The #KZNSouthCoast’s top spots for those following the ‘wellness tourism’ trend

Health and holistic wellbeing are being prioritised in 2021, with many travellers looking to enjoy a rejuvenating experience while on holiday. The #KZNSouthCoast, with its natural abundance, outdoor activities and spiritual retreats is a must-try destination for those seeking personal enlightenment and physical health.

“The incredible anxiety and stress that has emerged during Covid-19 has seen many looking to safe havens and nature-based retreats as a way to soothe and revitalise body, mind and spirit,” explained CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu. “The #KZNSouthCoast has long been revered as a coastal retreat, with many spiritually-minded venues offering tourists a chance to re-set through meditation, exercise, healthy eating and by re-connecting with the natural world.”

#KZNSouthCoast’s wellness tourism hotspots

Eco-sanctuaries and retreats

With many indigenous coastal forests set against the backdrop of soothing ocean waves crashing on golden sands, the #KZNSouthCoast is the ideal location to get away from the hustle of daily life and replenish the soul. The ocean is renowned for its ‘Vitamin Sea’ benefits, including reducing skin inflammation, assisting in pain management, improving sleep and lowering anxiety. For many, just the simple act of sitting on the beach and allowing the ocean sights and sounds to wash over them is enough to bring about spiritual calm. For others, there are several retreats and eco-sanctuaries within #TheParadiseoftheZuluKingdom that welcome guests seeking a calming yet revitalising eco-experience.

  • Highcroft Eco Sanctuary and Retreat in Umzumbe (contact: 079 506 8816 or whitbird@venturenet.co.za).
  • Bo-Yoga at Ramsgate Whale Deck (contact: 083 226 4579 or boyoga.ramsgate@gmail.com).
  • Hair International in Ramsgate: This eco-friendly salon promotes earth-friendly products and practices (contact: 039 314 4070 or abos@telkomsa.net).
  • The Sunshine Yoga Studio in Oribi Gorge: Specialises in yoga, retreats, spiritual exercises and transformational workshops (contact: 083 271 7439 or sunshineyoga80@gmail.com).
  • Nakai Beach Homestay in Trafalgar (contact: 082 414 2269 or grant@nakai.co.za).
  • Nia classes at the Heart Space in Clansthal, and half-day sessions of Womanity Connects where women can live their soul essence – in studio or online (contact 083 556 8108).
  • As Above, So Below yoga classes in Clansthal (contact: 072 207 5386 or 1abovesobelow@gmail.com).

Organic eating and eco-tours

Healthy living starts from within and with the #KZNSouthCoast’s sub-tropical climate and fertile soil, there’s an abundance of organic produce and eateries throughout the region. From seaside cafés through to farm tours, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes.

  • The Green Net in Umtentweni: An organic produce farm (contact: 039 695 2916 or helendodge@yahoo.com).
  • Nemvelo Farm in Izotsha: An organic produce farm off the beaten track (contact: 071 303 6655 or farm@nemvelo.co.za).
  • Thrive Urban Farm in Uvongo: An organic produce farm (contact: 082 570 7661 or info@thriveurbanfarm.biz).
  • Good Life Café in Shelly Beach: A coffee shop selling deliciously healthy meals (contact: 082 322 3326).
  • The Farm Food Factory in Shelly Beach: A craft food, vegetarian eatery (contact: 064 856 4697 or thefarmfoodfactory@gmail.com).
  • The Earth Shed   in Southbroom: A specialty grocery store (contact: 071 334 0820   or earthandcast@gmail.com).
  • The Farm Stall in Port Edward (contact: 079 059 4648 or jolenehooper81@mail.com).
  • The Pack Shed near Margate (contact: 078 812 7272 or info@thepackshed.co.za).
  • Beaver Creek Coffee Estate in Port Edward: Agri-tourism food and adventures (contact: 039 311 2347 or info@beavercreek.co.za).

Nature-based exercise and eco-adventures

Another important facet of the wellness tourism trend is participating in nature-based exercise and activities to improve wellbeing and release stress through physical fitness. The #KZNSouthCoast is a well-established sports’ and fitness destination where tourists can engage in recreational sports’ activities ranging from surfing, stand-up paddling and golfing through to more extreme adventures like white-water rafting, trail running and biking, and cave excursions. Here’s a look at some eco-adventures to be had on the #KZNSouthCoast.

  • Red Desert Nature Reserve in Port Edward: Hike to the world’s smallest dessert, home to archaeological discoveries.
  • KwaXolo Caves Nature Reserve: A guided steel cable climbing system to view ancient San artwork (contact: 074 887 3742 or kxcadventures@gmail.com)
  • Wild 5 Adventures in Oribi Gorge: Extreme adventures including The Wild Gorge Swing, Wild Abseil, Wild Water Rafting, The Wild Slide and the suspension bridge (contact: 082 566 7424 or info@wild5adventures.co.za).
  • Diving at Aliwal Shoal off Umkomaas and Protea Banks off Shelly Beach: Both Marine Protected Areas with abundant ocean life.
  • Freediving South Africa: KZN’s first fully eco-conscious freediving operators (contact: 071 613 1953 or kent@freedivingsouthafrica.com).
  • There are extensive hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching and 4×4 trails and excursions through the region’s numerous nature reserves, conservancies and game reserves, including the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails.
  • ‘The Golf Coast’ is home to 11 stunning golf courses.

For more information about USCT, as well as events and activities on the #KZNSouthCoast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. USCT is also on social media – follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.