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KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Beaches, battlefields & the Big Five

KwaZulu-Natal holidays


From the dramatic sandstone peaks of its Drakensberg Mountains backdrop, KwaZulu-Natal’s spectacular setting spills down through wildlife-rich wetlands and grasslands to the pristine beaches of its Indian Ocean coast.

Phinda Private Game Reserve

Elephant, Phinda Private Game Reserve

Set in the prestigious Hluhluwe National Park, Phinda Private Game Reserve comprises 17,500 hectares of prime conservation land.The reserve is home to the Big Five, over 400 bird species and six unique lodges by luxury safari company, andBeyond.

Durban & Umhlanga

Lighthouse, Durban coast

Long overshadowed by its better-looking Cape Town cousin, Durban’s cosmopolitan sprawl is finally finding its own feet. A thriving café, shopping and cultural scene has sprung up along the revamped waterfront and in nearby beachfront suburbs such as Umhlanga, while its sizeable Indian population has lent the city a colourful, multicultural and unmistakably Asian feel. It’s also the gateway for trips to the UNESCO-listed Drakensberg Mountains, a 200-kilometre escarpment where the highveld plunges down more than 1,000 metres to the eastern lowveld plains below.

Drakensberg Mountains

Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-Natal

Mountain biking, white water rafting and several scenic hikes, such as the Sentinel Peak Trail and the Amphitheatre HeritageTrail, are all popular ways to explore the magnificent landscapes of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site, one of South Africa’s most spectacular regions.


Isandlwana battlefield site, KwaZulu-Natal

A number of scenic self-drive routes run through the battlefield sites of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Poignant reminders of the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer Wars, they’re crucial to understanding KwaZulu-Natal’s turbulent history.

iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park

Hippos, Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, KwaZulu Natal

Back to KwaZulu-Natal’s coast, the country’s best beaches frame rich ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife, best seen in the iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. Here, in South Africa’s first World Heritage site, wandering hippos and elephants share an endless network of rivers, lakes and coastal dunes with some 526 species of bird.


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Top itineraries in KwaZulu-Natal

Cheetah, Phinda Reserve

KwaZulu-Natal Discovery Self-Drive

10-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,225 pp incl. flights

With KwaZulu-Natal perhaps the most richly diverse of South Africa’s provinces, this spectacular drive takes in everything from the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains and Durban’s beachfront charms to Zulu battlefields and an all-inclusive, Big Five safari.

White Pearl Resort, Mozambique

South Africa & Mozambique: Black Spots & White Pearls

9-day tailor-made holiday from £4,615 pp incl. flights

This indulgent getaway is the ideal combination of relaxation and exploration. Begin with a Big Five safari in South Africa and end by enjoying butler service on Mozambique’s white sands. Enjoy all-inclusive gourmet dining, private transfers and ultra-luxury stays throughout.

The Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa with Red Carnation Hotels

12-day tailor-made journey from £2,655 pp incl. flights

Exceptional hotels form the basis of exceptional holidays and this luxury getaway combines nights in three of South Africa’s finest. Stay right on Cape Town’s picturesque coast, enjoy a wilderness retreat in the Cederberg Mountains and relax at a beachfront hideaway in Durban.

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Best of South Africa

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £6,410 pp incl. flights

This is a comprehensive introduction to South Africa’s myriad delights. Included flight hops, luxury stays and scenic drives along the Garden and Panorama routes will showcase everything from Cape Town and the Winelands to a Big-Five Kruger safari and the mountain beauty of Zululand and Drakensberg.

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Top places to stay in KwaZulu-Natal

Forest Lodge, Phinda

Forest Lodge, Phinda Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Contemporary safari lodge

Set in a rare and beautiful sand forest, the dense canopy ensures privacy and a calming atmosphere of Zulu Zen. Located between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it is home to unique wildlife, over 380 bird species and the marine diversity off the nearby coast is said t…

The Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal

Oyster Box, KwaZulu-Natal

Historic hotel

Situated on the Indian Ocean’s edge and overlooking the iconic lighthouse of Umhlanga, the 5-star graded Oyster Box is a classy, charming and intimate hotel.

Cathedral Peak, Drakensburg Mountains

Cathedral Peak Hotel, Drakensberg Mountains

Contemporary hotel

A picturesque mountain resort nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensberg Mountain range, a World Heritage Site renowned for its natural beauty.

Zulu Lodge, Battlefields

Isibindi Zulu Lodge, Battlefields, Kwazulu-Natal

Traditional lodge

Located a stone’s throw away from the historical battlefields of Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana, Zulu Lodge is situated amongst diverse landscapes ranging from montane grassland and valet thornveld to riverine forests.

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Where to go in KwaZulu-Natal

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park combines eight ecosystems and an incredible diversity of flora and fauna and was declared South Africa's first World Heritage site. The park's prestigious status was gained thanks to the beauty of the landscape, its unique ecological processes and the exceptional diver…


The battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal are crucial to understanding the history of this province and top the agenda for many visitors.

Drakensberg Mountains

The majestic World Heritage-listed Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park mountains border the edge of KwaZulu-Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho.



Durban is South Africa's third largest city and known as one of the country's best seaside escapes, with lively nightlife and an emerging café, shopping and cultural scene.

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When to go to KwaZulu-Natal

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The climate in KwaZulu-Natal is as varied as its topography suggests. The coastal region enjoys an almost perpetual summer, with warm dry winters and occasional rain in the summer. Winter in the mountains brings dry days, perfect for hiking, although it can get cold at night with occasional snow on the high peaks. Spring is a good time to visit, with warm, dry weather throughout the region.

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KwaZulu-Natal articles

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