Zululand is not an area for coastal resorts. The beaches shelve deeply and there is little protection from sharks.
At Mtunzini, meaning 'the shady place' there is one pleasant protected resort on a fine beach with a backdrop of coastal forest. Here there are also forest-covered dunes, small lakelets and a spacious lagoon at the mouth of the Mlalazi River.
An unusual feature of the town of Mtunzini is a grove of giant palm trees. These Raffia Palms were planted in the early 1900’s by the then District Magistrate Mr CC Foxen from seed he had collected in the Maputaland area. He reported that, according to local inhabitants, some early Portuguese missionaries brought the palms to the area.
The palms bare a fruit that attracts Palmnut Vultures and these can sometimes be seen feasting on the fruit. The only other area in South Africa where the palms are found is at the Kosi Bay lakes near the Mozambique border.
In 1948 some 900 hectares of the coastal area were proclaimed a nature reserve. Bush pig, reedbuck blue and grey duiker live in the bush of the reserve, and crocodiles lurk in the water whilst bird and plant life are prolific.
John Dunn, the famous 'white chief' had his holiday home at Mtunzini.
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