Wet, wild and wonderful

Put KwaZulu-Natal on top of your holiday bucket list

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KwaZulu-Natal

It would take a lifetime to experience all the pleasures that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. With so much to experience, how can the time-poor traveller make a choice? We offer a selection of some of the garden province’s most popular and accessible experiences as well as some of the lesser known.

Secrets of Durban

Some of the KwaZulu-Natal’s commercial centre’s best kept secrets are unknown even to the locals:

Codemore Castle

Durban’s own Codemore Castle is a gracious old stone homestead nestled in the heart of the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, which has a range of mountain bike trails, hiking trails, excellent birding and regular guided walks. To tour the castle, bookings are essential.

Inanda Mountain

Thirty minutes’ drive from Durban Central, the sheer cliffs of Inanda Mountain drop straight down to the shores of Inanda Dam. For staggering views and incredible bird-watching, Inanda Mountain is a must. Look the birds of prey in the eye as they spiral up on the thermals off the cliff face.

Mzinyathi Falls

Less than a 20 minute drive from Gateway, the Mzinyathi Falls is an impressive spectacle, as the Mzinyathi river hurtles down a beautiful sandstone amphitheater and plunges over 100m into the Mzinyathi gorge. Towering cliffs and thick forests make for a fairytale ambiance as well as a popular rock climbing spot. Guided hikes can be arranged through the Durban Green Corridor.

Down South

The South Coast is far from sleepy, which is why these spots are so popular with South Africans:

Oribi Gorge

21km inland from Port Shepstone, the lush Oribi Gorge offers all the thrills of adventure and the great outdoors. Cliffs, forests, spectacular hiking trails, picnic sights and fantastic photo opportunities plus the world’s highest bungee swing and highest commercial abseil. For the ride of your life, shoot across the gorge at the speed of adrenalin on the Wild Slide zip line.

Shelley Beach

Just outside Port Shepstone, Shelley Beach is a popular place to go for a dip, as well as the South Coast’s ski boat, fishing and diving centre. The Protea Banks offer excellent scuba diving, including shark sightings so famous that most commercial dive tours start out from Shelley Beach.

Uvongo

Named after the Ivungu River, this tranquil haven offers a serene lagoon complete with 23-metre high waterfall and a beach protected by a rock escarpment. Uvongo is perfect for sunbathing and swimming the whole day through, while the Uvongo River Nature Reserve’s many circular trail walks are a source of delight to birding enthusiasts, fitness fanatics, and nature lovers alike.

Up North

Sunkissed beaches, traditional culture and unparalleled nature are what the KZN’s North Coast is all about:

Ballito

One of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations, Ballito offers superb swimming and surfing at Willard and Boulder beaches. The well developed beach front boasts two new shopping malls and many shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, while bottlenose dolphins enliven the view

Empangeni

An agricultural region in the hills 160 kilometres north of Durban, Empangeni, with its views across the coastal plains and Richard’s Bay, is a cornucopia of arts and crafts. The Empangeni Arts and Crafts Centre showcases local community products, while the Empangeni Art and Cultural Museum on Turnbull Street documents the lives of the first sugar farmers and houses a magnificent display of traditional Zulu art.

St Lucia

Spread out on the fringes of the estuary of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), monkey-haunted St Lucia is an excellent base to explore the magical wild wetlands, with its phenomenal birding, game-viewing region, and warm-water beaches. Leisure activities include boat trips or kayaking with hippo and crocodile, game drives and hiking safaris, as well as cycling, fishing, scuba diving, and whale watching. Of course there is no shortage of curio shops and restaurants.

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