Renowned for its warm climate all year round, Durban will blow you out with the amount of adventures you can partake in. From something as simple as taking your family to stroll along the magnificent beaches, to visiting areas such as uShaka Marine & Sea World , the evergreen Durban Botanical Gardens or the sporting fields of Moses Mabhida Stadium, Kings Park Stadium (the home of Cell C Sharks) or Kingsmead Cricket Stadium. If you are a nature lover you can take a short left to Umgeni River Bird Park, Mitchel Park Zoo, Phezulu Safari Park or down to the Valley of the Thousands Hills where you can be treated to cultural events and learn a little bit more about the Zulu culture. No visit to Durban is complete without a visit to the townships of Umlazi or KwaMashu and be treated to the best of Kasi life. Join and have fun with the locals in famous spots such as Eyadini, Maxi’s Lifestyle. Wind down your visit to Durban by spending the night at the Suncoast or Isibaya Casinos.
Also known as the Dolphin Coast, North Coast, KwaZulu-Natal, is renowned for its endless beaches and breathtaking scenery. It is the place where the great Zulu King, Shaka, was buried, and features dozens of sites linked to this warrior and his legacy. Its rich Indian influence also makes for a fascinating voyage of discovery.
Stretching from the beautiful Zimbali in the south to the Thukela River in the north, it is home to beaches, battle sites and heritage routes which comprise the major North Coast attractions, the coastal towns of Ballito, Salt Rock, Umdloti and Zinkwazi offer up endless North Coast activities. It is known as the Dolphin Coast due to the hundreds of bottlenose dolphins that frequent this part of the coast. They can be seen all year round, frolicking in the warm waters just offshore.
Margate, Port Shepstone, Scottburgh, Hibberdene, Uvongo and Ramsgate are some of the towns comprising the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Its beautiful beaches are the main highlight, although golfing and adventure destinations also feature prominently among the popular attractions.
The region is blessed with pristine beaches and regularly boasts Blue Flag status beaches, most often at Margate, Marina/San Lameer, Ramsgate and Trafalgar. Blue Flag beaches are those that have achieved excellence in water quality and environmental education and adhere to international safety standards.
Just off KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast are Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks – two popular deep-sea diving haunts. Both are frequented by large shark populations, with the latter being ranked as one of the top shark diving sites in the world
Walk in the footsteps of the masters, the strategists, the warriors, pay homage to the fallen hero's, the loyalists, bow down to the king makers, the defenders of kingdoms and colonies. Trace the routes of the battlefields of Isandlwana, Colenso, Rorke's Drift, Dundee, Ladysmith, Spioenkop, Income and the Blood River. Learn more about the Kings Shaka, Dingane, Cetshwayo. The Colonels and the Generals Louis Botha, Winston Churchill. Visit all the places, towns, museums and monuments which are part of the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal.
The KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields are a beautiful yet eerie place. Soaked with the blood of thousands of British, Boer (Dutch-speaking farmers) and Zulu soldiers, the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal hold a deep-seated silence that speaks to the many lives lost here.
There are a number of self-drive routes through the historical battlefields in KwaZulu-Natal that take in the battle sites, historical buildings, museums, memorials and graveyards from a bygone era. However, the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields tours, undertaken by knowledgeable guides, are an absolute must. They recount, with chilling realism, the atmosphere of each battle, supported by in-depth information of the military strategies and tactics used.
The Elephant Coast
KwaZulu-Natal's Elephant Coast is an eco-tourism destination in every sense of the word. It's renowned for its wetland and wildlife conservation efforts, both of which are major tourism drawcards.
It offers a host of eco-oriented pursuits, of which Big Five game viewing, hikes and walks, scuba diving, and sea turtle tracking are the most popular.
The Elephant Coast, KwaZulu-Natal houses two of South Africa's greatest natural institutions, the World Heritage Site iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, made famous for its rhino preservation efforts.
iSimangaliso stretches for 220 km from Cape St Lucia to the Mozambique border. It is dominated by Lake St Lucia and the St Lucia estuary with its network of coastal lakes, dunes, subtropical forests, swamps and wetland systems that provide a haven for indigenous flora and fauna, especially bird life.
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range is the highest in South Africa and offers incredible natural beauty and a wealth of recreational activities. Because of its range of plant life and the richest collection of San rock paintings in Africa, it has been declared a World Heritage Site.
The Drakensberg is home to rare birds like the bearded vulture and bald ibis. The spectacular and ancient uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range is Southern Africa's highest range, peaking at 3 475 metres and stretching for more than 1 000km from northeast to southwest across the landscape.
One of the country's premier attractions, the Drakensberg range offers panoramic views from its higher reaches, attracting hikers, mountaineers, abseilers, parasailers and skieers to its game reserves and parks.
The Natal Midlands
The Midlands Meander in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, is a collection of arranged routes that offer visitors hospitality in truly beautiful surroundings, outstanding accommodation, conference and wedding facilities, fascinating local events, fabulous cuisine and restaurants, revitalising outdoor activities and over-the-top adventure sports, historic landmarks, wildlife conservation, and best of all "shop-till-you-drop" unique arts and crafts.
An easy one-hour drive from Durban and four and a half hours on the N3 highway from Johannesburg, there is much to explore and do in the Midlands. For all that is on offer, click on the map icon on the left.
And once you have finished Meandering there is easy access to the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, the Drakensberg, the coast and the game reserves up the Dolphin Coast.
Pietermaritzburg, the capital of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, is renowned as one of the best-preserved Victorian cities in the world.
As Dutch-speaking Voortrekkers (pioneers) moved inland from the Cape, they established Pietermaritzburg in 1838 along the Umsunduzi River. Today it lies midpoint between the coastal city of Durban and the Drakensberg mountain range, along the N3 route linking the coast with Johannesburg.
Family attractions include Butterfly World, a walk-through fairyland enclosure filled with brightly coloured butterflies and birds. There’s also a butterfly craft shop, art gallery and coffee shop.
For the gamblers there’s the large Golden Horse Casino, featuring slot machines, gaming tables and business conference facilities, while the Midlands Mall shopping centre offers more than 160 retail outlets.