At Zimbali Lodge, there is plenty more to experience in between soaking up all of that sun and sea. With good weather year-round and a bounty of attractions, the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal ticks all the right boxes for nature-lovers and sun-worshippers alike.
Look out (and up) for the birds
Birding enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful birdlife at Zimbali Lodge. Keep your eyes peeled for species like Neergaard’s Sunbird, Rudd’s Apalis, Woodward’s Batis, and the Plain-backed Sunbird. The Twinspot is also a regular, along with a few Crowned Eagles, a pair of African Fish Eagles, Yellow-billed Kites, Black Sparrowhawks, and African Goshawks.
Embark on a forest walk
As a guest at Zimbali Lodge, you’ll also have access to the 50-hectare reserve within the estate, as well as demarcated conservation areas along the surrounding dunes. When meandering through these well-marked pathways and timber viewing decks, be on the look-out for the locals: bushbuck, duiker, mongoose and of course, those mischievous little vervet monkeys.
Stroll along Zimbali Beach
If swimming pools come in second place to the ocean for you, don your summer sandals and head down to Zimbali Beach just yonder. Keep an eye on the horizon between May to September, when schools of dolphins and porpoises, along with Humpback whales, are seen making their move up to Mozambique for mating season. This stretch of coastline is not designated for swimming; however, other beaches suited for bathing are located nearby.
Head down to Durban
If you’re interested in seeing more of Durban, head back along the N2. There is plenty to explore here, especially the Golden Mile which stretches along the city’s main beaches. It’s the perfect place to go for a light stroll or a bike ride. Grab an ice-cream from one of the local sellers (listen out for their bell) and flop down on the sand when your legs tire. Don’t forget to treat the family to a day of splashing, sliding and learning all about marine life at uShaka Marine World, the largest marine theme park in Africa.
The buzzing hub of Ballito
Ballito is a dedicated holiday town swarming with enthusiastic holidaymakers, particularly during the spring and summer months. It can be found nestled in the heart of the Dolphin Coast and is a go-to for classic beach-time fun, be it sprawling out on the sands and working on your tan, building sandcastles with the kids, grabbing your surfboard, or reeling in the catch of the day. It is also home to plenty of vibey farmers’ and crafts markets, scenic bike trails, and a lifestyle centre for those in search of some retail therapy.
Experience the vibe of Umhlanga
Another premier holiday destination, Umhlanga can be found just north of Durban and is famed for its diverse selection of indoor and outdoor entertainment, especially along the vibey strip aptly called The Village. Take a dip in the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean, spend some time diving and dolphin watching, and be sure to check out the sharks at the Natal Sharks Board.