KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s most beautiful, exciting, and fun-filled destinations. As a province, it offers all sorts of attractions – ranging from game drives and SCUBA diving to glitzy malls and upmarket cocktail bars. No holiday in KZN is complete without seeing some of these top attractions:
The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
This is the only park in the province where the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo) can be found in their natural habitat. Guided and self-driven safaris and guided walks through the park are nothing short of incredible and promise spectacular photographs of the wildlife and the surrounds. The watering holes are popular spots for the wildlife to meet and the hides are the perfect places in which to watch the animals in safety. The Hluhluwe Dam is an idyllic place for a boat cruise, where the community guide will point out birds and share his experiences. The nearby accommodation makes this a prime holiday hotspot in KZN.
Adventure Sports at Oribi Gorge
Oribi Gorge is absolutely beautiful. While you can experience it from the comfort of a car or even on a walk, you can get even more out of it when you buckle up for an adventure. Starting at the top of the gorge, zip line your way over rivers and into the valley on a series of really fun slides. The highest is a stomach-lurching 300 metres from the ground. The Zip eXtreme is for those with a strong heart and a craving for adrenalin. The first of these three slides plunges its rider almost straight down for a kilometre, accelerating the passenger up to 160 kilometres an hour. This is a fantastic way to experience KZN (not least of all because you’ll appreciate being alive so much more!)
The Valley of 1 000 Hills
Not only is it scenically stunning, but this route is also full of amazing little finds. Think innovative artists and crafters, quirky tea gardens with breath-taking panoramic views, inviting little guest houses, and three Zulu villages in which this African culture is celebrated and shared with visitors. The 1 000 Hills Choo Choo is a steam train that transports tourists to yesteryear as it travels effortlessly from the Kloof station to Cato Ridge.
The Drakensberg Mountain Range
The Drakensberg has a magical kind of feel. It is ancient, massive, and spectacular. There is so much to see and do here too. Rock faces and caves are adorned with San paintings, there are countless trails to walk or cycle, the dams are ideal for trout fishing, the river beckons rafters, and the rugged mountain faces are perfect for abseiling and climbing.
The uShaka Marine World
Perfect for families, the uShaka Marine World (in the city of Durban) is ideal for all ages. This is the largest marine theme park on the continent and is home to a stunning variety of animals – from tiny fish, crustaceans and coral to massive sharks and intelligent dolphins. The Wet ‘n Wild World has awesome slides, swimming pools, rides and high-speed chutes. The play area for little ones includes a mini super-tube, roller coaster and water cannons. For those that are more retail-inclined, there is plenty of shopping to do here. Stores range from exclusive boutiques to arts and crafts (and everything in-between).
The Moses Mabhida Stadium
While a stadium may not sound like it has a whole lot going on for it (when it’s not hosting a game or concert), this one is different. The Moses Mabhida Stadium is actually the most popular sports stadium in the country; best known for the adventure sports it offers. The main design feature is an arch, which is 106 metres from the ground at its highest point. From here, adrenalin-junkies can jump and swing from strong bungy cords, testing their limits and feeling the ultimate freedom. This is the highest bungy swing in the world. The SkyCar takes visitors right to the pinnacle of the arch so that, even without leaping off it, they can enjoy incredible views.
Of course, there are hundreds of other fantastic attractions in KZN that keep tourists coming back year after year. Consider adding some of these to your itinerary:
- The beaches of Ballito and Umhlanga
- The holiday town of Uvongo
- The Midlands Meander and all its little gems
- Durban Botanic Gardens
- Walk the beachfront promenade, called the Golden Mile
- Water sports in Umhlanga