Best beaches for wheelchair users in KZN

Best beaches for wheelchair users in KZN

From accessible snorkelling to adaptive surfing, these KwaZulu-Natal beaches are making life easier for wheelchair users. 

Sunset, makes sightseeing on the beach a woman on wheelchair stock photo
Istanbul, Turkey - January 11, 2015: Sunset, makes sightseeing on the beach a woman on a wheelchair
Tourism KZN
Tourism KZN

Summer is just around the corner, which means many people will be heading to KwaZulu-Natal’s much-loved beaches.

But for people with mobility impairments, going to the beach can be an uncomfortable experience – especially if there are no wheelchair-friendly facilities.

Thankfully, nonprofit organisations, lifeguards, beach staff, local businesses, law enforcement, and members of the public have worked together over the years to make KZN’s beaches more accessible to all.

Here’s a look at some of the facilities in the province that are wheelchair friendly.

Amanzimtoti Main Beach

Toti’s main beach has become a popular spot for the disabled and elderly. They have been able to enjoy a dip in the ocean with the help of NPO, Adaptive Surfing KZN, and other officials in the area. Two floatable wheelchairs were introduced to the beach several years ago, making it possible for differently-abled people to access the sea. The initiative has grown immensely since then.

Beachgoers looking for accommodation in the Amanzimtoti area can try The View Boutique Hotel & Spa, Asante Sana Amanzimtoti Guesthouse, and ATKV Natalia.

Foodies looking for a bite to eat after a long day at the beach can head over to 19 Beach Road Restaurant or the Friends & Family Restaurant & Pub.

 uShaka Marine Beach

uShaka Marine Beach is one of KZN’s most visited beaches. Many people with mobility impairments are also fond of the beach because it has access to beach wheelchairs and wheelchair mats. There are also fun activities such as accessible snorkelling on offer.

Addington Beach

Addington Beach hosted the KZN Para Surfing Championships 2021 earlier this year.  More than 30 athletes took part in the championships. The event was organised by NPO, ‘Made for More’.

The beach is a favourite for differently able surfers. Adaptive Surfing KZN has also been hard at work to get more disabled people in the water at Addington Beach. This includes those who are visually and hearing impaired.

The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) has placed beach wheelchairs at several facilities in the province. The chairs have floating armrests and tyres.

“The beach wheelchair allows persons with mobility impairments to easily transport over beach sand down to the water’s edge and in calm conditions, with no shore break, one can float safely on the water,” the association says on its website.

You can find the beach wheelchairs at the following places:

-       Suncoast Beach

-       Southbroom

-       Marine Life Savings Club

-       uShaka Beach

Visit the QASA website for more information.

There are several other beaches in the Durban area with access to beach wheelchairs.

Call ahead of time to find out how you can rent one free of charge.

Main image courtesy of iStock

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