Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

Winona Griggs

Green lungs, gold heart: a guide to Southbroom

Green lungs, gold heart: a guide to Southbroom

Ah, Southbroom. As soon as I set foot in this charming little coastal town in KwaZulu-Natal, I was captivated. You know that feeling when you discover a place that feels like home, even though you’ve never been there before? Well, that’s Southbroom for you.

The first thing you’ll notice about Southbroom is its lush greenery. It’s like the town is nestled in the arms of nature herself. The vibrant vegetation stretches as far as the eye can see, with trees and plants of every shade and shape. It’s like a breath of fresh air; a balm for the soul.

But Southbroom isn’t just about pretty views. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever lay eyes on. The sandy shores glisten in the sunlight, inviting you for a dip in the cool, refreshing ocean. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner boogie boarder, there’s a wave for everyone here.

And let’s not forget about the golf courses. If you’re a fan of the sport, you’re in for a treat. Southbroom boasts not one, but two world-class golf courses, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. It’s a golfer’s paradise, with fairways that will challenge even the most seasoned players.

But it’s not just about the greens and fairways. Southbroom has a heart of gold, with a strong sense of community and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The locals will make you feel like part of the family the moment you arrive, and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the vibrant local culture.

So, if you’re looking for a place that feels like home, where nature meets the ocean and community spirit is alive and well, look no further than Southbroom. It’s a hidden gem on the South African coastline, just waiting to be discovered.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

Let’s go on a journey to Southbroom, a little village nestled between two rivers on the South Coast of KZN. Here, they prioritize both conservation and recreation, making it a special place to visit.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

I couldn’t help but be in awe of her majestic presence. Standing tall and proud, the crowned eagle commanded attention with an air of regality. Her head held high, she seemed to gaze upon the world with a quiet confidence, as if she knew she was the queen of the skies. As I stood there beside photographer Jacques Sellschop, our cameras ready to capture this magnificent creature, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of reverence for her.

I turned to Jacques and asked him about the whereabouts of the father eagle. He casually remarked that the father bird was likely out looking for some breakfast. As we continued to stand there, capturing the picturesque scene with our cameras, the tranquility of the early morning was briefly interrupted by the sound of a catering truck passing by. Surprisingly, the regal eagles weren’t bothered in the slightest by the noise.

Jacques then shared an interesting fact with me – having a breeding pair of crowned eagles living in such close proximity to humans is quite uncommon. These majestic birds have made this area their home for a remarkable 11 years. They have built their nests in a lovely grove of pine trees within the luxurious San Lameer Golf Estate. This estate, together with the Trafalgar marine protected area to the south and Southbroom Village to the north, forms the beautiful Southbroom region.

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Situated between the Mpenjati and Mbizane rivers, this lush and verdant part of KwaZulu-Natal is truly a unique gem, and for all the right reasons.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

Living in such close proximity to humans, crowned eagles are a rare sight. It’s not every day that you come across these majestic birds, especially in a place like this. I’ve been here for three days now, and I must say, the eagles are not the only things that stand out.

Here, in this small area of abundant plant life, often called the “green lung” of the South Coast, the people prioritize preservation. In a town where development and expansion are the norm, it’s refreshing to see a community that values nature.

Southbroom, unlike the neighboring towns of Ramsgate and Margate, has always prioritized ecology in its development as a holiday destination. While it may not offer the untamed wilderness of a traditional park or reserve, this thriving enclave along the coast feels like a self-contained island in its own right. The residents of Southbroom have created a unique community with their own set of homemade rules.

As I drove off the R61, a traffic sign with a speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour scolded me as if I had done something wrong. But instead of feeling annoyed, I found myself slowing down to take in the sights. The road snaked through the trees, and I couldn’t resist the allure of exploring a bit further. Soon enough, I spotted Southbroom’s main beach and decided to make a pit stop.

After parking my car, I grabbed my towel and made my way down to the beach where the Mbizane River meets the ocean. As I walked along the shoreline, my eyes landed on a weathered log, worn down by the river’s journey. It seemed like the perfect seat to observe the excitement unfolding on the beach.

Just a few feet away from me, a young boy, maybe around 13 years old, stood patiently, waiting for the perfect moment. As the wave receded, he bolted across the sand, positioned his skim board, and hopped on, skillfully riding the wave towards the shore. His joy was infectious, and it made me smile.

As I watched him, my gaze shifted beyond the boy and out to the vast expanse of the coastline. It stretched endlessly, reaching the horizon and curving off into the distance. The beauty of it all filled me with a sense of wonder and tranquility.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

When I visit Southbroom, I love taking my kids for walks on its pristine, expansive beaches. The beaches stretch for miles, providing ample space for us to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The stretch of coastline that extends south towards Trafalgar is simply beautiful. It’s a clean, unspoiled area with rock pools, scenic viewpoints, and benches where you can relax and enjoy the view. The coastline is bordered by a pristine coastal forest that serves as a habitat for various animals and insects, including blue duiker, bushbuck, dassies, thrushes, warblers, and butterflies.

