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Best picnic spots on the KZN South Coast

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Oct 28, 2021

Everyone is looking forward to a welcome break as the summer holidays approach, and after being cooped up for so long, it’s the perfect time to get out into nature on the KZN South Coast. 

The KZN South Coast is probably one of the most affordable holiday spots in the country and it is an ideal place for a family adventure, followed by a scenic picnic.

KZN South Coast open to tourists after lockdown

The region, extending from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding, is also home to an abundance of farms and restaurants selling home-made meals and snacks to complement any picnic basket.

“We’re so excited to be welcoming tourists back to the KZN South Coast after lockdown restrictions, and we understand that many people are looking to get out and make great family memories in nature,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu. “

USCT has compiled a comprehensive list of some of the KZN South Coast’s best picnic spots. Here there are:

1.  TC Robertson Nature Reserve (Scottburgh)

Visitors to Scottburgh can stock up on supplies from local eateries and head into the refreshing coolness of this coastal forest. Take a scenic hike on one of the many great trails found here, and picnic along the banks of the Mpambanyoni River.

Cost: R30 per vehicle with 5 people, R10 per person for six or more.

Contact: 062 002 5190   

2.  Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve (Umzinto,KZN)

Just inland of Umzinto is another wonderful coastal reserve which consists of a mixture of habitats including grasslands, wetlands and forest. Visitors can check out some indigenous birdlife while picnicking at one of the many idyllic spots found here.

Cost: R30 per adult and R12 per child.

Contact: 039 974 2222   

3.  Lake Eland Game Reserve (Oribi Gorge)

Just a short drive from reception, visitors to this beautiful game reserve will find well-placed picnic and braai facilities. These are located nearby a stream with ancient trees providing ample shade on those hot, summer days.

Cost: R75 per adult R45 per child.

Contact: 039 687 0395   

4.  Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve (Oribi Gorge, KZN)

For a picnic spot with some of the province’s most breathtaking views, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve is number one! There’s a series of hiking trails and picnic sites, either with dramatic cliffside views or located on the banks of the rippling river. Picnickers can also catch sight of some resident buck passing by.

Cost: R30 per adult and R15 per child.

Contact: 039 845 1000   

5.  Bellevue Guest Lodge and Eco Park (Ramsgate)

There are more than 200 indigenous tree species throughout the forest and wetland habitats of this eco park, home to birds, insects, frogs, butterflies and dassies – among others! Throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawns while the young ones enjoy the sandpit and sensory play area.

Cost: R25 per adult, booking is essential.

Contact: 039 316 6097   

6.  KwaXolo Caves Adventures (KwaXolo)

Embark on a little family adventure at KwaXolo! Visitors are led along the mountainside via steel cable-and-rung system where hikers can view the ancient San artwork adorning the walls of KwaXolo Caves. This is followed by a well-deserved picnic with a view.

Cost: R150 per person including the hike.

Contact: 063 844 2032                 

7.  Mpenjati Nature Reserve (Trafalgar)

Just 20 kilometres south of Margate on the banks of Mpenjati River Lagoon is this coastal reserve, offering visitors the perfect picnic space and relaxation retreat.

Cost: R15 per adult and R5 per child.

Contact: 039 313 0531   

8.  KwaNzimakwe Experience (Port Edward)

Another must-try family adventure can be found on this cultural excursion where visitors are taken on a tour of a rural village, with art- and craft-making followed by a scenic picnic in the KZN South Coast hinterland.

Cost: R50 per person, booking essential.

Contact: 078 002 4786   

9.  Clearwater Trail Centre

For the sports’ enthusiasts, Clearwater is one of the first purpose-built trail networks in the area with a sustainable and flowing single track. Finish the adventure with a picnic overlooking panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Umtamvuna River Gorge.

Cost: R20 per person

Contact: 083 549 6710

10.  Umtamvuna Nature Reserve (Port Edward, KZN)

With its famed views of the deep Umtamvuna River gorge, beautiful indigenous trees and spectacular flower displays just after the spring rains, Umtamvuna Nature Reserve is another great picnic spot.

Cost: R20 per person

Contact: 039 311 2383   

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