If you are looking for sun swept beaches that extend into the horizon South Africa has 1,600 miles of coast with both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. We stayed on the coast for a week of fun and sun, it was incredible. Family travel to Africa can be a wonderful experience.
How to get there:
We flew into South Africa via Johannesburg then took a flight from JNB to Durban. From Durban we rented a car and ended up in a small ocean front town an hour south called Scottsburgh. The roads were great, but make sure you have coins as there is a toll directly outside of the airport that accepts only coins. Luckily for us a motorist behind us helped out as we didn’t have any coins at all. Driving through Durban can have a lot of traffic so if possible plan accordingly to avoid it.
Where to stay:
Our goto site AirBnB got us a nice place called the Pearly Shells that had a kitchen with plenty of room for the family at an affordable rent. Although it was a bit dated, we enjoyed the stay and felt secure. It is recommended anywhere in South Africa to lock your valuables in the safe while gone and we always keep our passports on us when we go anywhere.
What to do:
If you like the ocean this is the place for you. There were MILES of untouched beach. It is recommended due to safety concerns not to spend time on desolate beaches so we tended to stay at the beach in town. Surfing, swimming, tide-pooling, and sunbathing became the afternoon tradition.
Shark Cage Diving KZN
My wife has what I consider a sick perversion to really want to swim with sharks. She did it once in Australia and we checked out Shark Cage Diving KZN to see if they had any opportunities. Sure enough they had a group that she, alongside my 11 year old son, could go do some cage diving.
The beach head was a few miles south of town but the entire crew was EXTREMELY welcoming and friendly. After a safety brief, donning of wetsuits they were off in a boat while the other kids and I went tide-pooling.
Their report was that it was fantastic. They saw a ton of sharks, got to spend a lot of time in the water and all the guides and staff were super helpful and accommodating.
uShaka Aquarium World
During a rainy day we headed back up to Durban to checkout the uShaka Aquarium World. Turns out its an aquarium and a waterpark which seems like an interesting combo. We opted for just the aquarium and started browsing. We were interested in this aquarium specifically as they are doing a lot of work to help the penguin population in South Africa rebound and continue. They had a great presentation with the penguins that the kids really liked. Other than that it was a bit of a let down, there was not a lot to see and the costs of entry seemed like a lot for what you actually got to see. We also had the singular experience of eating in the park. It was the first time that I have been unable to eat food that I ordered. We ordered a round of hamburgers from one of the restaurants and whatever the meat was, or what they put in it, made it inedible. That was quite surprising to us because before then all the meat we had eaten in South Africa had been notably good! For us Shaka Aquarium would be a pass in the future or as a recommendations.