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Getaways in KwaZulu-Natal
1The Midlands Meander
This wonderful route takes you through the scenic KwaZulu-Natal midlands. There are wonderful B&Bs and guest houses where you can overnight before heading out to visit art galleries, stud farms, glassworks, leatherworks, weavers, heritage homes, a brewery and a host of close to 200 craft outlets plus some excellent restaurants!
2Isimangaliso Wetland Park
This is a World Heritage Site where the rhino and elephant share an ecosystem with coelacanth and whale. It encompasses ocean, lagoon, wetland, wildlife, birdlife, diving, angling, horse riding, game viewing, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, turtle tours and accommodation.
Leave Durban and head down south on the N2 coastal road to the Hibiscus Coast where you'll discover a world of stunning beaches, including 6 of Blue Flag status: Margate, Ramsgate, Umzumbe, Marina, Trafalgar and Lucien. Venture inland to the Pure Venom reptile and snake park or head to Lake Eland in the majestic Oribi Gorge for abseiling, hiking and bungee swinging!
4Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift battlefield Meander
Take a step back in time by traversing the once-bloody battlefiends of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, where the British troops, resplendent in red tunics, encountered firsthand the raw power of Zulu warriors in full cry. Knowledgeable local tour guides bring the past to life with their re-telling of the historic battles of yesteryear.
5The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
Known as the "barrier of spears", South Africa’s most impressive mountain range - a World Heritage Site - is home to an impressive variety of indigenous flora and fauna. From wildlife and birdlife to anciet San rock art, challenging horse trails, hiking routes, hotels, lodges, B&Bs and the most breathtakingly beautiful mountain vistas, the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg is a wonderful getaway spot.
6The Dolphin Coast
Take the N2 north from Durban to the more upmarket seaside villages of Umhlanga, Umdloti, Ballito, Chaka's Rock, Salt Rock and Zinkwazi. Here you'll find trendy shopping centres, holiday hotels, estate developments and more private beaches than elsewhere on the coast. Spend time on the beach, watch the dolphins, shop up a storm and sample local fare in a trendy restaurant - all with a seaview thrown in for good measure.
Take a 3-hour drive way up north to the pristine beaches of Sodwana Bay, home ground of the coelacanth and a favourite launch site for fishing boats. Sodwana is also a fantastic swimming and diving destination, with crystal clear waters and many reefs teeming with fish. This is a wonderful getaway option for the whole family.
8The Valley of a Thousand Hills
Less than an hour's drive inland takes you to the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills, so called due to its many rolling green hills. Take a cultural detour to a Zulu enclave to see dancing and local rituals; lunch at a colonial hotel, indulge in browsing for crafts and absorb the sounds of nature while stopping for a cappuccino and cake at the local eatery.
Named after former Zulu king Shaka, this Zulu cultural village lies 2 hours' drive from Durban, in Eshowe. Interact with the locals, participate in singing, beer-making, dancing and stick-fighting rituals and overnight in a beehive hut with en-suite amenities. Shakaland will leave you with a true taste of life in KwaZulu-Natal.
10Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve
This is a sizeable wilderness area on the north coast of the province that is home to the Big 5 and numerous other animal species including giraffe, nyala, kudu, warthog and many smaller mammals. On-site accommodation is available, making an overnight bushveld getaway a perfect solution to city stress.