Zulu, English, Afrikaans, Xhosa
KwaZulu Natal is located on the east coast of South Africa and it is well know for its natural beauty and tropical waters. This is an ideal place for a beach vacation, as the beaches in northern Natal are magical and unexploited and the diving is excellent.
The province also contains unspoiled wildlife sanctuaries, dramatic landscapes, game reserves, impressive mountain peaks and important historical sites, including the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
Beaches in KZN are some of the best in the country, combining stretches of unspoiled sand and the warm water of the Indian Ocean. Ramsgate (just under 4 ks from Margate main beach) has a calm lagoon, making it a great swimming beach, and is popular with families. There is always a lifeguard here, and there are pedal boats to take out on the water.
Another great beach is Marina, a 5 kilometer stretch of soft sand and gentle water. There is a great tidal pool here which is perfect for little ones to splash around in, and rock pools for exploring. Marina also has shark nets, so swimming is always safe, as is snorkelling. Enjoy great seafood at one of the many beachfront restaurants. Marina also lies just south of Margate, a top holiday destination and an hour and a half drive from Durban.
The most unspoiled beaches on the coast belong to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, consisting of vast areas of pristine sand, warm water and unbeatable activities that include turtle tracking. Staying here is worth the seclusion and relative remoteness, to enjoy this beautiful wildlife sanctuary. iSimangaliso is situated around 3 hours north of Durban, just south of the Mozambique border.
Durban itself is also home to several popular beaches, including South and North beach as well as Bay of Plenty. Highly popular with holiday makers, this stretch of coastline is also home to the famous uShaka Marine World. Durban's beaches are certainly more crowded than those in outlying areas, but there are shark nets, beacons and lifeguards to ensure safe swimming.
If you want to escape the business of Durban, drive a few minutes north to Umhlanga Rocks, a haven of clean beaches and lush vegetation.
Isimangaliso Wetland Park
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park (incorporating the greater St Lucia area) comprises of 280km of pristine coast, beautiful scenery, coral reefs, coastal forest and woodland area. This is an incredible wildlife sanctuary, featuring marine mammals from Leatherback turtles, humpback whales and dolphins to a myriad of colourful reef fish. Land animals include elephant, giraffe, hippo, rhino, crocodile, zebra, buffalo and many more.
Activities in this area include land and boat safaris, kayaking, fishing, turtle tracking, hiking, scuba diving, snorkelling, bird watching and plenty of incredible photographic opportunities.
Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift
These fascinating sites of the violent clashes of the Anglo-Zulu War that occurred during the 1800s are truly worth a tour. The battlefields boast some of the best guides, and touring here brings the landscape's history to life. This is an essential when staying in the area.
The Drakensberg, derived from the Afrikaans term meaning Dragon Mountains , is an awe-inspiring mountain range reaching jagged heights of 3000 meters. The 2ookm-long range is also known as uKhahlamba, meaning Barrier of Spears.
Activities in the Drakensberg area include hiking, bird watching, game drives, horse trails, guided tours, quad biking, rock climbing and fishing. This dramatic landscape is well worth a visit.
Just a one hour drive from Durban lies the beautiful Midlands area, a mecca for artists and craftsmen. The famous Midlands Meander, an arrangement of routes through the lush forested and farm-sprinkled region, consists of art galleries, furniture stores, weavers, potteries, bead makers and a great selection of cafés and restaurants.
In addition to the craft stores, there are plenty of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, golf, bird watching, safaris and more. This is also a great option for families, with a selection of activities kids will love, including bike riding, small farms with animals for petting, crafts courses, pony trails, kite flying, zip lining and picnic spots.
When to Visit
April to October is the best time to enjoy KZN, with far fewer crowds and pleasant air and sea temperatures.
Summer in the region brings extremely high temperatures, and some zulu land facilities close due to the soaring heat.