Best Places to Retire in KZN South Coast: Live the Beachfront Dream

As you start planning for retirement, the idea of living along the stunning KZN South Coast of South Africa may seem like an idyllic dream. Miles of unspoiled beaches, a subtropical climate with warm weather for most of the year, and a slower pace of life – what more could you want in your golden years? However, choosing where exactly to retire along this coastline can be challenging given the many options. This article highlights some of the best places to consider for your beachfront retirement on the KZN South Coast based on factors like cost of living, healthcare facilities, weather, natural scenery and amenities. Whether you prefer an established town with all the conveniences or a quieter village escape, there are appealing choices to suit a variety of lifestyles and budgets. Start picturing yourself soaking in the natural splendour of this coastal paradise and discovering your ideal retirement destination. The beachfront dream could become your reality.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Retirement Destination

Healthcare Access

When choosing a retirement destination, the availability of quality healthcare should be a top priority. As you age, health issues become more prevalent, so living in an area with hospitals and healthcare facilities nearby is important for your well-being and peace of mind.

Some key factors to consider regarding healthcare include:

  • Proximity to hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. Look for locations within a 30-minute drive for emergency care and specialist appointments.
  • Range of medical services offered. Seek out areas with a variety of healthcare options like surgery centres, physical therapy practises, dental offices, etc. This ensures your healthcare needs can be met locally without excessive travel.
  • Insurance network acceptance. Check that major insurance providers are accepted by most healthcare providers in the area. Out-of-network costs can be exorbitant, especially if frequent or emergency care is needed.
  • Home health resources. Consider locations with home health agencies and services in case living assistance or in-home care is required at some point. Their availability provides security so that health needs can still be met from the comfort of home.

No one wishes to think about declining health or medical emergencies, but the reality is that access to quality healthcare becomes vitally important as you age. Choosing a retirement destination with a strong healthcare infrastructure and many options for care will give you confidence in your ability to receive the medical services you need. Focusing on health and wellness will help ensure you can make the most of your retirement for as long as possible.

Climate and weather

Climate and weather play a crucial role in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle. As you embark on this exciting new chapter of your life, take into consideration the following factors related to climate and weather:

  1. Temperature: Consider the average temperatures throughout the year. Do you prefer warmer or cooler climates? The KZN South Coast, for instance, offers a mild and temperate climate, with pleasant temperatures that make outdoor activities a joy throughout the year.
  2. Humidity Levels: Some individuals find high humidity uncomfortable, while others thrive in it. Take into account your personal preference and how your body reacts to humidity.
  3. Seasonal Weather Patterns: If you appreciate the variety and distinct seasons, you may want to consider locations that experience noticeable changes throughout the year. On the other hand, if you prefer consistency and less seasonal variation, areas with milder weather patterns might be more appealing. The KZN South Coast offers a delightful balance, with mild winters and warm summers perfect for beachfront living.
  4. Extreme Weather Events: It’s important to assess the risk of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, cyclones, or wildfires in potential retirement destinations. The KZN South Coast boasts a relatively low risk of such events, ensuring peace of mind and a secure environment for your retirement years.

Remember, climate and weather can significantly impact your daily life, outdoor activities, and overall well-being. By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a retirement destination on the KZN South Coast that aligns perfectly with your climate preferences and offers a comfortable and enjoyable environment to embrace your golden years.

Cost of living

The cost of living is a critical factor that can greatly impact your financial well-being. It’s important to carefully evaluate the daily living expenses and ensure they align with your financial means. Consider the following aspects when assessing the cost of living in potential retirement locations.

First and foremost, housing costs play a significant role in determining the affordability of a place. Research the real estate market in the areas you are considering and compare prices for different types of housing options. Whether you prefer a beachfront condo or a cosy cottage, finding a retirement destination with housing that fits your budget is crucial.

Transportation costs are another aspect to consider. Evaluate the availability and affordability of public transportation options, as well as the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle if you plan to drive. It’s important to have convenient transportation options that allow you to get around easily without straining your budget.

