails that traverse plantations, private farms and indigenous forest, as well as mini adventure golf for families.

Mini adventure golf at R50 per adult and R30 per child; Mountain biking at R50.00 per bicycle; Hiking at R20 per person

Contact: 039 553 0600 or ingelires@anewhotels.co.za

Website: www.anewhotels.com

5.      BBS Farm in Southport

This women-owned agritourism initiative provides tours of macadamia nut and tomato plantations grown by the local community.

Cost: R50 per adult, R30 for children aged 8 to 18 years

Contact: 079 568 1815 

6.      Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge

Set within world-renowned view sites, Wild 5 Adventures offers a range of individually-priced adventures.

Cost: Hiking trails and view site entrance R25 per adult, R20 for pensioners and children aged 6 to 12years; paintball R150 per person including equipment, helmet and 100 rounds.

Contact: 082 566 7424 or info@wild5adventures.co.za

Website: www.wild5adventures.co.za

7.      Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve near Port Shepstone

This scenic area has great hiking along forests, rivers, rapids and ravines, including the Samango Waterfall.

Cost: R30 per adult, R15 for children aged 3 to 12 years

Contact: 039 679 1644 or info@tourismsouthcoast.co.za

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

8.      Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide near Port Shepstone

Near Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve is this vulture viewing hide where visitors can observe Cape Vultures in their natural habitat.

Cost: R100 per adult, free for children under 15 years                   

Contact: 072 893 3794   

Website: www.vulturehide.blogspot.com

9.      Lake Eland Game Reserve

Visitors can see African wildlife on a self game drive or bike ride. There are also great 4×4 tracks, paintball, a restaurant, tea garden and picnic sites.

Cost: Mountain biking, fishing or walking (own equipment) R75 per adult, R45 per child under 8 years; 4×4 tracks are R 150 per vehicle (own vehicle) or R60 per motorbike or quad bike (bring own); paintball is R150 per person (10 years and older) for 70 shots, minimum of four people.

Contact: 039 687 0395 or reception@lakeeland.co.za     

Website: http://www.lakeelandgame reserve.co.za

10.   Pure Venom in Shelly Beach

This is the biggest reptile farm in Africa with several reptile species, a petting zoo with farm animals and exotic birds.

Cost: R140 per adult, R120 per child aged 4 to 12 years

Contact: 082 492 8256 or info@purevenom.com

Website: www.purevenom.com

11.   River Valley Nature Reserve in Manaba

Hiking trails cut across a variety of ecosystems home to birdlife, antelope and smaller mammals. There are picnic sites found here.

Cost: R30 per person

Contact: 083 263 5537                   

Website: www.rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za 

12.   Butterfly Valley Farm in Ramsgate  

This farm specializes in indigenous butterflies and is also home to a range of other interesting creatures.

Cost: R75 per adult, R40 for children 3 to 13 years            

Contact: 073 422 5357 or 072 235 3688 or butterflyvalley@ymail.com  

Website: www.butterflyfarm.co.za

13.   Riverbend Crocodile Farm in Southbroom

The farm is home to more than 200 resident Nile crocodiles with visitors invited to watch crocodile feedings every Sunday and Wednesday at 3pm from December to April. There’s also the Crocodile Café for meals and snacks.

Cost: R85 per adult, R42 per child over 3 years

Contact: 039 316 6204 or info@crocodilecrazy.co.za        

Website: www.crocodilecrazy.co.za

14.   KwaXolo Caves

A guide will lead visitors on a secure hike along the mountainside to these ancient caves where centuries-old San paintings can be found, followed by a lovely picnic with great views.

Cost: R150 per adult, R120 per child 8 to 16 years             

Contact: 076 185 3447 or 074 887 3742 or the ‘KwaXolo Caves Adventures’ Facebook page

15.   Mac Banana Estate & Adventures

There’s something for everyone at this family-friendly estate including shopping, four restaurants (and the famous pancake house) and more than 20 adventurous activities.  

Cost: R20 or FREE with any other activity.

Animal farm tour adult/kids – R50/R40; Banana tour adult/kids – R55/R40; pony rides – R25; trampoline 10min – R15; Mac Venture Golf 18-hole adventure adults/kids – R59/ R40; 9-hole mini putt putt – R35

Contact: 039 319 1033 or macbanana22@gmail.com

Website: www.macbanana.com/activities

16.   Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar

Bird lovers will enjoy a visit to this indigenous coastal reserve which has two fantastic hiking trails.

Cost: R15 per adult, R5 per child under 12 years

Contact: 0784756792     

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

17.   Clearwater Trails in Port Edward   

This is one of the first purpose-built trail networks in the area with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Umtamvuna River Gorge. In 2020 Clearwater Trails re-joined Beaver Creek Coffee Estate which serves as the start/finish point for the trail network.

Cost: R20 per adult

Contact: 083 549 6710 or info@clearwatertrail.co.za       

Website: www.clearwatertrails.co.za

18.   Beaver Creek Coffee Estate near Port Edward

This is the world’s southernmost coffee plantation which has great coffee tasting, a restaurant and biking trails.

Cost: R65 per adult, under 12 years free

Contact: 039 311 2315 or info@beavercreek.co.za           

Website: www.beavercreek.co.za

19.   The Red Desert near Port Edward

Another pristine coastal reserve, visitors can also find the world’s smallest desert at only 200m in diameter and 11ha in entirety.

Cost: R30 per adult        

Contact: 083 631 9331   

Website: www.reddesertnaturereserve.co.za

20.   Umtamvuna Nature Reserve in Port Edward

For a great day out, visitors should head to this beautiful coastal reserve which has several marked trails for wild- and birdlife viewing.

Cost: R20 per person

Contact: 039 311 2383                   

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

21.   Emsikazi Mountain Experience in Mthwalume

There are guided hikes up the mountain which is known, by past generations, as the territory of a seven-headed snake. Local authorities, such as the induna, provide interesting talks on this and other historical aspects of the region. 

Cost: R100 per person

Contact: 078 629 5148 or Djntiyi@gmail.com

Website: www.emsikazi.co.za

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