KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is a world within a province. There are mountains and farmlands, bushveld, beaches, plenty of sugar, spice and it even boasts its own monarchy.
When it comes to the weather, KZN, as the province is affectionately known, is hard to beat. It boasts a moderate coastal climate, with sizzling summers and warm winters. There is quite a bit of humidity in the air and a fair amount of light rainfall to be expected but the terrain is always green and well-nourished, making it incredibly easy on the eye.
Holidaymakers from across the country flock to South Africa’s Garden province in their droves during the summer peak season. You’ll be hard-pressed to find beachside accommodation if you leave it to the last minute. KwaZulu-Natal is still a popular destination during the winter months, with the glorious sight of aloes blooming along the southern coastline marking the seasons. The showing also signals the imminent annual Sardine Run, when pockets of these tasty little fish make their exciting arrival along the KwaZulu-Natal shoreline.
Aside from great beaches and almost perfect weather, the province brims with the most incredible battlefield sites further inland. The province remains the stronghold of the isiZulu kingdom and there is plenty to learn about their legendary battles against the British Empire. The fighting didn’t end there, however, and the historic graveyards located close to the Drakensberg Mountains, prove that there were plenty more skirmishes between the Zulu warriors and the Afrikaaners, too.
With the battle days over, KwaZulu-Natal is arguably one of the most friendly provinces in the country. If you’re passing through the port city of Durban and are short on time, stay close to Umhlanga and Ballito. Enjoy the nightlife and popular restaurants and you’ll soon be rubbing shoulders with the locals. Whatever you do, make sure you come hand-to-mouth with a famous Durban curry. The spicy cuisine has become part of KZN’s mainstream culture, thanks to the influx of Indian labourers brought to the province to work the sugar cane fields along the North Coast in the early 1900s.
At 92100km2, KwaZulu-Natal packs a real punch. It caters to local holidaymakers and international visitors looking for an authentic South African experience.
Once you arrive in the main metropolitan hub of Durban, it’s tough deciding where to explore first. Venture up into the lush and leafy Midlands, or head out to explore the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, keeping an eye on the horizon for those friendly dolphins. The KZN South Coast is especially good. Fondly known as the Hibiscus Coast, it runs from Hibberdene to Port Edward. Expect nothing but great beaches there such as; Pumula, Banana Beach, Umtentweni, Margate, Uvongo and St. Michaels. If you’re not done living on the edge (especially after surviving the bite of a Durban Bunny Chow), be sure to stop in Umkomaas to try a spot of shark diving at the world-famous Aliwal Shoal.
What to do in KwaZulu-Natal
If one thing is for sure, you will never feel bored in KwaZulu-Natal. The diverse topography was designed for adventure. From hardcore thrill-seekers to those who only occasionally like to step out of their comfort zone, there is something for everyone and plenty of opportunities to try something new.
Where to stay in KwaZulu-Natal
Where to eat in KwaZulu-Natal