Starting from the Tongaat River in the south and stretching all the way up towards the Tugela River mouth in the north, The Dolphin Coast, also called the North Coast, is a remarkably beautiful expanse of coast that is a sought after destination for KwaZulu-Natal holiday-makers.
Named for the schools of bottlenose dolphins that frequent the temperate waters along the coast, The Dolphin Coast comprises the towns of Ballito, Salt Rock, Zimbali, Kwa-Dukuza, La Mercy and Tinley Manor to name just a few.
An obvious and enviable feature of the Dolphin Coast is, of course, the coast. You will find some of KwaZulu-Natal’s most glorious beaches along this stretch of coastline, perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, or just a spot of lazy sunbathing. Particular mentions are Willard and Thompson’s Bay beach in Ballito – with Thompson’s boasting a magnificent tidal pool, ideal for swimming. Summer is undoubtedly peak beach season, but KwaZulu-Natal has the unique offering of a balmy, humid climate and almost year-round sunshine to take advantage of.
The Dolphin coast is not just beaches and coastline, however. Cultural and historical attractions are also highlights of the area, with a memorial dedicated to the late King Shaka Zulu and his grave site in KwaDukuza.
There is also a plethora of land-based, adventure activities for thrill seekers too. Try your hand at paragliding, quad biking, zip lining, or mountain biking. Hiking trails also abound in the area and wind through diverse landscapes such as forest, beach and wetlands.
Fly in from any of South Africa’s national airports to King Shaka International Airport which is situated within The Dolphin Coast. If you’re driving – head down the N3 towards Durban from Johannesburg, or via the N2 from Cape Town.
What to do in The Dolphin Coast
The Dolphin Coast, being a “coast”, certainly offers up some of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa, but that’s not all it’s known for. Journey inland to find historical and cultural attractions that will take you back hundreds of years.
Where to stay in The Dolphin Coast
Where to eat in The Dolphin Coast