North Coast beaches, KwaZulu-Natal

North Coast beaches, KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast - also known as the Dolphin Coast due its large population of bottlenose dolphins - stretches for 100 kms north of Durban to the mouth of the Tugela River. This area of coastline is renowned for its balmy year-round climate, spectacular surf, and glorious beaches. While home to many high class resorts and residential areas, the North Coast has a wilder feel to the coastline south of Durban, especially in the far north.

Ballito, about 40 kms north of Durban, is the North Coast’s largest town. Willard Beach is the town’s main swimming beach with a scenic boardwalk and spectacular views.

The beach is very safe and patrolled by lifeguards with shark nets to protect it. Ballito’s second beach, Clarke Bay, also has lifeguards and shark nets while Salmon Bay is a popular surf spot. Ballito also has excellent fishing and diving.

Generally considered to be among the best beaches along the North Coast are Zinkwazi Beach, Umhlali Beach, Tinley Manor Beach, Thompson’s Bay Beach, Sheffield Beach, Shaka’s Rock Beach, Salt Rock, Blythedale Beach, Clark Bay and Tugela Mouth.

The North Coast is also known for its tidal pools which provide safe, enclosed areas for children to snorkel. Examples include Salt Rock, Charles Pool at Thompson’s Bay north of Ballito, and two well-maintained pools at the southern end of Ballito itself.

Alastair Rankin
Alastair Rankin, Rocktail Beach Camp
"Rocktail Beach Camp is unique. Our chalets are low-impact three and four star canvas structures high in the forest canopy and we are one of the Top Ten dive sites."

Zululand Beaches
North of the Tugela River, the coastline of KZN has wilder stretches of coastland where the dunes are larger and the coastal forest more dense. Many beaches are not shark netted and extreme caution must be taken when swimming. However, the Zululand coast between the mouth of the Tugela River and St Lucia has many beaches that are safe for swimming including Alkantrand, Durnford Point, Five Mile Beach, Mbonambi Beach, Mtunzini Beach, Newark and Two Mile Beach.

Elephant Coast
The Elephant Coast in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park has many long stretches of white, sandy beaches including Black Rock just South of Kosi Bay, Cape Vidal, First Rocks, Hulley Point, Jesser Point, Kosi Bay Estuary, Leven Point, Liefeldt's Rock, Mission Rocks, Rocktail Bay, Sodwana Bay, St. Lucia and St.Lucia Estuary.

Beaches in KwaZulu Natal

South Coast beaches in KwaZulu Natal
Responsible Travel would like to thank Tourism KZN for their sponsorship of this guide
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