The sunny shores, tropical forests and misty country lanes of KwaZulu-Natal overflow with amazing experiences and moreish flavours. Whether you want to relax on the beach, hit up a host of adrenalin-rushing adventures or eat your way through the province’s finest, KwaZulu-Natal, is a veritable playground for all visitors.
Here are just a few of our favourites of what to see in KwaZulu-Natal – plus what to eat and experience along the way.
What to see in KwaZulu-Natal
The Alps in the Berg
Dreaming of a snowy getaway, ski slopes and cosy après-ski fires and nightcaps? There might not be too many ski slopes on offer, but South Africa has an alpine experience to rival Europe’s most famous.
The iconic Drakensberg sits almost halfway between Durban and Johannesburg, making it the ideal road trip destination from either city.
The Berg is a UNESCO-listed heritage site brimming with culture, nature and heart-warming food.
Explore the mountains and many national parks (their highest peaks will likely be frosted with snow in winter). Enjoy horse riding, hiking to waterfalls, rafting, mountain biking, fishing and walking.
The Drakensberg offers many self-catering and value-for-money accommodation options.
Cosy English pubs in the misty Midlands
Misty tree-lined avenues and rolling green hills, dotted with the obligatory sheep. On KwaZulu-Natal’s Midlands Meander, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the English countryside.
Take a seat next to a roaring fire and feast on a traditional English-inspired pub meal, complete with local craft beer, to complete the picture. There is also a fantastic array of quaint coffee shops.
Adventure parks and beaches
Base yourself in Durban proper and you’re spoiled for choice with many things to see and do. Pop into uShaka Marine World and Funworld and consider a visit to the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Or the over18s can tempt lady luck at Suncoast Casino or shop up a storm. The Golden Mile promenade is a must-do. It was completely revamped for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and today runs from uShaka Beach all the way up to Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in the north.
Follow in the footsteps of Madiba on the Midlands Meander. The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is situated at the exact place where Mandela was captured following his anti-Apartheid activism in 1952. Just an hour from Durban, this site features a magnificent steel structure made of 50 columns forming his portrait.
Walk in the footsteps of the Zulu kings on guided tours or follow the guided Inanda Heritage Trail visiting Mahatma Gandhi’s Phoenix settlements as well as three others that shaped South African history.
Get close to nature
Head into KwaZulu-Natal's tranquil St Lucia estuary for the chance to enjoy a kayak safari, gliding past the watchful eyes of crocs and hippos along the way. Expert guides will accompany you as you row through these freshwaters and get truly up close with these magnificent creatures.
What to eat in KwaZulu-Natal
Hey there bunny chow
You can’t possibly go to KZN and not try their most famous foodie export – the bunny chow.
There are different versions of how bunny chow originated but what we do know, it’s delicious and you won’t find it anywhere else! From exotic tripe and trotters to the more popular lamb, chicken, beef, bean and veggie options, there's a ‘bunny’ to suit every taste. Popular favourite restaurants are the House of Curries and Capsicum Restaurant. Or for something a little swankier, pop into the Oyster Box Hotel for their curry buffet.
Homebrewed craft beer
KZN didn’t escape the craft beer revolution.
There are two popular favorites with the locals. Nottingham Road Brewer in the Natal Midlands is the pit stop of choice for travellers making their way north by cutting through the centre of the province. Stop for some snacks and beer tasting any day of the week. The Tiddly Toad Premium Lager and Whistling Weasel Pale Ale are just two of the on-tap favourites.
Another one for the list is the Drakensberg Brewery, housed in an airfield hangar in Central Drakensberg. The brewpub is the start point for those hiking or biking the Cathkin Trails. Guests can make up a D-I-Y platter of cold meats, cheeses, pickles and preserves.
Or pop into one of the local favourites, a cosy farm stall, to sample some local beers and grab some good padkos.
If you fancy sipping some tea and scones watching the waves roll in, visit the Oyster Box. Overlooking the Indian Ocean and Umhlanga's distinctive lighthouse, The Oyster Box is perhaps South Africa's most iconic hotel.
It’s frequently been named the top hotel in the country and has welcomed VIPs and royalties.
Make a booking for their famous high tea for a slice of the good life.