Port Edward is a small resort town situated on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, near the Eastern Cape Province border.
Port Edward is a favourite tourist resort for seasonal visitors from more affluent regions of South Africa. The coastline between here and Port Shepstone to the north is popularly known as the Hibiscus Coast because of its lush sub-tropical gardens.
There are many tourist seasons that influence Port Edward but the most significant is the Christmas / New Year period spanning from mid-December to mid-January.
Another main season coincides with the Sardine run natural phenomenon in May to July.
In 1831 there was a crisis between the settlers in Port Natal (Durban) and Dingane, the Zulu king. Some settlers boarded a ship that was in the harbour and the others, including Henry Francis Fynn and his family, fled down the coast. The Zulu warriors caught up with them where Port Edward is today and massacred the fleeing settlers, which included local tribespeople of Langeni, on a hill called Isandlundlu (in English, shaped like a hut). The place has been known ever since as Tragedy Hill and its slopes are still littered with the bones of the victims. In 1878, the ship "The Ivy" ran aground on Port Edward's beach. In 1925, the area was owned by TK Pringle, and named Banner Rest. A village was laid out and was named Port Edward in honour of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.
Bordered by the dramatic Umtamvuna River gorge, Port Edward is the southernmost town on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. Looking inland from the popular Silver Beach, one sees Tragedy Hill, that site where Zulu worriers fought and killed Henry Fynn and his followers.
Those seeking adventure; be it hiking, waterskiing, jet-skiing, mountain and Quad-biking trails, horse trails, river cruises, fishing, whale-watching
If you were blindfolded and dropped off at Port Edward’s Red Desert, you’d swear you were on Mars. A big attraction is Port Edward’s Red Desert is the world’s smallest desert.
Bordered on the south by the mighty Mthamvuma River – Zulu for “the reaper of mouthfuls” – Port Edward marks the southernmost extremity of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Overlooked by Tragedy Hill, the spot where Henry Fynn and his followers battled and lost against Zulu worriers, Port Edward boasts several interesting tourist attractions, including golden beaches, coffee estates, a variety of excellent restaurants, arts and craft shops, several adventure sports and the nearby Wild Coast Sun Casino.
Accommodation ranges from highly affordable to 5-Star luxury with a wide selection of comfortable B & B establishments, to self-catering accommodation, guest houses, luxury lodges and 4- and 5-Star hotels.
Initially known as ‘Kennington’ after T. ‘Ken’ Pringle, one of its early residents, the settlement was later renamed Port Edward in honour of the then Prince of Wales. A long-established coffee growing region, the first plantings in and around Port Edward took place in 1866 and continue to this day.