KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Wander the beachfront Golden Mile in the cosmopolitan capital of Durban, hike across dramatic peaks or spot the big seven (yes, you read that right) on safari – South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province sets the scene for great adventures.

diverse South African province offers days that differ
drastically from one to the next. Located on the country’s east
coast, the region is centred around Durban, the capital of KZN.
With its distinct Asian atmosphere (the city has the largest Indian
concentration of people outside of India) and cosmopolitan feel,
Durban is a prime spot to settle in to KZN life. Amble along the
promenade drinking and dining at any of the waterfront venues, and
hop your way along beaches lining the Golden Mile.

Yet it’s the wildlife that is among KZN’s biggest selling
points. Head out to one of the region’s
parks to immerse yourself in the African landscape.
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and Tembe Elephant Park offer some of the
best safari experiences, but those interested in seeing more than
the big five should opt for uMkhuze Game Reserve, where more than
400 species of birds perch on treetops and flock through the

Have a taste for adventure? Trek out to The Drakensberg (meaning
Mountains of Dragons). As well as providing a staggering backdrop
to the province, the area is home to dramatic peaks, cascading
waterfalls and views across KZN’s reserves. Hike up cliff faces to
stumble upon national parks tucked between mountains – the Royal
Natal National Park and Giant’s Castle are our favourites.

Don’t miss…

… KZN’s “big seven”. While most visit safaris to catch a glimpse
of elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and buffalos, this South
African hotspot also offers the opportunity to spot the southern
right whale and the great white shark. Those who can’t get enough
of nature should head to the Unesco World Heritage Site of
iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Here, choose between Kosi Bay for
coastal lakes and estuaries filled with colourful fish (as well as
hippos, Zambezi sharks, flamingos and even a few crocodiles), and
Sodwana Bay for coastal treks keeping a look out for dolphins and
turtles en route.

Who to take with you

Someone keen to work up a sweat, but also happy to kick back
with a cocktail on the beach. Stroll along Durban’s Golden Mile for
5km of sandy beaches with plenty of surfing, paddling, water sports
and sunbathing opportunities.

When to go

The homeland of the Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal is best visited in
when the Reed Dance and King Shaka Day, two of the main Zulu
festivals, take place. Spend time learning about the Zulu’s ancient
culture and history – visit traditional villages and find out about
the challenges facing the tribe today.

Where to stay

Teremok Marine is a boutique
lodge sitting pretty among the palm and giant milkwood trees of
KwaZulu-Natal. Come for suites with balconies overlooking the
rugged landscape and a tranquil spa.

Most likely to bump into…

Archaeologists and explorers getting lost in the Drakensberg. It
was home to the San people for centuries, and evidence of their
lives can be seen through ancient rock art dotted throughout the
cliffs. Stop by Game Pass Shelter and Battle Cave to ogle at
depictions of humans, animals and mythical scenes.

Essentials to bring with you

These stretch shorts and Topanga stretch sports bra from
Girlfriend Collective are perfect for hiking up mountains and
trekking through national parks.

How to get there

You can fly direct from London
into Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, only a half-hour
drive from the city centre.

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