One of the best Ramsgate KZN things to do is the drive from Johannesburg. Indeed, it will give first time visitors a true taste of South Africa. The drive to Ramsgate takes about 6-7 hours, it is a simple route that only requires you to find N3 going east out of Jo-burg. Stay on N3 until you get to Durban (5.5 hours), then go south on N2.
The Durban to Ramsgate distance is about 140 km, it takes about 1.5 hours. Just follow the signs and remember that in South Africa there are toll booths. You better have some rand with you or you will probably have to turn around and look for an ATM.
Scenically, the drive from Jo-berg is nice, high plains most of the way until you get near the coast. Then there is a significant drop in elevation as you drive into Durban. The sea breeze and ocean views are fantastic from the road. As you drive south to Ramsgate you will be amazed by the endless sugarcane fields that line the road.
Best Ramsgate KZN Things to Do
Ramsgate is a plush beach town. As a result, lots of well to do folks from Johannesburg own vacation homes here. It is also within reasonable commuting distance to Durban.
My Ramsgate South Africa accommodation was perched on a hill side with fantastic views of the Indian Ocean and Southbroom beach. I would be staying here for 2 months before continuing my journey up the coastline to Zinkwazi and then Mozambique.
As a result of my lengthy stay in Ramsgate South Africa I got to know the area pretty well. Therefore, I compiled a short list of the best Ramsgate KZN things to do.
Beaver Creek Coffee Estate
If you are like me and you appreciate good coffee but loathe Starbucks, then check out Beaver Creek Coffee Estate. They have a nice little coffee shop here where you can sample their international coffee blends. You can buy in bulk and take it home to make yourself.
It is about a 30 minute drive south from Ramsgate KZN and well worth the trip. I listed this as my number one Ramsgate tourist attractions because I went there several times.
If you are doing the self catering rental option in South Africa, most of them don’t have automatic coffee makers. You need to know how to use what they call a “plunger” in South Africa. Upon sight, I would call it a coffee press, but they call it a “plunger”. If you ask about a coffee press, they will think you are looking for the newspaper. The coffee tastes just as good if you use the “plunger” correctly, in fact even better!
Southbroom Beach – Best Ramsgate KZN Things to Do
Southbroom beach just down the hill from my Ramsgate beach accommodation. Therefore, I would frequently watch the sunrise at Southbroom Beach. While you are on the east coast of Africa, definitely take advantage of the location to watch the sunrise!
Visit Trafalgar Beach During Sardine Run!
Trafalgar beach was my favorite hang out spot near my Ramsgate beach accommodation. I spent a lot of my time here. It is a good spot for surfing and fishing.
Also, I was here during the sardine run, at which time the fishing gets really good due to the huge influx of bait fish that move up the coastline. There are also an abundance of large sea going mammals (porpoises and dolphins) that frequent the area at this time.
The surfing gets dangerous though because they remove the shark nets. This is done to allow the sardines, the dolphins and other large game fish to pass through without getting caught in the nets.
While casting from the shore I was able to catch a lot of shad. Shad are a popular angling fish in South Africa. There are other fish species also. I always would see the Afrikaners fishing for them. But in all the time I spent at the beach in South Africa, I never saw them catch a fish. I wonder what they are fishing for?
Trafalgar Surf Club
There is a local Zulu surf club that is usually at Trafalgar Beach everyday. Trafalgar beach is mostly a beach break. The line up is usually uncrowded and there are several different sand bars to set off some waves. I was here in winter months and the waves get big and crazy.
In South Africa, there are lots of sharks. The chances of a shark attack are very remote especially if you are taking necessary precautions. However, sharks here are still a harsh reality.
Here at Trafalgar beach I came in close contact with a large shark. It was about 10 feet long and was thrashing around about 30 feet away from me. It wasn’t a great white shark but a shark nonetheless.
Additionally, there was a couple of occurrences at the beach when a shark was sighted in the line up and every body was whistled out of the water. This is not uncommon. A couple of the hard core locals always stay out anyway. I paddled in!
Oribi Nature Reserve and Oribi Gorge
The Oribi Nature Reserve was about an hour drive to the NW of my Ramsgate beach accommodation. Oribi Gorge is a 24 kilometer gorge that is carved out of the landscape by the Umzimkulwana River. It is named after a small antelope named the Oribi, although it is difficult to spot.
There are a few wildlife viewing opportunities in the Oribi Nature Reserve but the main attraction in my opinion, is the Oribi Gorge. There are great hiking opportunities and scenic viewpoints. The Iribi Gorge is definitely one of the best Ramsgate KZN things to do.
Safety in KwaZulu-Natal
All of the properties in the area are like fortresses. They are surrounded with barbed wire fences and contain elaborate alarm systems which would summon armed guards to the property. I accidentally set the alarm off a couple times before I stopped using it. The guards would show up a few minutes later with weapons ready. They clearly had seen some action before, if the way they were acting is any indication.
One Day the Maid Didn’t Show Up
In South Africa maid service is compulsory at my Ramsgate South Africa accommodation. They usually are in house or live next to the main house in servants quarters. I tried to dismiss the maid altogether but settled on weekly maid service. One day the maid didn’t show up and she did not return until the next week.
When she arrived she explained that there had been a murder on the mini-bus that she used for transportation. A man had been shot the night before on the bus she usually takes. So the bus had been out of service for a few days. These mini-buses are also known as “black taxis” in South Africa or also a matatu. They are not recommended for anyone that does not absolutely need to take them.
One day there was a bad road accident near the house I was staying at. One of these mini-buses had been going too fast around a tight corner and struck another car and careened off the road. These buses are always jam packed with people and this accident was fatal for some of the passengers.
In South Africa, I never witnessed a crime or traffic accident with my own eyes. However, it is best to be cautious.
This area of South Africa has an abundance of world class beaches. Additionally, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa has an excellent self drive safari park – Hluhluwe Imfolozi – a few hours drive north of Ramsgate KZN. This would be the main reason to visit here and that is why I came.