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South Africa

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KwaZulu-Natal Province

KwaZulu-Natal ProvinceKwaZulu-Natal is probably the most diverse province in South Africa in many respects. From the soaring Drakensberg Mountain Range in the east to the golden beaches of the sub-tropical coastline and everything in between, the ecological diversity is quite astounding. From an economic point of view, the province plays a vital role in the country – Durban, situated in the eThekwini Metropole, is the major port city in the country and most of the exports and imports for Gauteng, South Africa’s major economic engine, enter and exit the country through Durban. Richards Bay in the north is the largest coal exporting terminal in the world and has become a major industrial powerhouse.

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The magnificent beaches, big 5 game reserves, coral reefs, vast wetlands, spectacular mountains, rolling green hills, indigenous forests and protected coastal vegetation, make KwaZulu-Natal a major tourism hotspot.

The coastline is divided into the North Coast and the South Coast (north and south of Durban). The South Coast was the first part of South Africa’s coastline to be developed into a holiday destination. The endless golden beaches, today, are wall-to-wall with resorts, hotels and accommodation of all descriptions and are the main destinations for family holiday makers. The North Coast is more diverse with more opportunities for nature lovers in addition to the beaches.

The South Coast is divided into the Umdoni Coast, closest to Durban and the Hibiscus Coast which ends at the border with the Eastern Cape at Port Edward. Apart from the magnificent beaches and the warm Indian Ocean, there are numerous tourism related attractions, nature reserves, some of the best dive sites in the world on the Aliwal Reef, shark diving, deep-sea fishing and some of the best golf courses in the country.

The North Coast is divided up into the Dolphin Coast, so named for the prolific bottle-nosed dolphins that play in and beyond the surf, and the Elephant Coast in the north with some of the most important conservation areas in the world such as the vast iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the first World Heritage Site in South Africa and the Tembe Elephant Park with the largest free-roaming elephant herds in South Africa.

Zululand extends eastward from the North Coast to the Lebombo Mountains and separates the Dolphin Coast from the Elephant Coast on the coastline. Richards Bay is the commercial and industrial centre of Zululand and the rest of the area is all about nature and the heritage of the great Zulu nation. This is where the famous King Shaka consolidated his power in the 19th century. It also contains the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, the first game reserve to be created in South Africa.

Pietermaritzburg, about 60km inland from Durban, is the gateway to the rolling hills and plains of the Natal Midlands. The renowned Midlands Meander takes you through the most interesting towns and villages and includes art galleries, arts and crafts, farm stalls, antique shops, world class schools such as Michaelhouse, and many other attractions too numerous to mention. The Meander is divided up into 3 distinct routes – route 1, route 2 and route 3.

The Drakensberg Region is all about the spectacular mountains, deep valleys and the beautiful landscapes at the foothills. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site and virtually covers the entire region. There are numerous nature reserves within the Park, each with their own distinct character from marshlands to soaring peaks.

Voortrekker Monument, Battle of Blood RiverThe Battlefields Region, as the name suggests, is a treasure trove of the heritage of the province. This is where Boer fought British, Zulu fought Boer and the British fought the Zulus. The land is littered with grave yards and monuments and the Battlefields Route will take you on a journey through the violent past as South Africa as we know it today was created.

Finally, East Griqualand in the south west of the province is a largely undeveloped area except for the “capital” of the region, Kokstad. The beautiful countryside, sandwiched between the South Coast and the Drakensberg, is mostly untouched and it is this that attracts tourists with the pioneering spirit looking for the tranquility and peace that characterizes the area.


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