KwaZulu Natal Travel Guide

Description

The province of KwaZulu-Natal is a strong argument both for and against political correctness. The northern part of the province has traditionally been called Zululand or - in Zulu - KwaZulu, and the rest of the province was called Natal in the colonial era.

After 1910 Zululand was simply incorporated into Natal. Then, during the apartheid era, parts of Natal were portioned off as the nominally independent homeland of KwaZulu. So - in 1994, when the homelands were done away with, the whole province reverted to the composite name of KwaZulu-Natal.

Now either of those names is pretty easy to handle on its own, but KwaZulu-Natal is a bit of a mouthful - and try typing it!!! That's why we're going to use the acronym KZN from now on.

There is so much to do in this immense - and immensely diverse - province. The coast is a sub-tropical paradise with lovely long beaches, warm water, tangled green vegetation, awesome surfing and great diving. The major coastal holiday areas - especially for families - are the North Coast and South Coast. The South Coast is the most northerly extent of the annual Sardine Run and, further north, the beaches of Maputaland are home to nesting turtles that can be seen on guided night walks.

There are dozens of world class golf courses mainly, but not exclusively, along the coast. There are horse trails through the bush and the battlefields, in the mountains, along the beaches and skirting the wetlands, as well as a whole host of other adventure activities. KZN is renowned as a game viewing destination and the birding is fantastic. You can choose between staying in a luxury lodge on a private game reserve or chilling out in one of the KZN Wildlife parks. Perhaps even do a wilderness walking safari - you get to walk through the wildest parts of the reserve, trying to avoid lions and such-like while hoping for a good (but safe) sighting of rhinos, elephants and other game.

The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, near the small town of Hluhluwe, has the highest concentration of rhinos in Africa. If you're reading this and planning a raid to stock up some far eastern pharmacies and boost your bank balance - think again. How do you think the population got to that size? Game guards are armed and seriously protective of the precious wildlife in their care.

There is a range of cultural attractions. As well as the many Zulu cultural villages, contemporary tours and historical battlefields, KZN is also home to the largest Indian population outside of India - a fact which has left its mark on the landscape, the food and the culture of this vibrant province. Great curry restaurants, markets selling spices and other exotic goods, and ornate temples and mosques all attest to the influence these dynamic people have had on the development of city of Durban, but also further afield in the province.

The Midlands, situated roughly between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is characterised by rolling green hills, flowers, pockets of forest and characterful small villages. It's a joy to explore with its many restaurants, coffee shops, pretty guest houses, innovative craft outlets, micro breweries, cheese factories, trout farms and other bucolic pleasures.

The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg is a vast wilderness mountain area that divides the lush, low-lying eastern coastal plain from the harsher and higher-lying interior. The Berg, as it is fondly known, is a hiker's paradise and a great pony trekking destination. Other attractions include small game, birding, flowers, fabulous scenery, fly fishing, golf and fantastic rock art. The fact that the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg is one of South Africa's world heritage sites should give you an idea of the ecological and recreational value of this enormous mountain range. Another equally impressive world heritage site, also in KZN, is the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, which conserves a spectacularly wide range of biomes, including wetlands, dunes, swamp and coastal forests, rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine canyons.

Note: If you are planning to travel to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal please be aware that this region is malarial. Consult your doctor or travel clinic for advice and refer to our article on malaria.

In and Around

Nearby Locations
Nearest Airport
Featured Destinations
Restaurants
Beaches
Gallery and Museums
 

Accommodation near KwaZulu-Natal

*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

St Lucia Kingfisher Lodge
Special
Deal
from R840
1 night, 2 adults

St Lucia Kingfisher Lodge

Sleeps 14 St Lucia Guest House in St Lucia

St Lucia Kingfisher Lodge is a grand old Colonial homestead offering luxury bed and breakfast accomm...

from R550
1 night, 2 adults

Waterwoods

Sleeps 32 Nottingham Road Self-catering in Nottingham Road

Waterwoods has eight cottages and is situated on a farm just outside of Nottingham Road. They offer ...

from R1,200
1 night, 2 adults

Beau Vista No 4

Sleeps 6 Manaba Beach Self-catering in Manaba Beach

Beau Vista No. 4 is a magnificent beachfront apartment situated on the sought-after Manaba Beach, on...

from R510
1 night, 2 adults

Coral Cove 23

Sleeps 6 Doonside Self-catering in Doonside

Coral Cove 23 is a holiday flat located in the CoralCove block of flats on beach road. The flat is s...

from R1,610
1 night, 2 adults

Hawklee Country House

Sleeps 14 Nottingham Road Country House in Nottingham Road

Set in the Midlands Meander, Hawklee Country House offers six en-suite double rooms, each with jacuz...

from R1,440
1 night, 2 adults

Kidd's Beach Holiday Home

Sleeps 6 Leisure Bay Self-catering in Leisure Bay

Situated in Leisure Bay, on the lower south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, you'll find Kidd's Beach Holiday...

from R1,200
1 night, 2 adults

DolphinView Beach House

Sleeps 8 Pennington Self-catering in Pennington

DolphinView Beach House is a stylish, well-maintained self-catering holiday home, centrally situated...

from R980
1 night, 2 adults

Bentley Estate 43

Sleeps 5 Ballito Self-catering in Ballito

Just a a short 600m walk from the beach, the Bentley Estate 43 is the ideal destination for your hol...

from R550
1 night, 2 adults

Vulindlela Rooms

Sleeps 4 Ladysmith (KwaZulu-Natal) Bed and Breakfast in Ladysmith (KwaZulu-Natal)

Vulindlela Rooms is situated on the outskirts of Ladysmith. The establishment offers two comfortabl...

from R600
1 night, 2 adults

Wyford Farm

Sleeps 28 Van Reenens Pass Self-catering in Van Reenens Pass

Wyford Farm is situated in a pretty, mountainous area off Van Reenen Pass along the N3. It has a ri...