This coast presents a diverse array of "spectacular" landscapes, ranging from dune-backed windswept beaches to palm-crowned rocky shoreline. Unfortunately, "very high levels of crime everywhere" discourage visitors from leaving all-inclusive resorts to explore all that the region has to offer.
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"High environmental and ecological quality. It is diverse with major differences between north and south—high coastal dunes in the north and a series of rocky coasts and embayed beaches in the south. It has a high aesthetic appeal. Tourism development is advanced in the south but limited in the more rural north. Everywhere threatened by very high levels of crime."
"In iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site, it is extremely annoying that people are allowed to drive on the beach. This spoils the experience."
"Natural environment is in relatively good shape, partly explained by the low level of tourism usage in some areas. Demand is being affected both by actual crime and potential tourists' perceptions of it."
"Still large tracts of stunning coastline, including iSimangaliso. Excellent coral reefs and beautiful dunes. Turtles, whale sharks, dolphins. There are some problems with erosion due to poor coastal development."
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.