Everyday expenses, such as groceries, dining out, and entertainment, should also be factored into your cost of living analysis. Research the local prices for goods and services in your potential retirement destinations. Look for areas where the overall cost of goods and services is lower, allowing you to stretch your retirement income further.

Lastly, consider the tax implications of retiring in different locations. Some countries and cities offer tax incentives for retirees, which can significantly reduce your tax burden. Compare income tax rates, sales taxes, and other taxes that may apply based on your sources of retirement income. Minimising your tax obligations can have a positive impact on your overall financial situation.

By carefully evaluating the cost of living in your potential retirement destinations, you can find an affordable paradise that aligns with your budget. Remember, prudent financial planning is key to enjoying your golden years to the fullest.

Safety and Security

As people age, they often become more vulnerable targets for crimes like fraud, theft, and assault. Selecting a location with a low crime rate and a strong community support system is key to peace of mind and well-being in retirement.

Low Crime Rates

Research the crime statistics for locations you’re interested in to determine if the rates of violent crimes (homicide, assault, robbery) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft) are acceptable to you. Areas with higher populations of retirees often have additional safeguards and lower crime rates overall due to the vulnerabilities of the demographic. Private security and neighbourhood watch groups also help deter criminal behaviour.

Active Community

An engaged community of peers, social groups and activity clubs helps combat isolation and promotes an active lifestyle after retirement. Look for locations with amenities and organisations geared toward seniors such as recreation centres, places of worship, hobby groups and volunteer opportunities. An active body and mind lead to greater health, independence and longevity.

For a safe, secure and fulfilling retirement, choose a destination with low crime rates, a strong healthcare system and an active, well-connected community. With the right safeguards and support network in place, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy this new chapter of life without worry. Focus on locations specifically tailored to the needs of seniors for the best options when planning your retirement.

Activities and attractions

Activities and attractions play a crucial role in ensuring a fulfilling and enjoyable lifestyle. Retirement is a time to explore new hobbies, make new friends, and create lasting memories. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to activities and attractions in your retirement destination:

  • Recreation and Leisure Facilities: Look for a retirement destination that offers a wide range of recreational facilities to cater to your interests. Whether you enjoy playing golf, tennis, swimming, or simply taking leisurely walks, having access to such amenities can greatly enhance your quality of life. Consider places with well-maintained parks, community centres, and sports clubs to keep you active and engaged.
  • Cultural and Entertainment Scene: Retirement is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of your chosen destination. Look for cities or towns that offer theatres, art galleries, music festivals, and other cultural events. This will ensure that you have plenty of opportunities to explore your artistic interests and indulge in your passion for the arts.
  • Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities: If you’re a nature lover, retiring to a place that boasts natural beauty and outdoor activities is a must. Consider destinations with stunning landscapes, breathtaking coastlines, and picturesque mountains. This will allow you to engage in activities like hiking, bird-watching, fishing, or simply enjoying strolls along scenic walking trails. Being close to nature can bring tranquillity and peace to your retirement years.

By considering these factors when choosing a retirement destination, you can ensure that your golden years are filled with exciting activities, enriching experiences, and a sense of belonging. Remember to prioritise your personal interests, lifestyle preferences, and overall well-being when making this important decision.

Top Towns and Neighbourhoods for Retirement in KZN South Coast


Margate, located on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, is a highly sought-after retirement destination for many South Africans. This charming coastal town offers a plethora of features that make it an ideal place for retirement. With its golden beaches fringed with palm trees, Margate provides a picturesque setting for retirees to enjoy their golden years.

One of the key features of Margate is its pleasant climate. The town enjoys a mild and temperate climate throughout the year, with warm summers and mild winters. This makes it an ideal location for retirees who prefer to live in a place with comfortable weather all year round. The warm climate also allows for an active outdoor lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities for leisurely walks along the beach or exploring the nearby nature reserves.

