Getaway (South Africa) - - THE FINAL CUT -

• Of­fi­cially the Dol­phin Coast lies be­tween the Ton­gaat River and the Tugela River, but I fo­cused on the 30-kilo­me­tre stretch be­tween Umd­loti and Salt Rock. I specif­i­cally went look­ing for a cot­tage or house with a gar­den, right on or walk­ing dis­tance to the beach. I found the best pick­ings at the south­ern end of Umd­loti (south of the round­about as you en­ter this still sur­pris­ingly small ham­let) and in Shaka’s Rock/Salt Rock.

• A num­ber of houses ticked the ‘lo­ca­tion’ box but were tatty and run down. On­line photos are of­ten out of date; it may be worth ask­ing the owner what main­te­nance they un­der­took in the last year. A house next to the sea needs con­stant TLC.

• Trawl­ing on­line for self-cater­ing op­tions is more chal­leng­ing than look­ing for ho­tels and B&Bs, so beach­house­let­ting.com was a use­ful find. Oth­er­wise, I sifted through the usual ac­com­mo­da­tion web­sites.

• Bal­lito, also on this stretch of coast­line, is pretty built-up, with mostly town­houses and apart­ments to rent. Chas Everitt ( light­house.co.za) has a large se­lec­tion, of which I liked La Bal­lito 506, La Mer 8, Villa Med 2 and Villa Royale 2. Bal­lito is cheaper than Umh­langa, but if a hol­i­day apart­ment ap­peals more than a house I’d still pay up for Umh­langa, where the in­fra­struc­ture is more im­pres­sive. (See the April 2017 is­sue of Get­away for my choices.)

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