Nowhere else in the world will you find such a unique fusion of raw natural beauty, modern sophistication, cultural diversity, and pulsating energy – all in the most breathtaking natural setting of KwaZulu Natal.
Throw in the wildlife – the Big Five and rare marine species – the historic intrigue of the Battlefields, fabulous hiking opportunities, and the sand, sea and surf of coastal resort towns, and you get a tantalizing taste of local heritage and authentic African highlights that should be on every ‘must-do’ list.
The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range stretches the entire length of KwaZulu Natal’s western boundary and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. An area known for hiking trails, bird watching, game viewing, horse trails, and some of South Africa’s oldest rock art. There are 4×4 trails, quad bikes to be hired, horse riding, and even trout fishing and white water rafting on the Tugela River. Remember to gaze up at the Royal Natal National Park, Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle, and Monk’s Cowl.
The foothills are scattered with boutique hotels, lodges, farm stalls, craft brewers, cheese makers, weavers, and artists. This is where Ardmore Ceramics came to life, a proudly South African export. The imposing peaks blend into gentle rolling hills and there is a charmed and relaxed pace of life here.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park comprises eight interdependent ecosystems and an overwhelming diversity of flora and fauna. The park, formerly known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, is a prime destination for those looking for a combination of marine splendour and pristine beaches. Former South African president Nelson Mandela referred to the St Lucia Wetlands in a speech marking the historic 2002 reintroduction of elephants to its eastern shores, saying: ‘The wetland park must be the only place on the globe where the world’s oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest land mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale).’
Don’t leave the province without time in Durban. Hot in climate, character and local curry, this east coast city in KwaZulu Natal lays itself bare with a relaxed and uncomplicated confidence. Walk the Golden Mile beachfront, which runs from north to south beach. The water is warm and you could walk one-way feet in the sand, the other along the promenade, to get a different feel of the place, all the while salt catching your skin.