From sea to sky, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) shines like no other South African province – its 600km-long, beach-lined coast is an unparalleled playground for visitors and locals alike…
KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa absolutely teeming with exciting and diverse attractions. Located in the south east of the country, it borders three other countries – Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg, and the largest city is Durban. KwaZulu-Natal has a long, beautiful shoreline of outstanding beaches on the Indian Ocean, as well as game reserves, historic battlefields, dramatic mountain ranges, and ecologically important wetlands.
The following is a list of great places to see in KwaZulu-Natal while on your South Africa vacation.
Durban is South Africa’s third-largest city and a semi-tropical urban metropolis. Durban’s downtown area is a mix of grandiose colonial buildings and Art Deco architecture. It is a very important tourist centre because of its warm, subtropical climate and excellent sandy beaches.
A team of nature-loving South Africans in partnership with Google Street View have released a large collection of 360-degree imagery of the country’s wildest areas.
The announcement of 170 new trails in South Africa’s national parks and reserves follows on from The Mzansi Experience launched in March 2016, which showcased prominent tourist attractions such as Kruger National Park, Table Mountain and Cape Point, among others.
The new trails, launched this weekend, extend the existing Street View imagery of South Africa’s wilderness areas to include all 19 national parks, 17 previously ‘un-trekked’ nature reserves and many sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in all nine provinces of South Africa.
More than 200 South African volunteers from across the country were involved in the 12-month project, mapping out the parts of South Africa that they call home. Many were SANParks, CapeNature and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife rangers and guides.
Few countries offer the sheer diversity of South Africa. Plot your way around wildlife-packed savannah, windswept peaks, breathtaking coast and hip cities with our handy guide…
Some bias should be admitted first. I grew up, and live, in South Africa. I also wrote the first international guidebook to the country in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s release, and I’ve since dedicated something like three years to exploring its highways and backroads. Yet, far from harbouring a been-there-done-that feeling about South Africa, it remains my favourite travel destination.
Primarily, this is due to the breadth and depth of its natural attractions. When it comes to biodiversity, ecologists have ranked South Africa among the world’s three most significant countries.
Sharks, safari and stunning scenery – the magnificent KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa; Simon Coyle; Manchester Evening News
Simon Coyle enjoys an action-packed week in the beautiful South African coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Looking out the cage into the deep blue sea a shark emerges from the murky depths.
The creature’s grey skin shimmers in the water with its beady white eyes seemingly fixated on me.
It gets closer and within seconds I am face-to-face with the two metre long predator.
More swim towards me and before I know it a dozen others are now circling the cage.
While my heart is racing, the initial terror soon gives way to awe as the black tip sharks majestically glide around me.
A terrifying, but absolutely exhilarating half-an-hour, it is one of the many reasons why South Africa is just simply breathaking.
In 1972 the United National Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted its Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage leading to its famous list of world heritage sites, an inventory of sites considered of outstanding universal value.
More than 1,000 sites are now included on this prestigious list. Italy has the most sites listed, with 53 entries, France is in fourth place with 43 sites, but some countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Rwanda and Liberia, have none.
The World Heritage Fund, which manages these sites, has an annual budget of US$2.5 million, a very modest budget compared to UNESCO’s total annual budget of US$333 million, but the symbolic value of this world heritage list is very high.
As Mechtild Rössler, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre explains, “developing countries often lack the institutions needed to support this process.
The oldest visible meteor crater on earth. The island prison that held Nelson Mandela. The remains of an ancient African city state. Evidence of the earliest humans, and the richest and most beautiful collection of cave paintings south of the Sahara. South Africa is home to eight Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, has identified these eight sites to be of “outstanding value to humanity”.
Four of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites are classified as cultural, three as natural, and one as a mixed cultural and natural site.
The three natural heritage sites are:
- iSimangaliso Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
- Cape Floral Region
- Vredefort Dome
The four cultural sites are:
- Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
- Robben Island
- Cradle of Humankind
- Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape