The naming of Amanzimtoti is generally attributed to Shaka Zulu. He was passing through the area with his army on one of his campaigns and stopped to rest. He was brought a calabash filled with water from the river. He sipped the water and said: Kanti Amanz'amtoti—"so the water is sweet." Amanzimtoti has sweeping beaches, and many of them are quiet stretches with dunes and rock pools. There are also designated launching areas for ski boats and areas set aside for surfers.

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