Speaking of natural beauty, Margate is surrounded by stunning landscapes and breathtaking scenery. From the pristine beaches to the lush greenery of the nearby nature reserves, retirees in Margate can immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings. The town is also home to Margate Country Club, allowing golf enthusiasts to indulge in their favourite sport amidst the stunning coastal scenery.

When it comes to amenities, Margate offers a wide range of options to cater to retirees’ needs. The Margate Village, a retirement community within the Margate area, provides state-of-the-art facilities including bowling greens, a clubhouse, an entertainment hall, a gym, a library, a chapel, a post office, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a coffee shop. These amenities ensure that retirees have access to various activities and clubs, allowing them to choose how active they want to be. The village also offers a variety of housing options, from apartments to free-standing homes, providing a secure environment for independent living.

In terms of healthcare facilities, Margate has residents covered. The Margate Retirement Village features a sizable frail-care and dementia-care facility, ensuring that help is nearby should retirees ever require it. Additionally, there are several hospitals in the vicinity, including Margate Hospital, Shelly Beach Hospital, and Port Shepstone Hospital, providing easy access to medical care.

Retirees in Margate can also enjoy a wide range of recreational activities and entertainment options in the area. There are numerous opportunities for outings and entertainment, allowing retirees to explore and enjoy their leisure time.

For those who appreciate good food, Margate boasts a range of famous eateries. From The Waffle House to Aura, The Grove, Senzi’s and the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, retirees in Margate can indulge in a variety of culinary delights. The town also offers a selection of shopping centres, such as the Hibiscus Mall. These shopping centres provide easy access to grocery stores, retail shops, and other amenities.

One of the advantages of retiring in Margate is its affordability. The town offers a range of housing options to suit different budgets, ensuring that retirees can find a home that fits their financial needs. Additionally, the cost of living in Margate is generally lower compared to larger cities, allowing retirees to stretch their retirement savings further.

In summary, Margate is a popular retirement destination on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast for several reasons. Its pleasant climate, natural beauty, and range of amenities make it an ideal place for retirees to enjoy their golden years. The town offers a variety of recreational activities and entertainment options, ensuring that retirees have plenty to do and explore. With its healthcare facilities and affordability, Margate provides a safe and secure environment for retirees to live comfortably. All of these factors combined make Margate an attractive choice for retirees seeking a peaceful and fulfilling retirement experience.


Scottburgh, a delightful seaside town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, offers an attractive mix of picturesque landscapes and contemporary conveniences, making it a desirable location for retirement. Its warm subtropical climate, welcoming community, and an array of activities make it a perfect setting for a relaxed retirement.

In terms of healthcare, Scottburgh is well-served with facilities such as the GJ Crookes Hospital, ensuring that residents’ medical requirements are met promptly and professionally. This, coupled with the town’s typically warm weather, contributes to the overall health and tranquillity of its inhabitants.

Scottburgh offers a wealth of leisure and recreational activities. The town’s primary allure is its stunning beach, which is safeguarded by shark nets and provides excellent conditions for swimming. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the Scottburgh Golf Club, a well-kept, challenging course that boasts breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. For those who enjoy nature, the nearby Crocworld Conservation Centre offers an opportunity to learn about and interact with a variety of reptiles and birds.

Shopping in Scottburgh is convenient, with the Scottburgh Mall providing a broad selection of shops, ranging from grocery stores to fashion boutiques. This, along with the town’s various local businesses, ensures that residents have easy access to all necessary goods and services.

Scottburgh’s food scene is varied and appetising, with a multitude of restaurants and cafes catering to diverse tastes. From traditional South African dishes to international cuisine, there’s a culinary delight to suit every preference.

In conclusion, Scottburgh provides a comprehensive retirement experience with top-notch healthcare facilities, a variety of recreational activities, easy shopping, and a lively dining scene, all nestled within a stunning coastal setting.


Uvongo, a scenic coastal town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is a fantastic destination for retirement. With its stunning natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle, and comprehensive amenities, it presents a perfect blend of tranquillity and conveniences, making it an ideal place for a serene retirement.

