Kwazulu Natal

Kwazulu Natal – a subtropical coastal province. Enjoy the warm Indian ocean or a cool breeze in the mountains. It is situated on the east coast of South Africa and borders Mozambique and Swaziland in the North. Towards the west, it borders the Free State Province, Mpumalanga province, Lesotho, and Eastern Cape province to the south. When visiting Kwazulu Natal, you can expect miles of unspoiled sandy beaches, lush vegetation, and majestic mountains. In between all of this lies the Capital, Durban. North of Durban is known as the Dolphin coast or north coast. To the south is the Hibiscus coast or south coast, and to the west are the mountains.

How to get there

Most visitors to South Africa enter the country through the OR Tambo International airport in Gauteng. You can fly to Durban, the capital of Kwazulu Natal (KZN), take a train or bus, or drive yourself. We will only recommend taking the train if it is a luxury train like the Blue train. This is because security on the daily scheduled trains could be better.

Our recommended means of travel is by car. See our post-International Car Rental for Dummies for more details on renting a car in a foreign country. The main reasons for this are that we are not tied to timetables and have freedom of movement. For example, driving to Kwazulu Natal is easy; follow the N3 east. As soon as you pass Van Reenen’s pass, you are in Kwazulu Natal. At that point, you have also entered the majestic Drakensberg (Dragons Mountains).

Where to go


One of the biggest cities in Africa, and the third biggest in South Africa, it is also the capital of the Kwazulu Natal province. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Durban is Ushaka Marine World. This is worth spending a day on, but go early to ensure a good spot. Pack some food and drinks in your bag; food prices are high in Ushaka Marine World.

You can also stroll on the white sandy beaches and swim in the Indian ocean. The water is nice and warm. Rent a surfboard or body surf. Shop in the shopping malls. For the adrenaline junkies, there is shark diving. Visit the Moses Madiba stadium. Even without a sporting event, it is still worth the visit. There are many parks in and around the city. Enjoy and relaxing picnic in one of them. Just a warning – stay out of secluded areas and do not enter after dark. Some shady figures may be around. There are also many day trips available from Durban. We have booked with Viator and found it easy and safe.

North Coast

The north coast is less crowded than the south coast during peak season, except for towns like Balito, Richards Bay, and Umhlanga. It also offers Big 5 game lodges and some of the best fishing in the world. North of Richards Bay is the remote part of Kwazulu Natal. It starts with St. Lucia lake and iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Hluhluwe-iMfoloze Park, Sodwana Bay, where the fisherman gathers, and Kosi Bay, just before the Mozambique border. Although most people visiting the area will be camping, hotels and self-catering facilities are available. With the decline in the South African rand, the luxury private lodges in the area are also an affordable option for foreign visitors.

The golfers can play 18 holes at Umhlali Country club, Princes Grant Golf course, Mtunzini golf course, and Zimbali golf course. There is also another entertainment available, like boat cruises and fishing cruises, game drives, or leisure the day away on the beach.

Tip: The sun in the southern hemisphere is much more intensive than in the northern hemisphere. Remember to apply sun tan lotion. The very northern parts are malaria areas – please take the necessary precaution when visiting. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before your visit. 

South Coast

The South Coast is a chain of small coastal towns. Each with at least one sandy beach. This is where most South Africans find themselves during December. Mostly just lying on the beaches. Take a break from the sun and visit Oribi Gorge for the day. Take a picnic basket. Enjoy nature without any development. Walk the pathways and rest at the waterfall. You can also take a break from the Wild Coast Sun. Here you can play golf, enjoy various water sports, try your luck at the tables or slot machines and enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants. There are many golf courses on the south coast; Sanlameer is the biggest challenge, with all the ponds and streams guarding the greens. There are also many farm stalls where you can buy fresh produce. The best known is Mac Banana, next to the N2 highway, just south of Palm Beach. You will get lost between all the bottles of homemade jams, canned fruit, cheeses, and much more. Buy some fresh fruit as well. If there is time to spare, have breakfast or lunch at the restaurant.

Drakensberg (Dragon Mountain)

The Drakensberg is for you if you require rest and some fresh air. There are many quaint little towns nestled between the mountains. In the south, we love the town called Underberg. It is close to the Sani Pass for the adventurous who want to drive the pass. Remember your passport; the pass ends in Lesotho. It also offers trout fishing in the surrounding rivers and privately owned lakes. In the lakes, you will have to pay; normally, you pay for each fish caught. We use self-catering units and can recommend Lake Naverone Self-Catering Cottages. Other options are Berghaven Self-catering cottages and Drakensberg Bush Lodge.

Another option is a holiday resort. There are many of which Drakensberg Sun Resort, Cathedral Peak Hotel, and Champagne Sports Resort are the best known. You will have access to swimming pools, tennis courts, and a golf course. There are also many other activities in and around the resorts.

Other widely available activities are horse riding, bird watching, hiking, and fishing. We love the hiking trails that lead to ponds. The children normally swim in these ponds and jump from rocks into the water. Loads of free fun. For all your bookings, we recommend Bookings. They have a wide range of accommodations with customer reviews and photo’s to assist with deciding where to stay. Other areas worth visiting are Chapman’s Peak, Champagne Castle, and Mont Aux Sources. The Drakensberg forms a natural border with Lesotho. All along this border is a series of Nature reserves.

General Information

Kwazulu Natal is a summer rainfall area. Although December is the peak season, a lot of rainfall during this time, and many beach days are lost due to rain. We normally plan our rainy days and then wait until it rains to execute them. Visiting the Wild Coast Sun, Mac Banana, or a shopping center in one of the bigger towns is normally on ice until it rains. We recommend visiting this area in April. The rainy season is nearing its end, and the temperatures are slightly lower than in December.

Happy Holidays