Durban Beaches

South Africa

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

One of the longest coastlines of connected beaches in the world that stays warm (water and land) all through the winter months; stretches from Mozambique in the north to Eastern Cape province in the south.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of mickeymox
  • Where are they? greater metropolitan Durban is a curved cape jutting into the Indian Ocean on the east coast of South Africa
  • Coordinates: latitude» -29.8449°
    longitude» 31.0358°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: mild subtropical
  • Development: heavily built-up urban area; major city
  • Length of Beach: 373m/600km (provincially)
  • Type: soft, golden sand
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There are more beaches in the stretch of South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal province that lie outside of Durban and its suburbs, and yet the coastal area north and south of Durban is often referred to simply as Durban Beaches.

Within the city, and due to the spit of land that protrudes into the Indian Ocean and is the site of Durban proper, the in-town beaches are loosely and collectively called North Coast Beach and South Coast Beach, the northern one being a surfing magnet and the southern being a carnival of senses. Both have their merits, and we have reported about them on individual beach.org pages.

Durban is a major metropolis of about 3.5 million people, with warm-to-hot sunny weather year round, deep golden sand beaches and hundreds of attractions from the ultra-modern to stereotypical African draws such as elephant and lion reserves. There is something for everyone in Durban and on the coasts that lie north and south of it.

Because there are so many beaches in this province, we have broken the “Durban” section into North Coast Beach and South Coast Beach in Durban proper, and then have broken down the other beaches on the coast into two groups, Dolphin Coast, Zululand and Elephant Coast along the north shore, and the strip south of the city, Golf Coast.

The number of beaches on the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal is overwhelming and it will be tricky to narrow your visit down to just one or two; try visiting a region and see the diversity of this gorgeous coast.

North Coast Beach

This is a wave-perfect spot for surfers and home of many surfing competitions. Sharks are a factor in these waters, but shark nets are in place to keep the ocean safe.

South Coast Beach

With a long promenade, midway and endless entertainment, this area is sometimes derided, but the beach has gentler waves than North Coast Beach and it’s a perfect place for a family-fun holiday.

Dolphin Coast

Situated just north of the greater Durban area, we are starting our tour of the Dolphin Coast at Umhlanga Rocks and venturing north to where the Zululand area beaches appear, beginning, roughly at Zinkwazi Beach. This is a vibrant part of the coastal region, close to Durban and yet just far enough away to be a world unto itself. The beaches we plan to write about in this area include:

  • Zimbali Beach
  • Ballito Beach
  • Zinkwazi Beach
  • Princes Grant Beach
  • Umhlali Beach
  • Tinley Manor Beach
  • Sheffield Beach
  • Thompson’s Bay Beach
  • Shaka’s Rock Beach
  • Tongaat Beach
  • La Mercy Beach
  • Salt Rock Beach
  • Blythedale Beach
  • Clark Bay Beach
  • Umdloti Beach
  • Willard Beach

Zululand

Running from the southern edge of the Elephant Coast at St. Lucia down through Mtunzini Beach and a bit farther south, this is a less populated portion of the east coast of South Africa, and accordingly affords a less frenetic pace. The beaches we will be featuring in this area include:

  • Alkantrand Beach
  • Durnford Point Beach
  • Five Mile Beach
  • Mbonambi Beach
  • Mtunzini Beach
  • Newark Beach
  • Two Mile Beach
  • Richard’s Bay Beach

Elephant Coast

Located at the far northern end of the province, the area ranges from Lake St. Lucia and its Wetlands Park, to Kosi Bay, almost at the Mozambique border. It is diverse and fascinating. The beaches we will be including in this section of east coast South Africa are:

  • Black Rock Beach
  • Cape Vidal Beach
  • First Rocks Beach
  • Hulley Point Beach
  • Jesser Point Beach
  • Kosi Bay estuary Beach
  • Leven Point Beach
  • Liefeldt’s Rock Beach
  • Mission Rocks Beach
  • Rocktail Bay Beach
  • Sodwana Bay Beach
  • St. Lucia Beach

Golf Coast

As the name suggests, this is a hotspot for golfers who also happen to love to lounge at the beach. Our sole tour for the coastal region south of greater Durban begins at Winklespruit Beach and travels all the way to the province’s southern border where it meets with Eastern Cape province. This long coastal stretch will include:

  • Winklespruit Beach
  • Illovo Beach
  • Karridene Beach
  • Umkomaas Beach
  • Clansthal Beach
  • Scottburgh Beach
  • Selborne Beach
  • Park Rynie Beach
  • Pennington Beach
  • Bazley Beach
  • Ifafa Beach
  • Mtwalume Beach
  • Hibberdene Beach
  • Umzumbe Beach
  • Melville Beach
  • Sunwich Port Beach
  • Anerley Beach
  • South Port Beach
  • Sea Park Beach
  • Umtentweni Beach
  • Port Shepstone Beach
  • Osio Beach
  • Shelley Beach
  • St. Michael’s on Sea Beach
  • Uvongo Beach
  • Margate Beach
  • Ramsgate Beach
  • Southbroom Beach
  • Marina Beach
  • San Lameer Beach
  • Trafalgar Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Glenmore Beach
  • Leisure Bay Beach
  • Port Edward Beach
  • Big Tree Beach
  • Green Point Beach
  • Banana Beach
  • Terminus Beach
  • Munster Beach

Durban Beaches stretch far outside the parameters of the city and traverse a collection of styles, lifestyles and topography. Such beauty and diversity is enough to make your head spin when considering an east coast South Africa beach, be it north or south of Durban. All we can suggest is to pick one (good luck!) and relax!

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