Autumn in Kwa Zulu Natal is probably my favourite time of year! It comes without the blinding, hungry heat of summer and, let’s face it, we really don’t know cold here. Every time I complain about our just sub 20-degree moments, ex-Joburgers that have migrated here snort and look at me with wonder or even ridicule. Something else that Iâ€™m increasingly realising as a mom is that the beaches at this time of year are not only spectacular but a pleasure too! You can actually walk on the sand with no slops and the soles of your feet don’t sizzle as you sweat and haul all manner of beach toys, body boards, spades, buckets, bags and a myriad of other things my kids will probably not play with. I am nit-picking because summer here is pretty awesome too. Lately, Salt Rock beach has been packed most afternoons – and again packed in comparison to elsewhere in the world is a bit of an exaggeration! I just mean that we had to park across the road instead of at the beach parking lot.
One such spectacular Autumn day, we’d been invited to my sons best buddy’s 6th birthday party in Zinkwazi. I must be honest – as a Salt Rock local I am very spoilt. Normally a 10 minute drive is too much but this time we bravely ventured beyond the Mvoti Toll Plaza and I am so glad we did! And so will you be if you are looking for a quiet secret spot that has both a secluded beach, a lagoon and lots of space to play. Under the warm sun, our children run rampant on the lagoon shores and deserted sand dunes for hours on end. They find canoes and although we aren’t sure to whom they belong, amongst us parents there is an agreed unwritten code that if it’s left on the water’s edge, it’s fair game!
Our little herd of boys trek and canoe through muddy waters, building mud castles and imagining epic adventures as pretend explorers , fishermen or crocodile hunters. Us parents are only too happy to laze away a whole day casting a casual eye over all the goings-on. Best of all – and surprisingly so- there are barely any other people around!
A whole day at Zinkwazi Lagoon had quickly wound itself down to a glimmering and glorious afternoon. The palm trees lining its banks had stretched out their shadows and it was time for sundowners. Lucky for us, our friends own a boat and as I sip on my G n T ogling the homes on the lagoon’s banks,Â I can not imagine being in a better place or my children having had a better day. The sun had warmed their skins and muddy shores had stained their little feet. A day of hard play, just it should be.
As we drive home, I feel enormous gratitude at the simplicity of just having had a family day out Our kids are giddy with joy and us parents warmed at the thought. Next time you need a family weekend away from the busy-ness and chaos of everyday life, Zinkwazi is a perfect solution! I discovered that many of the holiday houses on the bank are available to rent or for those preferring to camp, there is a campsite too.
Or just as we did, a full family day out, perhaps at the secret picnic spot tucked away from any on-shore winds. All of these ingredients make for perfect family quality time and reset .It has become a new favourite spot for our boys and I hope we will be back soon for them to explore and make new memories.