KwaZulu Natal DestinationsManaba Beach, South Coast
Pretty and popular Manaba Beach lies just north of Margate, still within Margate's jurisdiction. More often than not Margate and Manaba Beach are spoken about in the same breath. Certainly luxury accommodation is advertised as lying in the prime spot of 'Margate and Manaba beachfront'.
This sub-tropical part of the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, part of the Hibiscus Coast, lies just south of St Michael's-on-Sea and Shelly Beach and roughly six kilometres north of Ramsgate, another popular seaside town. Manaba Beach is exactly what its name implies - a beach holiday resort. Mainly comprised of modern resort-type apartments, one heads down here to soak up sea and sun, and any activities that enhance either of these. Unsurprisingly 'Manaba' comes from the Zulu meaning 'ease and relaxation'.
If you are in Manaba Beach then you're here to swim, sunbathe, fish, kite-surf, paddle, canoe, windsurf, bird watch, play a round or two of golf, and even sight the odd whale. In short, this is a beach holiday destination of note and hence, during peak season, a very popular part of the coast because of the easy access to the larger centres of Port Shepstone and Durban.
Margate's swimming beach is a wonderful spot with fishing piers, shops, supermarkets and entertainment galore. For those days where weather works against one there are other activities like wild water rafting or taking a barge trip on the Umzimkulu (also known as Mzimkhulu) River, and a visit to Oribi Gorge, inland of Margate. This 'place of echoes' is millions of years old and the views alone are worth setting out for. View sites include Lovers' Leap, the Overhanging Rock, the Needle and Lehr's waterfall.
In the same vicinity you can take a coffee tour in Echo Valley that overlooks part of Oribi Gorge. This coffee farm produces 100% Arabica Coffee, has its own roasting facility and 'seedling to cup' tours daily.