MZAMBA FOSSILS AND PETRIFIED FOREST
The Mzamba fossils and Petrified Forest are on the beach, about 2 km from the Wild Coast Sun, near Port Edward, in the northerly reaches of the Wild Coast.
You’ll find the Petrified Forest – a series of marine fossil beds, which are actually fossilised logs embedded in rocks – exposed in a series of prominent reefs just south of the Mtamvuna River, passed Thompson’s lagoon. The wood was once part of a forest, carried downstream by rivers and waterlogged here in the shallows of the coast.
You can hike to see the fossil beds, although you’d best do so with a local guide as not only do you need to time the tides (low tide is best) but the guide knows exactly where they are. That said, one can still see larger fossils hidden in the sand even at high tide.
The reefs in which the forest is embedded stretch along the coast to a series of cliffs and overhangs, known as White Man’s Cave. In this stretch are another series of fossils known as the Mzamba fossils.
These are sandstone and limestone deposits containing fossils that date back 80 million years to the Upper Cretaceous period, and include marine shells, bivalve shells, coiled ammonites, echinoids (or sea urchins) and, incredibly, a fossilised sea turtle and enormous clam shells.
White Man’s Cave is a fossilised overhang. You can sit beneath it and study a series of further fossils from below. The forest and the fossils are collectively known as the Mzamba Cretaceous Deposits.
WILD COAST SUN
The Wild Coast Sun, one of South-Africa’s leading hotel and casino resorts, is a stone’s throw away from Port Edward Holiday Resort. The area offers a full spectrum of sport and leisure activities, gambling opportunities and excellent restaurants. Enjoy the scenic splendour of an Umtamvuna river sunset cruise, the adrenalin pumping exhilaration of a surging speed boat, or simply laze on a deck chair on a sun-soaked beach. Whatever your idea of fun, you can set your soul soaring at the Wild Coast Sun’s Waterworld.
Put on your hiking boots and grab a pair of binoculars and a bird book and you are ready to head out for am awesome birding experience. For information about birding in the area, contact Birdlife Trogon on 039-682-1468
WHALE / DOLPHIN WATCHING
Whilst available throughout the year, these excursions are particularly impressive during the annual Sardine Run. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the months of June and July. Massive shoals of sardines (measured in kilometres) migrate along the coast followed by huge numbers of predators including dolphins, sharks, whales and gannets. Engrossed in their feeding, it is possible to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures.
Your hosts Mick and Linda are both qualified PADI divers. Port Edward is within easy distance of both Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal, two of the most fabulous dive site in the world. If you’ve always wanted to dive with sharks, this is definitely the place to do it. We have negotiated some favourable rates for our guests with the most reputable dive operators in the area.
According to the Getaway magazine 4 of the top 6 incredible mountain-bike trails are based in and near to Port Edward .
THE RED DESERT
Found just outside Port Edward, is reputed to be the smallest desert in the world, is barely 200 meters across and surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation. Theories of the origin of the desert range from extra-terrestrial landings to excessive overgrazing in a confined area. There are grasslands, forests, and wetlands surrounding the Red Desert, which are home to several rare endemic plants.
Amadiba Adventures is South Africa’s first tourism initiative that is entirely owned and run by an indigenous community. Their outstanding Horse and Hiking trails meander along South Africa’s scenic coastline.
UMTAMVUNA NATURE RESERVE
Umtamvuna on the river of the same name at Port
SARDINE RUN & SARDINE FESTIVAL
Every year around June / July ‘sardine fever’ hits the South Coast as massive shoals of the small silvery fish migrate northwards, occasionally beaching in their millions to the delight of residents and visitors alike. The shoals are followed by thousands of game fish including barracuda, yellow tail and sharks. Above the shoals, cape gannets circle and dive in a feeding frenzy that must be seen to be believed. Local fisherman rush along the beach with nets hoping to be on hand when the shoals come ashore after being herded into the shallows by the game fish. Call the Sardine Hotline on 082-284-9495 during the spectacle for up to the minute news on the “Greatest Shoal on Earth”. Visit www.sardinerun.co.za for a festival of events.
The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is blessed with 9 superb 18-hole and two 9-hole golf courses. Four of them – Selborne Country Club, Southbroom Golf Club, San Lameer Country Club and the Wild Coast Country Club – are rated in the top 50 golf courses in South Africa.
Mac Banana is a unique shopping, entertainment and destination facility which offers loads for a family to come and spend the day. Mac Banana boasts an amazing shopping experience promising our customers quality and individuality, we have 4 restaurants on our estate including the famous pancake house. We have over 20 adventurous activities to keep you and the kids busy throughout the entire day.
