Hotels in and around the Port Edward suburb
Port Edward is a quiet seaside town in KwaZulu Natal that has become a popular destination for local travellers year after year. It is also gaining recognition amongst international visitors for its stunning beaches and close proximity to other popular destinations like Durban.
The beaches are safe for swimming, and make for the ideal spot for families to spend balmy summer days. They are also great for other water sports such as fishing, SCUBA diving and snorkelling.
In addition to these beaches, there are densely forested areas in Port Edward, which are home to an array of plant-, animal- and birdlife. Trails through the forests promise gorgeous views and close encounters with the fauna and flora of the Hibiscus Coast.
Interestingly, Port Edward is also the locale of the world's smallest desert, aptly named the Port Edward's Red Desert.
The area in which Port Edward is situated was once home to indigenous Zulu tribes. When the Europeans arrived, there were conflicts over land and resources. These conflicts characterised South Africa for some time and led to some of the world's most famous and bloodiest wars.
T. ‘Ken' Pringle was one of this town's earliest residents, and the town was named Kennington after him. It was only in 1952 that it was renamed Port Edward after who was then the Prince of Wales.
The closest international airport to Port Edward is in Durban. Roads between this town and those surrounding it are well maintained and are generally tarred.
Hired cars are available, as are professional taxi services. Visitors to South Africa are advised not to take minibus taxis, particularly if they are not familiar with the local customs or languages.
The Sardine Run is an annual event that occurs in winter (June / July). This sees the arrival of millions of sardines from the Eastern Cape all the way to the KwaZulu Natal shores, followed by a host of hungry predators in the ocean and in the skies above. The commotion caused is a sight in itself.
The Wild Coast Sun Golf Course is an 18-hole course that is both challenging and fun for the golf enthusiasts. The fairways are particularly expansive, giving a true sense of isolation from the hustle and bustle of city life. It was designed by American architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. He has added interesting twists to a seemingly easy course. For example, the 13th hole is played across a waterfall and is considered to be the best short hole in South Africa.
KwaZulu Natal's Mkambati Nature Reserve is a coastal reserve that stretches for 8000 hectares. It boasts the Msikaba River on one side and the Mtentu River on the other, with grassland, swamp and forests in-between. The abundance of water means that vegetation is plentiful, healthy and lush, and the views are absolutely spectacular. These different sorts of plant life also imply a different range of animals, including the African Fish Eagle. Mkambati offers a range of nearby accommodation.
Summers are hot and humid in Port Edward, lasting from December to February. Winters are also warm to cool. Summer highs reach 30+ degrees Celsius at noon, often with afternoon thundershowers. Winter highs average approximately 17 to 21 degrees Celsius. It is important that sunscreen and sunhats be worn year-round in KwaZulu Natal.
When travelling in and around southern Africa, malaria needs to be considered as a potential threat (particularly in the game farms and countries up north). Consult with your travel clinic regarding anti-malarial prophylaxes and additional precautions necessary. Some African countries also require that anybody entering their borders be issued with a Yellow Fever certificate.
It is vital that you bring existing prescriptions for medication and spectacles with you so that you are able to obtain these without having to consult with a doctor first.
Should you get bitten by any stray animal or pierce your skin on any foreign material (such as a nail on the ground), be sure to consult with a medical professional regarding anti-tetanus, if you are not up to date with your shots.
Ensure that you are aware of any risky areas that should not be visited. Do not leave your handbags, baggage or photographic equipment unattended, and do not accept help from strangers if it requires handing over your bank cards, photographic equipment, etc… Always be alert to the power of the ocean and adhere to lifeguards' warnings.