The little village of Palm Beach, named after the Ilala Palm (hyphaene critina), a species indigenous to sub-tropical Southern Africa and used by rural communities for centuries - the leaves for woven rooftops, baskets and mats and the sap for liquor - lies on the extreme southern coast of KwaZulu Natal, about 12 kilometres north of Port Edward.
Palm Beach not only has one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast with its own natural tidal pool and estuary that offers some wonderful swimming and windsurfing opportunities and attracts local fishermen, but it also borders the Mpenjati Nature reserve, which means an incredible diversity of bird life is attracted to the area and little development has been allowed to spoil the neighbourhood.
The Mpenjati Nature Reserve surrounds the Mpenjati River lagoon and extends some 500 metres out to sea in order to protect the unique fossil found in the area. You’re only 18 kilometres from popular Margate here, particularly main beach, which is a huge draw card to the area; and the Wild Coast and popular casino are just across the Mtamvuna River from Palm Beach.
Add to that the local arts and crafts flea market on the lawn near the beach every Saturday and the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, just a few kilometres inland from Port Edward, where a colony of Cape vultures nests in amidst the high cliffs that run the length of the river.