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Flanked by two large rivers and positioned on the border of the KwaZulu-Natal Province and Eastern Province along the Indian Ocean, Port Edward is the southern-most seaside village before venturing into unspoilt remoteness in what is known as the Wild Coast.
Port Edward is hugely popular for its welcoming beaches, New Year’s Eve parties and for those laying over to spend time at the glitzy casino and championship golf course over the river.
In the early 1800s, many settler families lost their lives to warring Zulus around here and the spot where the event occurred is called Tragedy Hill. In 1925, the town was laid out and named in honour of King Edward VIII of Great Britain.
Aside from the 2 rivers bounding Port Edward, there are a further 4 rivers that run through the town and feed out into the ocean. The town is in the traditional holiday zone and visitors will find the facilities, the beach and the surrounding natural features a fun and pleasurable experience.
Top 6 reasons to visit Port Edward
1. Head for Port Edward’s main beach, Silver Beach, for a bout of sun tanning and to swim in the warm surf. Most days are sunny, even in the dead of winter.
2. Enjoy 2 adventure parks with a single entrance fee at the Wild Waves Water Park and Enchanted Village. The Enchanted Village offers family rides that range from bumper cars to downhill tubing, while the Wild Waves Park has a series of thrilling water rides.
3. The Port Edward Country Club has a 9-hole course to keep the golf game up to scratch (par). The course is located in a gorgeous setting and there is a golf pro on hand to assist visitors.
4. Take the 90-minute Crop to Cup Coffee Tour at the nearby Beaver Creek Coffee Estate to learn about the processes involved in producing a superior cup of coffee. Bottomless tastings are included in the nominal fee.
5. The Ocean Trails Equestrian Centre across the river caters for all levels of riding skills and the chance for visitors to ride a horse along an unspoilt beach.
6. The Wild Coast Sun Resort and Casino has close to 400 rooms to cater for the gamblers, golfers and holiday makers that flock to the resort to enjoy the hotel facilities, golf course and natural splendour along this section of the coast. The hotel is located alongside the uMtamvuna River where water sports, riverboat ferry trips and fishing is enjoyed.
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport, 195km from Port Edward. The private Munster Airfield is located outside Port Edward for chartered flights arranged by prior permission only. There are car rental agencies based at the airport and in Durban to hire a vehicle or you could order a rental online. A few tour operators in the area offer shuttle services to and from the King Shaka airport, enquire with your host.
Did you know?
Port Edward residents were once rewarded with an epic free drinks party when a shipping vessel, The Ivy, ran aground. The cargo included crates of alcohol from beer to spirits. The ship’s anchor is placed outside a local resort.
The uMtamvuna Bridge (the word meaning ‘reaper of mouthfuls’ in Xhosa) is the largest steel suspension bridge in South Africa. Just over 200m in length, it is suspended 30m above the river. In 2002, the bridge suffered minor structural damage when an extreme group attempted to blow it up but the result was an increase in curious visitors and repairs completed in a record 3 weeks.
For those who are a little adventurous and enjoy the company of other travellers, you can decide to stay at a Backpackers. Often having to share a room with others as well as costs, it is incredibly inexpensive. Often the best choice for those who may be just passing through or will be occupied for the majority of their day. It comes with the most basic amenities and is often formed as part of a bar or similar establishment. Not recommended for those who want privacy, this is best suited for those who wouldn’t mind meeting various other interesting travellers.