The many faces of the South Coast


For most South Africans, the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is best known as a long
strip of beaches and resort towns. Indeed, this is a prominent feature of the area.
But in addition, these towns and the rural areas just inland of them offer a
remarkable variety of locations for film, video and television production. In the first
of a series of articles on the region’s possibilities for production companies, we
reveal some of the many faces of the South Coast.


We couldn’t discuss the region without touching on this. The South Coast includes
120km of beaches – six of which are Blue Flag beaches. From the relatively built up
beachfront of Margate, with its high rise accommodation in the background, to the
wilder looking lagoons of Uvongo, the South Coast can easily provide any
sundrenched beach scene, featuring swimmers, surfers, boaters and sunbathers.

For something quite different, take a short trip northwards to Port Shepstone and
you’ll find the remains of what was once a thriving river-mouth port. The air of
solitude and the debris, with the railway line in the background, can quite plausibly
set a rather desolate, even post-apocalyptic scene.

Town scenes

Turning our gaze inland, we find that the towns running along the coast provide a
variety of urban settings. Margate plays host to a number of events during the year
that bring it to festive life, while in Port Shepstone, one can capture scenes of
bustling, everyday urban life, not unlike that of any other large town in the world.

Into the wild

Moving further inland, beyond the sugar cane and banana plantations that have
almost become synonymous with the KwaZulu-Natal province, you will find
untouched natural splendor to rival any wilderness you can think of. The
Umzimkhulu river valley and the Oribi gorge offer scenery that is genuinely

A variety of wildlife can also be viewed here at the Lake Eland reserve. Wildlife
documentary makers, take note: several species of antelope graze on these rolling
hills while Cape vultures soar overhead. This was once cheetah territory – although
you will not find many of those here anymore. The locals do, however, talk of one
or two leopards residing in the terrain. Be warned though – this is also black
mamba country!

Accommodation out here brings peace and isolation that one could barely imagine
only few kilometres away in the town centres. Not far south of here, just over the
provincial border, the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, which features very similar
landscapes, played host to the film Blood Diamond.

In upcoming issues, we will continue to explore the visual and production
possibilities of the South Coast and the plans that South Coast Tourism, together
with the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, have for the region.

For more information, visit or contact South Coast
Tourism on 039 682 7944 or


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