Amanzimtoti is a coastal town just south of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. According to local legend, when the Zulu King, Shaka, led his army down the south coast on a raid against the Pondos in 1828, he rested on the banks of a river. When drinking the water, he exclaimed "Kanti amanzi mtoti" (isiZulu: "So, the water is sweet"). The river came to be known as Amanzimtoti ("Sweet Waters"). The Zulu word for "sweet" is actually mnandi, but, as Shaka's mother had the name Nandi, he invented the word to replace mnandi out of respect not to wear out her name. Locals frequently refer to the town as "Toti".
Amanzimtoti is renowned for its warm weather and its beaches. It is a popular tourist destination, particularly with surfers, and the annual sardine run attracts many to the beaches. Many South Africans flock here during school holidays and on long weekends.
After the start of the construction of the South Coast railway line from Durban in 1895 the town of Amanzimtoti evolved around the railway siding on the bank of the Manzimtoti River – named after its pleasing “sweet water” by the Zulu King, Shaka. The first hotel opened its door there three years later and this booming tourist destination hasn’t stopped growing since. Today’s Amanzimtoti offers visitors excellent accommodation, restaurants, seaside entertainment and shopping. Other towns and villages along this section of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal South Coast include:
Just 24 km south of Durban the part residential/part industrial Umbogintwini came into its own with the construction of an explosives factory on the banks of the Mbokodweni River in 1909. Today’s urban sprawl has linked it inextricably to the town of Amanzimtoti.
A suburb of theAmanzimtoti Municipality, Doonside took its name from one of its original resident’s house called “Lorna Doone”.
So named because in 1910 Mr. T. A. Warner, the then government surveyor, was sent here to survey an area planned for the settlement of pensioners. Quite prophetic in a way for the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, like Florida with its warm climate, has become a real pensioner’s paradise.
Named after the Lovu River – “elephant” in Zulu – Illovo Beach’s recorded history stretches back to about 1860 when MacDougal’s riverside store was a welcome watering hole for passing travellers. Then, with the increase of traffic, a Mr. Pearce opened an inn on the southern bank in 1862 and it was his son, William, who eventually started the Illovo Sugar Mill in the year 1890.
Karridene was named after the benevolent Rand mining magnet W. Karri-Davis who took it upon himself to build a curative centre here for miners suffering from phthisis.