KwaZulu Natal

The province of KwaZulu Natal should really not be missed as a destination in itself during your luxury South Africa holiday. It offers a sparkling combination of rugged mountains, a wonderful coastline, wildlife reserves and undiscovered culture. South Africa is regarded as "the world in one country, and KwaZulu Natal alone is a fine example of this. Whether youa are a beach lovers, or would rather like to challenge South Africa's highest mountain peaks: KwaZulu Natal has it all. On this page you will find an overview of KwaZulu NatalĀ“s top attractions.

kwazulu natal south africa

KwaZulu Natal is often overlooked when it comes to planning your luxury South Africa holiday. We recommend to have a closer look at the possibilities this exciting province has to offer. Without having to travel great distances it is possible to experience a whole load of activities. The city of Durban is the center and capital of the province and has the largest seaport in Africa. With a pleasant climate, the temperatures here average about 25 degrees centigrade year-round. Durban has long beaches that are a true paradise for surfers.

North of Durban there is a number of game reserves that offer great diversity, and are not of less quality when compared with Kruger National Park. Due to the province's climate, the land landscape is generally greener and vegetation denser than in Kruger, a welcome change in character when you first visited Addo or Kruger. Also these game reserves offer the full "Big Five" experience, for instance in the Thanda or Phinda private game reserves. These world-class nature reserves offer an enormous variety of landscapes whilst staying in stunning looking lodges where everything is arranged to perfection. It may be obvious that you will be guided by professional rangers who posses intimate knowledge of the area and can tell you everything about when staying in any of these lodges.

In the same area you find the friendly village of St. Lucia, located on the shores of the lake bearing the same name. St. Lucia is located in what now is named the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The park stretches out over a length of about 175 miles along the coast. It is a nature reseved listed on UNESCO's world heritage list, mainly due to the enormous biodiversity that can be found in a relatively small area. The park includes elephants, leopards as well as black and white rhino. Off the coast (also part of the park) are whales, dolphins and different species of turtle to be seen. When staying in St. Lucia you should not miss the boat tour that can be made on the lake: it is pretty much guaranteed that you will see crocodiles and hippos in great numbers.

From Durban it is very easy to travel to the Drakensberg: South Africa's highest mountain range. For some active days during your South Africa holiday you should head here and conquer some of the most beautiful hiking trails you'll ever see.

Our insider top tips in KwaZulu Natal:

Conquer the mountains of the dragon

drakensberg south africa

Also the Drakensberg mountains are listed as UNSESCO World Heritage. The area has spectacular mountains, thundering waterfalls, intense green vegetation, complemented by special (smaller) game species. As might be obvious, the Drakensberg is especially popular with outdoor enthusiasts. You can truly indulge yourself completely when you enjoy walking, cycling or fishing. Get out and walk along steep paths, enjoy the greatest views, and take a plunge in a refreshing rock pool. To fully explore the region we recommend staying a minimum of four nights in the Drakensberg, preferably in two different locations. In the south you can go horse riding and cycling and in the northern part you can make a few challenging walks. For example, climb to the top of the so called "amphitheatre" with a good guide, you will be rewarded once you get to the top. More information about climbing in the Drakensberg, see our South Africa top 10.

Kick of your shoes on deserted beaches

beach kwazulu natal south africa

Adventurous travelers prefer the coast north of Durban for the ultimate beach experience. Beyond St Lucia lies Sodwana Bay and this is where the Maputuland coast starts. Sodwana Bay is known for its fabulous coral reefs, the ideal spot for divers in South Africa. It is best to explain the Maputuland coast as being the perfect golden sandy beach. We immensely enjoyed walking along these beaches, without walking into anyone else. As the area is particularly beautiful this is rather unique: places of this quality usually attract large developments that soon start spoiling the coastline. Fortunately, along the coast of Maputuland only a very limited number of accommodations is available. It looks like this will be the case for the coming years to come as most of the coastal area is protected by law. The available lodges provide a wonderful range of activities so that not only sun worshippers are being entertained on KwaZulu Natal's fantastic beaches.

The Big 5 a little different

safari big 5 kwazulu natal south africa

Don't feel like visiting the sometimes crowded Kruger National Park? Or maybe you feel like doing more safaris than just in Kruger? KwaZulu Natal also has lots to offer when you are a safari enthusiast. In our opinion, the best two private game reserves in KwaZulu Natal are Phinda and Thanda priavate reserves. They are pretty close to each other, roughly a bit north of St. Lucia. Phinda has a long history in terms of conservation and the involvement of local communities in running their reserve and lodges. Phinda Game Reserve has six excellent lodges in differet styles. Our favourite is Phinda Forest Lodge: as the name suggests it is located in an unique sand forest. You will receive the whole safari experience when staying in any of the six lodges: lovely rooms with great facilities, delicious meals and of course world class safari activities. We say the complete "Big Five" (including rare black rhino!) during our stay of just one day. Thanda Private Game Reserve is smaller and had two lodges within its park boundaries. For the more adventurous, we recommend sleeping in one of the classic safari tents: very exciting to hear the sounds of the African bush at night. For the ultimate in luxury accommodation we recommend staying in Thanda Main Lodge, we seldom saw such beautiful rooms.

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Did you know?

zulu war

The KwaZulu Natal Province is home to South Africa's largest population group? Is is estimated that between ten and eleven million Zulus live in the province. King Shaka created a powerful Zulu Kingdom early in the 19th century. In 1879 war broke out between the Zulu and the British, in which the Zulus eventually lost their land. The Zulu Kindom became assimilated in the British province of Natal.

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