KwaZulu-Natal Holidays: an Overview

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is one of South Africa's largest provinces but is often overlooked by visitors who tend to enjoy a safari, go to Cape Town and the Winelands and then perhaps along the Garden Route.

Well, we at Original Travel think KwaZulu-Natal is well worth a look. There's Anglo-Zulu War heritage to discover, the dramatic Drakensberg Mountain range for superb trekking, excellent game reserves and some of the Rainbow Nation's finest coastline.

Elsewhere, between the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the waterways of the Greater Saint Lucia Wetland Park renamed iSimangaliso Wetland Park in 2007 (a World Heritage Site), Phinda Game Reserve's 17,000 hectares span seven unique ecosystems and host an unrivalled diversity of wildlife including the 'big five', almost 400 species of bird and superb marine wildlife such as dolphins and turtles - perfect for a luxury safari.

KwaZulu-Natal holiday activities range from game drives to diving, and it's possible to spot a lion in the morning and a whale shark in the afternoon.

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Surfing in Durban
If You Do Three Things
Enjoy the Warm Durban Waters

Unlike the freezing Atlantic waters around the Western Cape, the coastline of KwaZulu-Natal meets the Indian Ocean, meaning the sea is beautifully warm here year round. The coastal city of Durban boasts long stretches of beach where you can take advantage of these balmy waters. This coastline is especially well known for surfing so if you're feeling active, hire a board (no need for wetsuits) and give it a go.

Zebras in KwaZulu-Natal
If You Do Three Things
Safari in Vast Private Conservancies

Enjoy a safari in one of the vast private conservancies in KwaZulu-Natal, such as Thanda or Phinda Game Reserves which, due to their coastal rainfall patterns, are blessed with lush environments. Some conservancies are even home to distinct ecosystems, resulting in a fascinating variety of landscapes and vegetation, which support a huge assortment of wildlife and bird life.

African pygmy kingfisher
If You Do Three Things
Spend Time in the Wetland Area

Spend a few nights staying in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly known as the Greater Saint Lucia Wetland Park), South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site. Over 520 species of birds either live or pass through these wetlands each year, making them a bird-watcher's paradise. Humpback whales also pass along this coastline on their migration route so, if you time it right, you may be lucky enough to spot them.

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Map of KwaZulu-Natal

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A Note on Price

South Africa’s USP is the sheer variety of experiences it offers (from food and drink to diving to safari), which makes it tricky to provide guide prices. A luxury holiday combining Cape Town and the Winelands could cost around £2,000 per person, while upgrading to the best hotels and including a top end safari could add a few thousand to the bill.

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