Top 15 KwaZulu-Natal Beaches

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Occupying a 600 km swathe of Indian Ocean coast, stretching up to the tropics, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is a haven for beach-lovers, surfers and those of an adventurous disposition.

From exotic feeling beaches, backed by little more than jungle, to the year round sunshine and golden sands of one of South Africa's most vibrant cities, Durban, KZN will not disappoint. Beachgoers are well catered for in the more popular spots along the coast such as Margate, Ballito and Salt Rock.

KZN Beaches

Beyond the beaches KwaZulu-Natal is home to the mountains and savannah which we associate with safari country. Here you can see all the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and barely have to leave the coast behind.

  • 1. Zinkwazi Beach

    Zinkwazi Beach
    © Editor / CC BY

    Along the Dolphin Coast is the little resort town of Zinkwazi. The protected beach here is an beautiful stretch of golden sand surrounded by incredible indigenous forests with tropical palms. The bathing waters are protected by shark nets and lifeguards are here during the holiday season, which makes it safe for swimming. Beyond the dunes, at the rear of the beach, is a large lagoon which is an estuary of… read more »

  • 2. Pennington Beach

    Pennington Beach
    © Darren Glanville / CC BY

    Visitors can discover the attractive and unspoilt Pennington Beach 75 kilometres south of Durban, the region's foremost city, on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast. Attractive to many because of its relative lack of development, the town of Pennington sits above its beach on a hillside that provides great views across the expanse of the Indian Ocean.

    Alluring to native birdlife as well as humans, snorkelling, surfing, and swimming are all popular past… read more »

  • 3. Durban North Beach

    Durban North Beach
    © Michael Jung

    Set to the North of the harbour (hence the North bit) running from the Bay of Plenty and Dairy Beach is Durban's North Beach. The beach sits at the heart of the much redeveloped Durban beach-front which is aptly named "Golden Mile" or "Durbs by the sea" as some locals call it. Development of the Golden Mile began back in the 1970s when it became one of the country's biggest… read more »

  • 4. Umhlanga


    Set on KwaZulu-Natal's Sugar Coast, just north of Durban is the buzzing resort town of Umhlanga. With the golden sand of the beach meeting the warm waters of the Indian Ocean it is little wonder the beachfront here has become home to a number of luxury hotels and apartments. Some of these actually predate the resort; the Oyster Box, a luxury hotel was originally a beach cottage around which the… read more »

  • 5. Addington Beach

    Addington Beach
    © South African Tourism / CC BY

    With a prime location on Durban's Golden Mile next to uShaka Marine World theme park, and just ten minutes from the buzzing restaurants and bars of the city's central business district, Addington Beach is as easy to reach as it is to fall in love with.

    Here you'll find a large flat expanse of richly-coloured sand running alongside the warm waters of South Africa's Indian Ocean coastline. The shallow entry… read more »

  • 6. Margate Beach

    Margate Beach
    © ~ souTH AFRica ~ / CC BY

    Named rather quaintly – for the comparison ends there – after a beach on the south coast of England, the almost orange sands of Margate Beach in South Africa lie on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal province, around 90 minutes from Durban.

    A paved footpath runs along the beach amid the occasional lofty palm swaying gently in the breeze, but it's the warm, sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean that… read more »

  • 7. Umdloti Beach

    Umdloti Beach
    © Ossewa / CC BY

    Umdloti Beach lies a short distance north of the South African city of Durban, close enough to be incorporated into the Greater Durban Metropolitan Municipality of eThekwini. Making the most of the area's warm Indian Ocean waters, Umdloti Beach is also situated at the mouth of the Mdloti River, from which the beach garners its name, and is surrounded by native sub-tropical flora and the neat rows of sugar cane… read more »

  • 8. Alkantstrand

    © Rudi Stadler / CC BY

    The main beach in Richards Bay, a city that provides a gateway into the province of KwaZulu-Natal, Alkantstrand is made up of idyllic white sand between the blues of the Indian Ocean and lush greens of the region's verdant subtropical flora.

    With a name translating from Afrikaans as "both sides of the beach", from the way the warm ocean currents seem to wrap around bathers on the sands, Alkantstrand's cleanliness and… read more »

  • 9. Anstey's Beach

    Anstey's Beach
    © dual / CC BY

    Situated on the Bluff in Durban, the high-end area south of the city's main beaches, Ansteys Beach lies close to Cave Rock, home to the barrelling wave that has entered the folklore of surfing communities around the world.

    Clean and unspoilt, the sand here is comparable in allure to that anywhere else along the Durban coast, while its Indian Ocean waters provide a heady mix of warmth, waves, and water sports,… read more »

  • 10. Scottburgh Beach

    Scottburgh Beach
    © Ossewa / CC BY

    Scottburgh Beach lies on a curved bay of KwaZulu-Natal province's South Coast region. It is reached via a footpath that runs across an area of grass perfect for games or for sitting down to a picnic. Its position on the south bank of the Mpambanyoni River as it exits the Indian Ocean means visitors are able to enjoy not only the ocean waves but also a quiet lagoon. What's more,… read more »

  • 11. Park Rynie Beach

    Park Rynie Beach
    © Anthony Webb / CC BY

    Found on South Africa's southern stretch of Indian Ocean coastline, on what has been designated the Umdoni Coast in KwaZulu-Natal, Park Rynie Beach is such a beautiful destination that a small resort town has developed around it.

    One of the region's more rugged beaches, Park Rynie Beach is a blend of rock pools and good quality sand, with the rocks often separating the sand from the ocean. There number below the… read more »

  • 12. Salt Rock Beach

    Salt Rock Beach
    © HelenSTB / CC BY

    Situated on the soft sands and warm waters of KwaZulu-Natal's Dolphin Coast, part of South Africa's Indian Ocean coastline, Salt Rock Beach is the main beach in a town of the same name. It's just 20 minutes' drive from Durban's King Shaka International Airport.

    Both wide and long, this family-friendly beach is suitable for swimming, as well as past times including surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Salt Rock Beach's safety is… read more »

  • 13. uShaka Beach

    uShaka Beach
    © Diriye Amey / CC BY

    With a fine location at the southern end of Durban's Golden Mile of beaches, uShaka Beach on the Point Waterfront is a relatively sheltered stretch of glorious golden sands with direct access to the uShaka Marine World theme park that backs on to it.

    Technically one of the free to access parts of the park, uShaka Beach is also one of Durban's family-friendly beaches. It boasts a whole series… read more »

  • 14. South Beach

    South Beach
    © ilf_

    Situated on Durban's famed "Golden Mile", South Beach sits to the south of the city centre about halfway between the surfing mecca of North Beach and Ushaka. As with other beaches in Durban South Beach has golden sands and warm blue waters that are a magnet to beachgoers, swimmers, and surfers alike. The beach is protected by shark nets and lifeguards, so people can swim without worrying about… read more »

  • 15. Brighton Beach

    Brighton Beach
    © chrisvanlennephoto
    read more »