- Mac Chimp & Zee
- Mac Adventure Golf
- Mac Paint Ball
- Mac Conquer
- Mac Archer
- Mac Quads
- Mac Butterflies
- Mac Farmyard
- Mac Farm Stall
BEAVERCREEK COFFEE FARM
Experience warm hospitality, the wonderful aroma of freshly ground coffee, and a meal on the veranda of a quaint Café. Just a short hop inland of Port Edward Holiday Resort, Beaver Creek Coffee Farm offers interesting coffee tours through their plantation demonstrating the process from ‘crop to cup’. Booking essential for tours.
MPENJATI NATURE RESERVE
Mpenjati is a lush coastal reserve 20 km south of Margate. Its wetlands, dune forests and grasslands, trails and a beautiful lagoon provide an opportunity to view forest antelope. The cry of fish eagles overhead makes for a memorable visit.
Splash Rock, Black Rock, Spiros, Suicide Rocks and The Gully offers great rock fishing while Silver Beach boasts surf fishing and a ski boat launch. Permits are required for fishing and removal of marine life. Permits are obtainable from UGU District Municipality (Port Shepstone), Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Offices and Port Edward Port Office. Crayfish season is from 1 March to 31 October, Shad season is closed from 1 October to 30 November.
Approximately 1km south of Port Edward beach and immediately south of Splash Rock. Predominant species: King Mackerel (Couta), Kingfish, Kob, Garrick.
Located immediately south of the Port Edward lighthouse. Predominant species: King Mackerel (Couta), Kingfish, Kob, Garrick.
Approximately 700m south of Port Edward beach and immediately south of Suicide Rocks. Predominant species: King Mackerel (Couta), Kingfish, Kob, Garrick, Shad, Blacktail.
Approximately 600m south of the Port Edward beach and immediately south of Lucky Dip Rocks. Predominant species: King Mackerel (Couta), Kingfish, Kob, Garrick.
Located between Rocky Bay and Abraham’s Rock. Predominant species: Sandsharks, Dusky Sharks, Blacktail, Karanteen.
NORTH SAND BLUFF LIGHTHOUSE
North Sand Bluff Lighthouse is situated in the quiet town of Port Edward on the Lower South Coast of KZN in South Africa. The Lighthouse was established in 1968 and rebuilt to its present structure in 1999 and yes, it is still operational and a vital part of the network of Lighthouse signaling systems on the South African Coast. The Ships Galley Coffee Shop serves a great menu of light meals, cakes, and refreshments and is well known for its delicious breakfasts.
CLOSE BY ACTIVITIES
RAMSGATE BUTTERFLY VALLEY
Butterfly Valley specialise in South African butterflies. Unlike most other butterfly farms which import pupas, they breed most of their own butterflies and are therefore able to present the entire lifecycle of these amazing creatures to the public. For a fun and educational outing for the entire family, go and spend a relaxing few hours with them. Visit their website at http://www.butterflyfarm.co.za/index.html
UVONGO FLEA MARKET
The town of Uvongo has had a flea market for the past 19 years (run by the Rotary Club) and it is still serving the community every Saturday morning! There are 160 stalls to choose from and you can buy almost anything from fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, cheese, clothing, toys and games, and second-hand bits and bobs.
RIVERBEND CROCODILE FARM
Home to more than 200 adult nile crocodiles and numerous juveniles of all sizes, a tourist visiting Riverbend Crocodile Farm is able to view the crocodiles in their natural habitat. Beautifully landscaped breeding enclosures are not only home to crocodiles but to numerous bird species as well. The crocodile feeding presented by Howard Kelly is particularly spectacular in summer when the crocodiles go into a feeding frenzy consuming as much as five kilograms of either beef or chicken each. Over the last 20 years Howard Kelly, a member of the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group, has presented the visitors to Riverbend with a fascinating presentation which covers topics ranging from crocodile ecology to the impact of crocodiles on human populations in Africa. Visit their website at
Pure Venom offers an amazing display of reptiles & snakes in several areas. Highly educational guided tours and snake demonstrations daily. Visit their website at http://www.purevenom.com
LAKE ELAND GAME RESERVE
Lake Eland Game Reserve is the perfect venue for a family holiday, romantic getaway or simply a day’s outing. Spectacular views of the Oribi Gorge and abundant wildlife make this a unique experience. With a variety of facilities and activities to choose from, such as a children’s playground, game drives, horse rides, walking, and cycling trails, paintball, our challenging 4×4 track, and a thrilling walk across our 80m suspension bridge, everyone will have a fun-filled and relaxing day at Lake Eland. Visit their website at http://www.lakeeland.co.za
NATALIE’S GIFT SHOP AND JEWELLERS
Natalie’s offer an amazing display of shells and jewelry. Situated in Ramsgate this little shop has been running since the 1950s and today is still one off Ramsgate landmarks