Port Edward – A Right Royal Experience

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Port Edward – A Right Royal Experience

The beautiful, scenic village of Port Edward is the southern most holiday resort on the South African South Coast. It is situated on lush, green, rolling hills150km south of Durban on the edge of the mighty Indian Ocean.

This delightful place was named after the British Monarch, Edward, the then Prince of Wales – who later became King Edward VII. Today Port Edward is an immensely popular family holiday destination.

Port Edward boasts flawless beaches where swimmers are well protected by shark nets and lifeguards during the tourist season and it is also home to the longest super tube in the country.

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There is a host of accommodation to choose from, ranging from highly affordable to luxury with a wide selection of hotels, luxury lodges, B & B’s, guest houses, self catering and of course camping.

If you are a golfing enthusiast, Port Edward’s 9 holes golf course – with its striking views, water obstacles and sloping fairways – will be great fun. There are no less than nine outstanding golf courses to be found on the South Coast, two of which are rated in South Africa’s top 12 – quite an achievement!

The Red Desert, found just outside Port Edward, is reputed to be the smallest desert in the world, being barely 200 meters across and resembling a miniature version of the Arizona desert.  Archaeological artifacts have been unearthed and efforts are being made to protect the uniqueness and significance of the Red Desert and turn it into a nature conservation area.

The tranquil little town of Port Edward is surrounded by subtropical coastal forest, banana plantations and is an established coffee growing region. Visitors can arrange a tour of a local coffee plantation and experience a ‘crop to cup’ excursion. You will learn how a coffee plantation gets to produce the perfect cup of coffee from start to finish.

Visitors are encouraged to sample some of the freshly roasted coffees at the end of the tour. If you’ve always wanted to dive with sharks then this is definitely the place to be, as Port Edward is within easy distance of both Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal, two of the best dive sites in the country. 

Whale and Dolphin watching is available throughout most of year, these trips are particularly impressive during the annual sardine run. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs in June and July. Massive shoals of sardines, miles long, migrate along the coast followed by huge numbers of predators including, dolphins, sharks, whales, cormorants and gannets.

Engrossed in their feeding frenzy, it is possible to get up close to these amazing creatures if you feel brave enough.

For the extreme adventurer, a visit to Oribi Gorge is a must; here you can try your hand at some truly breathtaking activities such as the ‘wild gorge swing’ which is the highest swing in the world. Go ‘wild water rafting’, attempt the highest natural, commercial abseil or slide along a 120m cable above the gorge and 160m above ground.

All this action is available amidst breathtaking scenery. Hiking trails are run by the local community, based at the craft village near the casino south of Port Edward.

The craft market features local craft as well as crafts from all over Africa. The special feature of this market is that each stall has a little cubicle where you can actually watch the crafters at work. Definitely worth a visit…….

The centerpiece of the town is the lighthouse which is 24 meters high and visible from afar. If you climb to the top, the view of the coast line is amazing. Downstairs is a museum which documents the history of the Sao Joao shipwreck and to top it all you can pop next door for a coffee and browse for curios to take home.

A visit to the casino is popular with the whole family – it’s exciting, glitzy and glamorous with numerous entertainment options.

The beach is endless with incredible water sports on offer such as surfing, body boarding and scuba diving. Guests can enjoy magnificent walks along the beach, hike in lush green nature, deep sea fishing or a gentle cruise up the river while enjoying a glass of bubbly.

Few other holiday destinations can beat this combination – great scenery, fabulous beaches, safe swimming, outdoor activities, sports, and loads of entertainment……the choices are endless!!!

Denny McQueen

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