From the soaring peaks of the exquisite Drakensberg Mountains to traditional Zulu villages, historic battle sites of the Boer Wars, the warm Indian Ocean lapping glorious sandy beaches and magnificent game reserves, KwaZulu-Natal - or KZN as it is often simply known, is a tourist’s paradise.
Bustling Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and one of its favourite holiday resorts thanks to a subtropical climate, carnival atmosphere and luxury beachfront hotels. It’s also an amazing sporting hub with lots of watersports and world class stadia for rugby, soccer and cricket.
Ten miles north is Umhlanga, a highly popular upmarket resort. Sun worshippers flock here for the wide, sandy beaches, exclusive hotels, good shopping and wide range of watersports.
The sheer jagged peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains rise to form a natural barrier between South Africa and Lesotho, and are South Africa’s highest mountain range. Hiking is by far the best way to take in the seriously stunning landscape or, you can explore by mountain bike or even on horseback. The mountains form part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, home to a huge diversity of protected plants and animal species as well as around 35,000 examples of San rock art.
KwaZulu-Natal’s most outstanding game reserve is Hluhluwe-iMfolozi and despite its compact size it is one of the best places in the world to see endangered rhino, both black and white. Elephant are also plentiful along with other members of the Big Five.
Another of the province’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Comprising 328,000 hectares of magnificent scenery with an immense variety of habitats, from marine systems, coastal forests and lush coastal plains to drier woodland areas, this is a very special slice of Africa. The wealth of bird and animal life here includes whales, dolphins, sea turtles, Nile crocodiles and incredible waterfowl along with South Africa’s largest hippo population, elephant, rhino, giraffe and buffalo.
Learn about some of South Africa’s most turbulent history with a tour of the 19th century battlefields, when Zulus, Boers and the British all came to blows. Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana are two of the most famous, along with the interesting site of Spioenkop.
Gain cultural insights in Zululand, a beautiful swathe of KwaNulu-Natal with mist-shrouded hills and traditional settlements. Visit Zulu villages to experience Zulu hospitality and learn about the legendary King Shaka.
Another enriching experience is to traverse the Midlands Meander, also known as the ‘arts and crafts route’, running northwest from Pietermaritzburg to Estcourt. Drive among the rolling green hills, enjoy country cuisine, quaint villages and an array of craft shops.
- Dramatic Drakensberg Mountains
- Intriguing historic battlefields
- Traditional Zulu villages
- Sand, sea and surf
- Fantastic game reserves
- Warm year-round weather
- Fabulous hiking opportunities