“Where can we take the children?”
“What’s the best thing to do with family and friends on a rainy day”.
Often the best advice is to take some time away from the coast and check out hinterland byways – take in the Ingeli or Weza Forests. At 1700 metres above sea-level the climate is very different from the coast and the views are simply breathtaking, writes Michael Bertrum.
Here are some of my top tips for visitors and locals alike:
- For something very different try a Percheron Shire cart horse on Trafalgar beach or enjoy a canoe picnic up the Umtamvuna River. Make your way up the Clearwater trail to the viewing deck and marvel at the Umtamvuna valley. Stop over at Beaver Creek to awaken your sense of smell to the aroma of freshly ground coffee.
- Visitors will love our game drives at Lake Eland Nature Reserve; and remember to take your mountain bike and head for the hills. Or try our newest adventure – glide across Oribi Gorge on Africa’s longest and newest 3.2-km zip-line slide and take in the scenic beauty from above.
- There is nothing quite like building confidence of your young visitors – and plunging off Lehr’s Fall into the 156-metre Oribi Gorge if breathtaking. Trust me when I say it’s exhilarating, be brave and try all the Wild 5 activities. .
- Or simply take a stroll with a difference – across one of our Oribi suspension bridges – conquer your fears…. Remember to take our camera and record the adventure.
- There’s nothing quite like a sunset coupled with sundowners at the gorge, the views are absolutely magnificent!
- Oribi Gorge Spa made history this week with the commissioning of our first distillation plant of essential oils; well worth a visit for the whole family. Why not take in the grandeur of Oribi Gorge from a different angle, stay overnight at Leopard Rock and experience a refreshing outdoor shower and enjoy the gorge on foot on mountain bike.
- If visitors are looking to play a round of golf – you are really spoilt for choice – with 11 courses along a 108-km coastal belt: surely guaranteed to beat the rain if you are determined enough. Enjoy challenging your friends at Umkomaas, Scottburgh, Umdoni, Selborne, Port Shepstone, Margate, Southbroom, San Lameer, Port Edward, Wild Coast and Harding- and enjoy the 19th hole.
- Why not learn to dive. 70% of the world’s mass are oceans; find out what life is like under the water, apart from being wet ! Aliwal Shoal, Rocky Bay, Landers and Protea Banks offer some of the best diving in Africa, with friendly expert tuition only a phone call away.
- If the grandchildren have arrived – take your children on an exciting South Coast weekend excursion to enjoy an indigenous butterfly farm at Butterfly Valley; or a quaint petting farm with pony rides at Granny Goose (opposite San Lameer). Close by enjoy miniature golf at MacBanana’s or try out Riverbend Croc Farm in Southbroom. Watch the reptiles being fed or the little hatchlings coming into this world.
- Croc World in Scottburgh offers so much more than hundreds of Nile Crocodiles ranging from newborn hatchlings to 100-year-old mammoths with over 200 free flying bird species.
- Marvel at the largest reptile farm in Africa at Pure Venom near Izotsha (Shelly Beach) which has an incredible collection of indigenous and exotic reptiles and it’s an ideal way to get up close and personal with different types of snakes, iguanas and crocodiles.
- Treat your family to a weekend getaway at one of our guest houses or plunge into one of our quality hotels for that special occasion. Camelot Spa has just opened its beautiful facilities at Peermont Mondazur Hotel at San Lameer, and it’s sure to be an outstanding addition to our South Coast experiences.
Michael Bertrum is the CEO of South Coast Tourism and can be contacted at [email protected].
For more information visit http://www.southcoasttourism.co.za/.