Arriving at the little seaside settlement and lagoon-dwelling village of Zinkwazi is a bit like arriving in the middle of The Swiss Family Robinson novel where an idyllic tropical island life ensues. Of course, less of the pirates and bare-back zebra races, and more of the barefoot fancy-free frolicking across magnificent, long stretches of shoreline, collecting coconuts and taking shelter from the sun’s rays beneath a paradise mile of palm trees. Its all-year-round gratifying climate, its abundance of flowing water, its jovial and generous community of laidback locals, its authenticity in its beach bungalow architecture and its resolute sense of freedom that’s tangible in every wave, every smile, every coffee and conversation, Zinkwazi is the crème de la crème of island life. Albeit on mainland.
Settled immediately on the lagoon’s edge, overlooking its clear, calming waters and all the way out towards the beautiful blue of the ocean, Zinkwazi Laguna emerges from the palm trees and banana forest like a natural extension of their roots and plants its multi-storey white contemporary timber frame upon the banks. In keeping with the colour scheme of the nature that abounds, this hideaway is dressed up in a palette of neutral greens, stones and blues with earthy textures of wood, wicker and corals honouring each space with a heartfelt signature of refinement and comfort. Five lavish bedrooms – three of which are en suite–open out to long decks that tier above the rolling lawn and look out to an endless body of glistening water. A dreamy swimming pool flanked with sun-loungers and a seriously impressive outdoor braai set-up are the compulsory appendages to the sultry living, dining, entertaining and reclining spaces, where light occupies each room throughout the hours of the day and settles around the bar, the long dining tables and the summoning sofas. Below the immense deck you’ll find another entire floor… a spacious kid’s dorm, a calm and comfortable TV lounge, with a further kitchen and shower room attached. A blissful calm is on repeat with the holiday playlist as you and your clan unpack a beachside, lagoon bound holiday for the books.
You’ll wake with the sun rising and either saunter down to the lagoon’s edge for a few sun salutations and some morning meditation or climb aboard a SUP and paddle across the still waters with the kingfishers. The vervet monkeys will be shrieking in support of your efforts as they swing from branch to branch, mimicking your movements. Then perhaps a skip along the beach and into the village to the local convenience store where familiar faces gather for a hot morning brew and a jolly chat about the day’s happenings whilst the sleepy cat affectionately greets your ankles. Later, after all of the swimming, a bite at Proud’s Pizza container beside the beach before dipping back into the action of the surf, the kayaks, the lagoon sunset cruises and paddleboarding. Evenings will be spent around the table, with the outdoor braai sizzling up some fresh, buttery crayfish that you sourced from the local guide – who just happens to be an excellent diver too. The moon pokes through the palms and lights up the water’s waves that gently lap against the fringe of the lawn. As the crickets chirp away in the warm evening breeze that gets toastier with the fire pit – all lit up and adding the odd crackle to the continued cackles of laughter. The evening’s tales get told and the traditional family games are played, until it’s time to give in to the call from the heavenly sleeping rooms that beckon you bed. You’ll drift off with the tide after reliving the chapters of your own novel in your mind, of the most magical day in paradise, that’s ready and waiting in the wings to do it all over again, and again, for days to come.
What we love!
- The housekeeping staff are wonderful and have the amazing ability to nurture this hideaway into a home, adding to the experience for you and the whole family.
- Having direct access to the lagoon’s water and a healthy hop over to the ocean, allows forendless hours of daily activities in the surf or paddling around on boards or in boats. The fishing is fantastic on the lagoon, with beautiful sunset cruises where you are welcome to jump aboard with your own fully-stocked cooler boxes and watch the magnificent birdlife dart through the early evening skies.
- Spending evenings on the deck outside, listening to the sounds of the night as the moon lights up the waves.
- Anyone needing to dip into work will be reassured to know that the fibre is reliable, with additional Wi-Fi boosters ensuring great coverage on each floor.
- With its abundance of space and lovely reading spots on loungers, or indoors on comfy sofas and recliners, it’s easy to feel completely at peace in your own little quarter as the others tend to the meal planning, the activities outside around the pool or down at the water. Yet one feels connected to all of the merriment that’s happening too.
What you need to know…
- Zinkwazi Laguna is located no more than 40-minute drive from King Shaka International Airport. It’s a beautifully, scenic drive to the property along winding roads, through banana plantations. Arriving in the little village of Zinkwazi does feel like you are arriving on a secluded island, surrounded by a charming community of lovely locals.
- It’s important that you stock up on all of the essentials before arriving at the hideaway as the only convenience store in the neighbourhood stocks fishing nets that are decent for the little rock pools and candles and milk and butter and other little bits and bobs that won’t feed the army.
- Ballito is just a short drive away for all of your other needs.
- The driveway of the property is incredibly steep – always worth a mention!
- It’s definitely worth a visit to the local convenience store / café where all the locals gather in the morning. As well as sampling some of Proud’s pizza at the beach carpark.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie