Camping Out on the KZN South Coast
Camping should be the new APP for the restoration to clarity of a cluttered mind. This is why I’ll be camping out on the KZN South Coast over the festive season. I’ve always been a fan of the far South of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. It’s green, it has the ultimate weather, the birdlife is awesome, it is wild, generally unmodernized and retains much of it’s old look and feel when it comes to the smaller towns along the way. It’s a beautiful place to pitch a tent and spend a few days or weeks camping. If it turns out that months will do, then so-be-it. Note: Written with the lone backpacker or campimg couple in mind.
Resetting the Mind – Camping Out on the KZN South Coast
If 2019 wasn’t everything you expected it to be, a holiday on the coast may be just the thing to reset your mind. If your work has you tied down this festive season, all I can say is that I feel for you. The South Coast, which is located along the East Coast of South Africa, remains one of the holiday Mecca’s for local and international travellers. I have no other intention than to relax, unwind and rest my overworked mind. It’s the perfect place to do it. Camping out, the best way … whether in a tent or caravan.
I’ve stationed myself right on the bank of the Mzimayi River which runs out into the Indian Ocean when it has enough water to get there. The venue is the Hibberdene River Resort. I hadn’t expected to see any paddling going on seeing as the river is knee deep at the moment. But hey, these guys in the image below were adamant they were hitting the water. I think they got 300m up the river and had to turn back. But back to the camping thing …
Where are the best Camping Sites on the Coast?
For me the big leaved vegetation, the perfect Summer sunrise and the smaller wildlife (especially the variety of birds) are ahead of the beach as an attraction and make the entire South an awesome camping destination. Some campers like to pitch their tent close to the ablution blocks and other amenities like swimming pools, braai facilities etc. Others choose hidden spaces in the most private parts of the park or camp ground. It is difficult to say which are the best sites to park a caravan or pitch a tent. What I do know is that facilities and staff play an important role in making campers and holidaymakers happy. These are usually the most well advertised.
The list below are some caravan parks and sites including Backpacker hostels which provide tent space at very reasonable rates in awesome surroundings. I have not applied any type of rating for facilities as my focus, as mentioned, is on places where campers (solo or couples) can stay without fuss coming into the picture.
- Hibberdene River Resort (Hibberdene)
- The Spot Backpackers (On the Beach in Umtentweni)
- Fairhills Caravan Park (Ramsgate) – Best for solo campers and couples out of season
- Bushbaby Lodge & Camping (Hluhluwe)
Birdlife & Monkeys – Never a dull moment …
The Ververt monkeys tend to irritate the locals somewhat. I find them very entertaining. Watch them for long enough and it becomes apparent that these are thinking beings. They wait for you to turn your back and take every opportunity to be naughty … and they know it. If you’re a camper, watch them … if you don’t, they’ll have your banana’s before you know it … if you do … they’ll have your heart. All the images below were taken at the Hibberdene River resort but you will find them all along the Coast. The birdlife on the coast is amazing. There are Egyptian Geese, Muscovy Ducks, Stork, the brown Duck in the image below (please tell me what it is), Weaver and a dozen other species. I haven’t seen to many Seagull though.
Town to town
The rest of the South Coast is easily accessible from Hibberdene. There is a taxi system – the trains are useless and non existent further South. There are numerous shuttle companies who operate between the Airport in the North down to Port Edward in the far South and the Wild Coast at very affordable rates. Check out Margate Coach. I’ve used them and the service is affordable, comfortable and reliable. The costs were somewhere between R140 to R210 from King Shaka Airport in the North to Port Edward in the far South and beyond to the Wild Coast Sun. Download their schedule and rates at the link above.
I can picnic under the pine trees on some sugar cane farm or simply stay rooted to the beauty of the surroundings most camp sites and caravan parks feature. I tend to escape people and surround myself with nature. This is why the coast of KZN is always an option for me. In season or out of season, there are many places to escape to … and just a short walk away from town or a short distance from the next.