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Named after the fish eagle that inhabits the area, Zinkwazi Beach is located on the KwaZulu-Natal coast alongside a river of the same name. Zinkwazi is the idyllic beach getaway, the unspoilt beach overlooked by a protected area known as the Zinkwazi-Blythedale Conservancy. The conservancy is well managed to ensure that Zinkwazi, the lagoon and surrounding indigenous forest remains pristine.
This section of the coastline is known as the Dolphin Coast for the vast number of dolphins that regular visit these shores, the most common being the bottlenose dolphin. The subtropical climate is warm throughout the year and rarely does one need a jacket, even in the dead of winter!
Although somewhat secluded, Zinkwazi Beach is a mere 20 minutes away from Ballito’s lively restaurant and club scene. There are a number of golf courses nearby and nature reserves further inland.
Top 6 reasons to visit Zinkwazi Beach
1. Laze away the days on Zinkwaze Beach. The warm Indian Ocean waters beckon swimmers and surfers, while the random rock pools will keep children entertained for hours.
2. Travel to the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve located on the banks of the mighty Tugela River. There are a number of buck species, zebra and monkeys on view while the reserve has 2 national monuments: the Ultimatum Tree is where Zulu king Cetshwayo was given an ultimatum by the British to pay taxes and return stolen cattle and the 1878-built Fort Pearson, which has only trenches remaining from the original structure.
3. The superb 18-hole links course at the Prince’s Grant Golf Estate is regarded as one of the best – and most scenic – golf courses in the country. Most of the holes have fine ocean views.
4. Pack a picnic basket and find a quiet spot near the reeds on the lagoon embankment to go birding. There have been over 250 bird species recorded in the vicinity of the lagoon. Expect to see waders such as the spoonbill and egret, and if lucky, high overhead, the fish eagle and rare palm-nut vulture.
5. The Lithuli Museum in Groutville is a short 20km drive from Zinkwazi. The museum recognises the achievements of Albert Lithuli, Africa’s 1st Nobel peace prize laureate awarded in 1960.
6. Visit the Raffia Restaurant deep in the forest to watch the birdlife, monkeys and bush babies while enjoying an excellent meal. The restaurant is renowned for its curries and is a breakfast stopover for Sunday bike runs.
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport, 50km from Zinkwazi. Boss Car Hire is based in nearby KwaDukuza and there are several car agencies at King Shaka airport to hire a vehicle or simply order a rental online. Boss Car Hire in KwaDukuza also offers a metered taxi service otherwise use one of the many shuttle service operators located at King Shaka airport.
Did you know?
The sheltered Zinkwazi lagoon makes for ideal boardsailing conditions. The estuary at its end is regularly blocked off from the sea by sand banks and catch-and-release fishermen are easily able to spot the best areas for fishing in the shallow, clear waters.
The clear waters offer meal opportunities for the African fish eagle, which is why the raptor is so prevalent along the Zinkwazi River. Seeing a fish eagle swoop down to gather a large fish is an awesome sight.