Mtwalume, South Coast

Mtwalume is a small seaside village situated in the Umdoni Coast of KwaZulu Natal. This quaint village was named after the Mtwalume tree, the bark of which was traditionally used by the Zulus for medicinal purposes.

The little seaside village of Mtwalume lies on KwaZulu-Natal's south coast between Ifafa beach and Hibberdene, roughly 87 kilometres from Durban. It has been used as a holiday town for years, and thankfully remains so, with only a couple of shops and a post office to speak of (with Scottburgh or Port Shepstone a mere 33 kilometres away, this is hardly a problem).

Holidays spent here are about the beach and reminiscent of a time before glitzy, huge beachside mansions became the norm of any strip of beach available along the coastline. Though there are a couple of these now in Mtwalume, they are understated enough to blend in with the typical beach cottage homes that remain the mainstay of the village.

The South Coast train line along the Hibiscus coast runs between the town and the beach, and occasional trains trundle past, only adding to the holiday vibe of the little town.

The main feature is the lagoon formed where the Mtwalume River - named by the Zulus for the tall, long trees growing on the banks - meets the sea. As pretty as it is, the river can be unpredictable, but the unpredictability is infrequent and doesn't stop people at the coast from enjoying skiing, fishing, swimming, surf angling and deep-sea fishing - just a few of the water pastimes on offer.

The tidal pool and rock pools make this a wonderful space for children too. And the beach is but a walk away from anywhere in Mtwalume, where typical Indian Ocean sunrises make early mornings down on the beach the 'secret' time to be there.

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