Celebrate local culture by visiting heritage sites – South Coast Herald


From the Port Shepstone Cultural Maritime Museum to the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Center in Mthwalume, there are a number of cultural sites to explore on the South Coast this September.

As Heritage Month approaches, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment and Enterprise (SCTIE) – Phelisa Mangcu said it is important to take a moment to learn a bit more about South Africa’s rich cultural history and celebrate the diversity that makes Mzansi so special.

Mangcu said the South Coast also known as The Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom is a great place to start, with its history and tradition celebrated at museums, galleries and natural heritage sites.

She said there are unlimited opportunities for cultural enlightenment.

Port Shepstone Cultural Maritime Museum. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

“Heritage is really at the heart of KZN South Coast’s tourism offerings as we believe it provides visitors with great insight to who we are as a people. We have a wonderful variety of sites and activities to enjoy, offering a behind-the-scenes look at this beautiful region, its warm people and fascinating history,” said Mangcu.

She added that the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Center in Mthwalume is a great place to start on any cultural journey into The Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom, adding that the incredible arts and heritage facility offers visitors an authentic cultural experience, retelling the history of the Zulu nation through art, dance, seminars and musical performances.

Mangcu added that the Port Shepstone Cultural Maritime Museum is a must-visit museum, saying that it showcases the diverse cultural and historical themes of the people and the area.

She said the museum also has an on-site amphitheater, exhibition area featuring historical artefacts, gallery space and impressive archive.

Nightingale Shipwreck at Trafalgar. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

“The South Coast is renowned for its artistic talent, which is on full display at the beautiful Margate Art Museum. There are ongoing workshops, talks, guided tours and incredible exhibitions throughout the year. Art, culture and history combine in the unmissable KwaXolo Caves. Once a series of protective shelters for the San people, the lives of these ancient inhabitants are told in artwork within the caves. Visitors are led by a tourist guide along a steel cable-and-rung via ferrata system to the caves. New upgrades include a high wire bridge, 1km long zipline and walkway bridge. Recognizing the connection between fine art and good wine, Riverbend Art & Wine Gallery in Southbroom features a wonderful collection of fine estate wines in its extensive cellar, with the gallery featuring artworks by top South African artists such as Nils Anderson, Louis Audie, David Mbele , Billy Molokeng, Godfrey Ndaba, Diane Erasmus, Nicola Firth and many others,” said Mangcu.

She added that car enthusiasts are in for a treat at the old-timey Munster Motor Museum and Classic Cars museum which features everything from two-and-four-stroke internal combustion engines through to rotary engines.

Also on display, said Mangcu, are a variety of motoring and motor sports memorabilia and images; adding that there is a library of historical artefacts, and even a nautical section showcasing naval and merchant ship models with illustrated stories of local shipwrecks.

Mangcu said on the subject of shipwrecks, the South Coast is the place to visit for those with an interest in tales from the sea, adding that one great example is the 1933 Nightingale Shipwreck in Trafalgar.

Munster Motor Museum & Classic Cars. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

“The Nightingale Shipwreck, a steam vessel ran aground on the rocks of Glenmore Beach owing to the heavy fog. But that’s not the only shipwreck to explore on the South Coast. Dating back all the way back to 1552, the São Joao was returning to Portugal from India when it ran aground near Port Edward during a storm. Legend has it that some of the survivors actually assimilated with local tribes, the heritage of which is celebrated to this day through festivals, food and commemorative tributes. Visitors to Port Edward can visit the São Joao Monument that was erected to commemorate the lost souls of the vessel,” said Mangcu.

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