Zinkwazi is a little beach town on the KZN North Coast. It is a bit of a hidden gem in that there are no shopping centres or even a petrol station. Just one road in and out of the town and one small convenience store.
It's a short (20min) drive on the N2 freeway from Ballito. One toll to go through but a very easy and relaxing drive. Once off the freeway you turn towards the coastline where you follow the single road down into Zinkwazi. There is usually a guard stationed at the entrance to the town doing access control which is reassuring.
It feels as though the majority of the houses in the town are open for rental - this possibly gives the town the holiday atmosphere it usually has. Driftwood Estates (see link below) has been operating in the town for almost 45 years and manages many houses so they will be able to connect you with what you need.
We choose to stay at the Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge. Camping with your dog is quite an experience and luckily for us it was very pleasant. The camp site welcomes dogs but there is a small surcharge per day. The grounds are very large and secure so we never felt as though there was a risk of our dog getting out, but he does tend to stay within 20 metres of us at all times. We chose a camp site quite close to the restuarant which got a bit loud but there are plenty other sites that are more secluded which we'll be sure to choose next time. As far as camping is concerned we couldn't have wanted for more. There is plenty shade, amazing swimming pools, spotless ablutions and showers, short walk from the main beach and the restuarant food was excellent.
Things to do
The main beach is definitely the main attraction. There is limited parking so make sure to get there early should you need to take a car. The first thing you'll notice on arrival is a converted shipping container which houses a Pizza Shop called Proud's Pizza. It may seem out of place as you arrive but is a godsend after a few hours on the beach. Pizza has never tasted better than a takeaway box on the beach after a few hours of swimming and lounging in the sun. As with most beaches, swimming can be rough at times but is very tide dependent. The lifeguards are ever-present and plentiful which will provide peace of mind. One of the unique aspects to this beach is the lagoon. Families have the choice of either facing the sea or, equally as pleasant, facing the beautiful lagoon. Most days there are many children playing in the lagoon, stand up paddle boarders and paddlers. The dogs also love being able to have a quick splash here. There are usually many dogs on the beach so you never feel like yours is a nuisance. Another feature that seems popular but one that we never tried is the restuarant at the ski boat club. This is pretty much attached to the lifeguard station and on the main beach. It looks very festive with many guests enjoying some food and drinks while hiding from the sun.
Once done with the beach, we found happiness in the form of a jaffle and softserve icecream at the Zinkwazi Beach Cafe. It is a tiny convenience store with attached seating area but maintains that small town charm and contract to franchised city life.
Black Rock Park to the south of the main beach (almost in the middle of the town) is a large park but in our experience filled up quickly with "boot jols" where loud music is blaring and lots of alcohol is bandied around.
Something we didnt get to have a look at was the Zinkwazi Forest Rails right at the Southern end of the town. We'll definitely have to explore this next time - maybe after a jaffle and softserve!
Zinkwazi is an excellent break if you are looking for a small town, beachy and relaxed break. With little traffic, a long expanse of beach and an accommodating main beach with lagoon this is an excellent choice to take your furry friend on holiday.