Port Shepstone is a place of reasonable size on the south coast of the Kwazulu Natal province some 120 kilometers south of Durban. The place was founded in 1867 when marble was discovered in the area and the settlement was named after Sir Theophilus Shepstone who was then part of the government in Natal. In order to promote exports and therefore trade, a port was built that was put into use in 1880. In 1882 a group of 146 Norwegian immigrants arrived who played a major role in the development of the area. However, when the railway line to Durban was completed in 1901, the activity in the port came to a halt and slipped shut for large cargo ships.
The Mzimkulu river is the longest river on the south coast and the name means ‘Home of all rivers’. The river is perfect for boat trips, rafting, canoeing, etc. Where the river joins the Mzinkulwana river, the 24-kilometer-long Oribi Gorge (gorge) begins. Here you can see beautiful rocks such as the ‘Overhanging Rock’ and the 170 meter high Lehr’s Falls. Those looking for an adrenaline boost can abseil at an altitude of 110 meters. There are also beautiful hiking routes where you are surrounded by beautiful nature, more than 250 bird species, monkeys and goats.
Off the coast of Port Shepstone you can go snorkelling, surfing, fishing and water skiing (Banana Beach, Melville Beach) in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean or take a nice beach walk. The beaches have the so-called ‘blue flag’ status which means that the beach is clean, safe and environmentally friendly. They are wonderful sandy beaches ideal for a day at the sea. With a bit of luck you can see dolphins off the coast, especially during the so-called ‘sardine run’ they are increasing in number. Whales migrate along the coast between June and November so keep your eyes open when you visit Port Shepstone during these months. There are a number of nature reserves in the area that you can visit such as the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve where there are beautiful picnic areas and hiking / hiking trails along the gorge and through forests. In addition to birds, you will find different types of antelope here. Unfortunately, despite the name of the reserve, the rare oribi is not seen much. In this beautiful reserve live leopards, monkeys, different species of antelope, many bird species including five different species of Kingfishers and seven different species of eagles.
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Golfers can visit the Port Shepstone Golf Course.