A sub-tropical coastline which is littered with beaches that promise warm water and luxurious, green vegetation, inland battlefields in the hills as well as valleys of Zululand, the superb Drakensberg Mountain range that dominates the rolling hills of the Midlands, the Elephant coast, Dolphin coast, and cities like Durban, are the key aspects of KwaZulu-Natal that lies in the east of the country, bordering Mozambique in the north in addition to the Eastern Cape in the south.
National parks, such as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, abound as do nature reserves, and places like Kosi Bay, St Lucia Estuary, Umhlanga, Oribi gorge and Hluhluwe roll off the tongue with ease.
Here are some must-see sights in KwaZulu-Natal.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is the oldest declared game reserve in South Africa. In addition and one of the few reserves in the KwaZulu-Natal region where you can hope to spot lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants. In addition, the park is also one of the closest game reserves to Durban, making it popular among vacationers o are staying in the seaside metropolis.
The Drakensberg, from an Afrikaans word meaning “Dragon Mountains,” is a place of breath-taking beauty and one of the most stayed at tourist destinations in South Africa for travellers. Jagged-backed peaks rise above dense forests and deep valleys, and cascades feed clear mountain streams.
This spectacular region includes uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with soaring basalt peaks that are some of the tallest in South Africa and San (Bushmen) rock paintings, as well as Royal Natal National Park with the Amphitheatre, a five-kilometre-long rock wall with one of the world’s highest waterfalls tumbling from above.
Victoria Street Market
The hokey pink and pastel stucco exterior hides the Victoria Street Market’s flurry of colour, chaos and activity. Affectionately called The Vic, the two-story building is essentially an indoor flea and farmer’s market with more than 150 lively retail and wholesale vendors. Kitchen utensils, pots, luggage, clothes, wholesale products from China and carved trinkets spill into the building’s second-floor walkways, while butchers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable vendors set up shop on the first level.
Sodwana Bay National Park
Situated on the Elephant Coast, Sodwana Bay National Park is one of South Africa’s absolute best diving destinations. As part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the reserve is situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean with South Africa’s southernmost coral reefs sparkling just offshore with schools of colourful fish. Divers are able to see caves, pinnacles, and both hard and soft corals, in addition to an incredible array of aquatic life, together with lionfish, crayfish, moray eels, rays, and many kinds of sharks.
Also, whale sharks swim these waters. You can see leatherback and loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches. Nature lovers are able to join turtle tours to see them in season. Apart from SCUBA diving and snorkelling, other popular things to do here incorporate sports fishing for sailfish and marlin, horseback riding on the beach in addition to hiking the coastal nature trails.