Behind the coastal forest lies the picturesque Southbroom golf course, which winds its way between the town’s high-end properties and the shoreline. Southbroom is a mix of permanent residences, vacation homes, and leisure accommodations. However, these property owners are obliged to adhere to certain size restrictions – no more than two stories – in order to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

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Well, almost all of them follow these restrictions. There is one exception – an arrogant millionaire who decided to build a garish peach-colored mansion on the golf course. Not only did he defy the size constraints, but he also added a third story to showcase his inflated ego. Needless to say, this became the subject of much gossip among the members of the clubhouse.

I was hanging out at the Southbroom Golf Club, enjoying the golf tournament while chowing down on a delicious steak, egg, and chips meal. As I sat there, I took the opportunity to chat with some of the locals, who happened to be hungry after playing their first nine holes. That’s when one of them shared a crazy story with me. According to him, someone had woken up to an unpleasant surprise – graffiti on the outside wall of their house that said, “F*ck off back home!”

Now, here’s the interesting part: nobody knows who did it! It’s like a mysterious puzzle waiting to be solved. My guess is that it happened in the middle of the night, when the world is hushed and the darkness provides perfect cover for mischievous antics. Picture this: a silent figure wearing a balaclava, cruising around in a golf cart, and armed with a spray can. Maybe they were adrenaline junkies who needed some heart medication to pull off such a daring stunt. Who knows?

It does make sense, though. You see, people in this community take golf seriously. They have a deep respect for rules and etiquette on the green. And when someone breaks these rules, it’s as if they’ve committed a cardinal sin. Those defaced walls were probably seen as a direct challenge to the order and sanctity of the Southbroom Golf Club. It must have rattled some feathers, to say the least.

Do you know why this small community is so special? It’s because everyone here plays a part in keeping this place like paradise. We don’t rely on the government for law enforcement; instead, we pay for our own police force. As a result, crime is at an all-time low, and we feel safe and secure.

But that’s not the only thing that sets this place apart. Here, we value leisure and taking it easy. Even though this event is called a ‘tournament,’ it’s really just a day of relaxation. We live in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature, and we believe in enjoying life at a slow pace.

On the golf course, we don’t worry too much about our score. Birdies and pars are rare, and bogeys are normal. As for eagles, well, they’re practically nonexistent.

How to Get to Southbroom

When you’re heading to Southbroom from Port Shepstone, simply take the R61 South Coast Road towards Port Edward. Keep an eye out for Southbroom on your left, about 12 kilometers after Ramsgate. It’s a convenient 90-minute drive from Durban.

Best Places to Stay in Southbroom

1. Renting a House

If you’re planning a holiday in Southbroom, the most popular option is to rent a house. Just keep in mind that it’s prime real estate, so prices can be high during peak season. However, if you gather a group of friends or family members, you can split the costs and make it more affordable. To start your search, I recommend contacting Southbroom Elite, a reputable real estate agency.

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Contact: Tel 039 316 6547, southbroomelite.co.za

2. Fig Tree Loft

If you’re looking for a clean and family-friendly place to stay, Fig Tree Loft is the perfect choice. It can accommodate up to six people and is just a short walk away from the main beach. You have the option of either self-catering or bed and breakfast. Don’t miss the chance to have a chat with the owner, Barbara Reynolds, as she has an incredible knowledge of the area and its history. Bed and breakfast rates start at R550 per person sharing.

Contact: Tel 082 421 1172, figtreelodge.co.za.

Where to eat in Southbroom

1. The Earth Shed

Despite being newly built, The Earth Shed, located across the R61 from the village, exudes a charming country atmosphere. Head upstairs to the restaurant and enjoy a delicious open sandwich, or explore the farm stall to discover a variety of farm-style foods and rustic art deco trinkets.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

When I went to La Trattoria La Terrazza, I was blown away by the experience. It’s not just a quick lunch spot, but an actual outing. You can take your time and enjoy the ambiance while you eat. I highly recommend sitting on the deck for a beautiful view.

2. Trattoria La Terrazza

If you’re visiting Umkobi Beach, make sure to stop by Trattoria La Terrazza. This Italian restaurant impressed me not only with its delicious menu but also with its stunning location. You can spend a leisurely afternoon on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the river. Just remember to call and check the opening times, as they vary depending on the season.
Contact: Tel 039 316 6162, www.trattoria.co.za

Things to do in Southbroom

1. Golf

Playing golf at Southbroom Golf Club is a delightful experience, even if you’re not a skilled player. This golf course is perfect for a holiday outing, and they welcome non-members to enjoy a round. However, remember to book in advance during busy times. Don’t forget to bring your camera because the view from the fourth hole is breathtaking. The cost for a full round of 18 holes is R245. If you have any questions or want to make a reservation, you can contact them at Tel 039 316 6051 or visit their website at www.southbroomgolfclub.co.za. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your clubs and get ready for a great day of golf!

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

Golf in Southbroom. Photo by Tyson Jopson.

2. Take a Stroll

Why not go for a leisurely walk? You can explore the beauty of nature by visiting the Frederika Nature Preserve. It’s located at the end of Woodlands Road, which is parallel to the shoreline if you head south from the main beach. Another option is the Bushbuck Trail, which you can start from the Southbroom Tennis Club in Eyles Park, just off Captain Smith’s Drive.

Green lungs gold heart a guide to Southbroom

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 edition of MzansiBride. Please keep in mind that the prices mentioned were accurate at the time of publishing, but may have changed since then, depending on the owners’ discretion.

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