trail run

KZN’s South Coast is a perfect trail running destination. Photograph: Ugu South Coast Tourism

KZN South Coast’s seven best trail runs

KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast with its majestic coastal forests and sea scapes provides trail running enthusiasts with the perfect destination.

trail run

KZN’s South Coast is a perfect trail running destination. Photograph: Ugu South Coast Tourism

Trail running is one of the fastest-growing sports and for good reason, too!

According to British magazine, Runner’s World, trail running benefits both body and mind, decreasing anxiety and working more muscles, and is less risky than traditional road running. 

The KZN South Coast’s incredible coastal forests and farmlands offer many perfect spots for trail running.

“An increasing number of visitors are looking to enjoy a relaxing, nature-based holiday without compromising their fitness levels,” Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) said. 

“The KZN South Coast is the ultimate holiday destination for such health-minded tourists with our well-maintained trail runs proving increasingly popular. These provide a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and explore another part of the beautiful Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom,” Mangcu said.

Here are some top KZN South Coast trail runs

1.      Rocky Bay Resorts (Scottburgh)

Opened in 2014, these spectacular running trails range in length and wind around the Ellingham Estate Farm, with sea views and lush forest settings. Runners can choose between a 4km, 6km, 8km and 10km trail run. Finish off with a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant that has a jungle gym and a kids’ corner.

Contact: 039 976 0336 or

2.      Umdoni Park Trust Golf Club & Nature Reserve (Pennington)

This beautiful nature reserve has forest walks and running trails suited to all skill sets with more than 200 bird species to look out for on the routes. Trails range from the half-hour Jeff’s Wild Trail to the tough 90-minute Gorge Trail with waterfall views. For younger families there is also a fun Interactive Trail with more than 300 informative signs on flora and fauna enrolee to the Otter view site and forest pond.

Contact: 039 975 1615 or

3.      Lake Eland Game Reserve (Oribi Gorge)

Take a run on the wild side through this captivating game reserve consisting of bushveld, grassland, coastal forest and wetlands ecosystems, home to a variety of bird and wildlife. Traverse the reserve on the walking or running trails and enjoy a meal at the restaurant and tea garden adjacent to the children’s playground. There are also beautiful picnic sites, an 80m suspension bridge, and a Zip Line Tour.

Contact: 039 687 0395 or

4.      ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest (Harding)

Situated at the foot of the Ingeli Mountain range is this beautiful forest that consists of a myriad of  trail running tracks ranging from 1.8km to 30km. One of the trails leads to a dam, an ideal picnic setting.

Contact: 039 553 0600 or

5.      Ventures by Sweetdale (Margate)

Set against rocky outcrops and rolling hills is this fantastic trail running spot. There are a number of intricate trails suited to running or walking as well as the more challenging Alpine Hike through thick bush and streams. The area is dog-friendly, so fur friends can also explore the region.


6.      Beaver Creek Coffee Estate (Port Edward)

The world’s southernmost coffee estate is also home to some of the KZN South Coast’s best running trails. There is theshorter 2.5km Espresso Route which takes visitors through the coffee fields through to the 8.5km Stoney Creek Route which traverses neighbouring farms. Enjoy a great meal and enjoy home-grown coffee at the Estate Café.

Contact: 039 311 2315/47 or

7.      Clearwater Trail Centre (Port Edward)

This scenic location gives visitors the chance to traverse a cross section of agricultural land and coastal forest, teeming with fauna and flora. Trail runners pass through macadamia nut orchards, banana plantations, patches of forest, open grasslands, dams and stream crossings with panoramic views of the Umtamvuna River Gorge and the Indian Ocean. These multi-purpose trails are suited to trail runners, nature walkers and mountain bikers seeking exercise or recreation. The trail route starts and ends at Beaver Creek Coffee Estate & Café with easy-to-follow white stone markers with blue or green arrows to guide trail runners.