When considering healthcare facilities, Uvongo is favourably situated. The Shelly Beach Private Hospital just a short drive away offers a full spectrum of medical services, ensuring that residents have quick access to healthcare when needed.

The town is a treasure trove of recreational activities, providing endless opportunities to enjoy the golden years. Uvongo boasts a beautiful beach with a 23-metre-high waterfall plunging into the lagoon, making it a unique attraction in the area. Moreover, the Uvongo River Nature Reserve offers bird-watching opportunities and tranquil walking trails for nature enthusiasts.

The shopping opportunities in and around Uvongo are plentiful. The Shelly Centre, located nearby, boasts over 100 stores, providing a wide range of shopping options, from groceries to fashion boutiques.

The dining scene in Uvongo caters to a variety of tastes. The town offers plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve a mix of local and international cuisine, ensuring that residents can enjoy a variety of dining experiences.

In conclusion, Uvongo, with its breathtaking natural scenery, quality healthcare facilities, an array of recreational activities, and ample shopping and dining options, offers a compelling proposition for those seeking a peaceful yet vibrant retirement.

Shelly Beach

Situated on the picturesque South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Shelly Beach presents an appealing retirement destination. This captivating seaside town offers more than just tranquil surroundings and a relaxed lifestyle; it also boasts a range of practical amenities such as healthcare services, shopping facilities, and a diverse array of dining options, making it a perfect spot for a comfortable and rewarding retirement.

Healthcare services in the town are conveniently positioned, ensuring that medical assistance is readily available when needed. As for shopping, Shelly Beach is recognised as a major retail hub on the South Coast. It is home to two of the area’s largest upscale shopping centres, Shelly Centre and South Coast Mall, which offer a wide selection of shops to cater to all your retail needs. These centres house a variety of health and beauty stores, as well as a delightful assortment of eateries to satisfy a range of tastes.

The dining scene in Shelly Beach is diverse and appealing. Notable restaurants include John Dory’s Shelly Beach, Panarottis Shelly Beach, Capello’s and Ocean Basket among others. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual coffee or a fine dining experience, Shelly Beach has a culinary offering to suit every palate.

For those interested in leisure pursuits, Shelly Beach is an ideal base. The town offers a wide range of attractions, from peaceful beach strolls to thrilling water sports. Its strategic location also places it within easy reach of several golf courses, nature reserves, and other outdoor attractions.

In summary, Shelly Beach in KZN South Africa offers an ideal mix of a peaceful lifestyle and practical amenities. Its combination of healthcare services, shopping facilities, diverse dining options, and a variety of leisure activities make it a highly attractive choice for retirement.

Port Shepstone

Situated on the beautiful South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Port Shepstone offers an enticing retirement destination. The town’s laid-back lifestyle provides a tranquil retreat from the fast-paced city life, making it a popular choice for those seeking a serene retirement.

Healthcare facilities are conveniently located within the town, with the Hibiscus Private Hospital providing easy access to medical services. This, along with the region’s typically warm climate, promotes the overall health and well-being of the town’s residents.

When it comes to leisure activities, Port Shepstone has a wealth of options. Port Shepstone is a business hub and attractions include The Port Shepstone Museum, Spillers Wharf, Tweni Beach and the Whale Deck.

Beyond its natural beauty and adventurous offerings, Port Shepstone also serves as the commercial centre of the KZN South Coast. This means it boasts a range of shopping centres, such as Oribi Plaza, where residents can find everything from daily groceries to fashion and electronic goods.

The town’s dining scene is equally impressive, offering a diverse mix of local and international cuisine across its numerous restaurants. Whether you’re an adventurous food explorer or someone who appreciates familiar comfort food, Port Shepstone has something to satisfy your palate.

In summary, with its combination of healthcare facilities, diverse attractions, shopping centres, and a variety of dining options, all set within a relaxed lifestyle, Port Shepstone presents a compelling choice for retirement.

