KwaZulu-Natal is also known as the Zulu Kingdom - Golden sandy beaches, mountains, safaris and history and cultural experiences await you.
KwaZulu-Natal : Tourist Attractions and Accommodation
KwaZulu Natal tourist attractions have become popular as a result of much advertising over recent years and featured as the Zulu Kingdom. It is regrettable that many from abroad miss the KwaZulu Natal tourist attractions, as the province has the most to offer visitors in a variety of experiences. KwaZulu - the place of the Zulu in the north and Natal in the south, named by Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer of the 15th Century when he passed the shores of this coast on Christmas day en-route to India.This beautiful Indian Ocean coastline of some 370 km, has a hot, humid tropical climate.
To the West is the spectacular Drakensberg Mountain Range forming the border with the Kingdom Of Lesotho, a splendid backdrop to the Drakensberg Resorts and Hotels. The green Midlands region is a peaceful haven for outdoor activities such as hiking, horse riding, watersports and trout fishing.For many years KwaZulu Natal has been known as the Garden Province for good reasons which you will discover when you take your holiday or vacation to KwaZulu Natal. KwaZulu Natal accommodation is of an excellent standard in any form, catering for South Africa's family holidays, Beach holidays, Adventure and Safari in the KwaZulu Natal Game Reserves. Durban is the biggest city and second largest in the country, a holiday playground of South Africa. KwaZulu Natal has golden sandy beaches of world standard with high standard accommodation. The coastline north and south of Durban also boasts beautiful beaches and forests. If you can tear yourself away from the warm water, visit Battlefields historical sites or a Zulu cultural village.
Dolphins- uShaka Marineworld, Durban
Deep Sea Diving, KZN Coast
Zulu Cultural Village
Overview of KwaZulu-Natal
When leaving Durban on the N3 dual carriageway, it should take just under an hour to reach Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the province. Taking the Old road is an interesting but slow scenic route, which takes in small towns such as Gillits, Hillcrest and Assagay, which offer beautiful scenery and places of interest such as the Valley of a thousand Hills and the Zulu cultural village.
Pietermaritzburg is the provincial capital, a city with a Victorian flavour, which is worth spending some time at. The architecture has been well preserved and there are places of historical significance relating to the Zulu wars, the arrest of Mahatma Ghandi and more.
The topography rapidly rises up inland to the spectacular Drakensberg mountain range within three hours drive from the coast to cooler temperatures. The forests and hills leading to the Drakensberg mountains are breathtaking.
In the north of the province in historic Zululand there are mountains, the KwaZulu game reserves and the unique sand forests and lakes of Maputaland on the Elephant coast, which is a unique remote African experience not to be missed.
The Natal Midlands
The Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, is situated between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberg mountain range. Again the alternate route to the N3 dual carriageway will yield pleasant surprises. The midlands region is a feast for the eyes, with more places and activities to take in than would be possible in a short stay. There are several small towns located in the Midlands, including: Howick, Hilton, Karkloof Balgowan, Nottingham Road and Mooiriver that offer numerous bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels such as the quaint Granny Mouse's Country House and a wide choice of KwaZulu accommodation, on the Midlands Meander, which has become a popular tourist route for those who want to unwind from a busy life and be restored by the tranquil countryside and hospitality. The Midlands Meander is a tourism route with many tourist attractions that include, art and crafts and restaurant stops. The Kz Natal midlands main industry is farming and forestry. The countryside has green rolling hills, misty valleys and offers trout fishing,equestrian sports and other outdoor pursuits, such as the Karkloof Canopy Tours. The Midmar and Albert Falls dams have sailing and powerboating events and good angling for enthusiasts.
KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Countryside
Karkloof Canopy Tours (S.A. Tourism)
Equestrian Sports and Riding
The Drakensberg Mountains
The Drakensberg region is divided into three areas known as the Northern, Central and Southern Drakensberg, known to locals as the Berg. The area offers excellent hiking, climbing and birding opportunities. The weather can change rapidly, so caution needs to be taken. The area abounds in flora, birdlife and caves with the original San inhabitant's rock art.There is accommodation to suite your budget from self catering, bed and breakfast to luxury hotels.
Bushmen/ San Art Rock Paintings
Alpine Heath Resort
The Beaches of the South and North Coasts
The epitome of organised beach frivolity is found on the KZN South and North Coasts, where holiday developments stretch out almost continuously along the beach, and the water is warm. Durban’s beaches are a cultural experience where you will find a truly representative cross-section of South Africa's population – from nubile bikini-clad teenagers and bronzed surfers strutting their stuff to elegant sari-clad matrons herding their brood sand beaded sangomas collecting sea water for medicinal use. Even outdoor baptisms are not uncommon.
The beaches of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park are, on the other hand, mostly much quieter. Here you can walk for miles, seeing only the odd fisherman, go snorkeling or just find a place to chill in the sun.
For those of us with an interest in history, the Battlefields region will transport you back to times of the British Empire. KwaZulu Natal is a beautiful territory which was much fought over among the Nguni clans which saw the forging of the Zulu nation by King Shaka Zulu.
Then followed the clash between Boer pioneers and the Zulu, culminating in the battle of Blood River. Guided tours offer you the opportunity to stand on the very spot where history was made and hear of how decisions (good and bad) were taken; hear of heroism and heartache, of victory and defeat and of death and destruction.
Blood River Monument
Battle of Spioenkop (Wikimedia Commons)
Zululand and The Elephant Coast
Zulu land is the heart of Zulu culture and where the Zulu nation and empire was born. It is here that Africa's game reserves were first proclaimed and in recent decades the Hluhluwe-Umfolosi game reserve was at the fore-front in saving White Rhino's from extinction.
The reserves have increased in number and quality in recent years with increased community participation which ensures the proceeds of tourism is used to benefit tribal communities. An example is the Tembe Elephant Reserve, the home of Africa's biggest Elephants. The area is a bird-watchingparadise.
The countryside in Zululand includes wetlands, majestic sand forest - one of the most threatened vegetation types in South Africa, rain forest to savanna, with undulating hills rich in culture and history. Here the visitor is able to participate and be immersed in Zulu culture experience.
The Elephant Coast.
The Elephant Coast offers many of the splendors South Africa has to offer. Included in The Elephant Coast is the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park world Heritage Site, The iMfolozi Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Duma Zulu Cultural Village, Pongola Reserve, Jozini Dam and many Cultural Experiences in between. The Elephant Coast is a one stop KwaZulu Natal Tourist attraction.This is a large chunk of sub-tropical paradise stretching 220km along the East Coast from St Lucia to the Mozambique border.There are a mind-blowing range of natural systems on the Elephant Coast, ranging from dune, swamp and coastal forests to rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine canyons, mangroves, savanna grassland, thickets, woodlands, and the largest protected wetland in Southern Africa.