Real Estate Options for Retirees in KZN South Coast

Buying Property

As a retiree looking to settle in KZN South Coast, purchasing property is an appealing option to consider. There are several types of real estate suitable for retirees:

  • Freehold homes: Traditional freehold houses offer stability and flexibility. As the legal owner, you have full control over the property and can rent, sell or bequeath it as you choose. Freehold homes in beachfront locations or golf estates are ideal for active retirement.
  • Apartments: For low-maintenance living, apartments, and flats are suitable. Look for units with amenities like communal gardens, swimming pools, and security guards. Retirement villages often offer apartment living with additional benefits like healthcare facilities, social activities and assisted living if needed later on.
  • Timeshare or fractional ownership: For those wanting to split costs, timeshare or fractional ownership of an apartment, townhouse or villa is possible. You purchase the right to use the property for a fixed period each year, sharing ownership and maintenance fees with co-owners. Popular in resorts and leisure destinations.

Owning a home in such a picturesque part of KZN South Coast is a dream for many retirees. With the variety of appealing properties available, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs, budget and lifestyle for an idyllic beachfront retirement.

Renting Property

Renting Long-term

As a retiree in the KZN South Coast, renting a property long-term is an affordable and low-maintenance housing option. You can find fully furnished apartments, flats, cottages and houses to rent along the coastline and in retirement villages. Rentals typically come with a 6 to 12-month lease, which provides stability without the large financial commitment of purchasing a property.

Holiday Rentals

For those looking to split their time between the KZN South Coast and elsewhere, short-term holiday rentals are ideal. You can rent a beach house or flat for a few weeks at a time, multiple times a year. Holiday rentals offer flexibility and often come equipped with amenities like Wi-Fi, linens, and kitchenware. Some allow pets, so you can bring your furry friends along for an extended beach getaway.

Retirement Village Units

Purpose-built retirement villages frequently have units available for rent. These provide an all-in-one solution with facilities and activities tailored to retirees. You’ll enjoy amenities such as gardens, swimming pools, clubhouses, and on-site healthcare services. The rental fees often include utilities, groundskeeping, and building insurance for a simplified lifestyle with few responsibilities.

Renting in the KZN South Coast allows you to live comfortably by the beach without the burdens of homeownership. You can choose between long-term leases for stability, short-term holiday rentals for flexibility, or units in full-service retirement villages for convenience. With scenic surroundings and an ideal climate, renting a seaside abode in this coastal paradise is the perfect way for retirees to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle in the sun.

Retirement Villages

As a retiree looking to settle in KZN South Coast, you have several real estate options to consider for your golden years. Retirement villages are popular choices, offering amenities and communities tailored to the over-55 set.

In KZN South Coast, you’ll find both lifestyle estates and life rights villages. Lifestyle estates are private residential communities with facilities like swimming pools, gyms, and clubhouses. You purchase the freehold title to your home but pay levies for estate upkeep and amenities.

Life rights villages also provide communal facilities, but you purchase only the right to occupy a home for life. The village trust retains ownership of the property. Life rights typically cost less upfront but have monthly levies, and you receive a percentage of the sale price when you leave.

KZN South Coast’s natural splendour and lower costs of living make it an appealing retirement destination. Retirement villages allow you to enjoy resort-style amenities and an active social life surrounded by like-minded individuals. With attractive options at varying price points, you can find a village to match your dreams and budget.


So there you have it. The KZN South Coast offers an array of stunning beachfront towns that would make an ideal retirement destination for those seeking an affordable coastal lifestyle. Whether you prefer the bustling promenade of Margate, the tranquil shores of Ramsgate, or the lush surroundings of Port Shepstone, the region has something for everyone. The temperate climate, natural scenery, outdoor activities, healthcare facilities, and low cost of living provide the perfect combination for your golden years by the sea. If beach walks, whale watching and sunsets over the Indian Ocean appeal to you, look no further than these remarkable towns along the KZN South Coast to make your retirement dreams a reality. The opportunity to live out your days enjoying the simple pleasures of life in a place that nourishes the body and soul. What more could you ask for?