21 January 2019 by Simon Langley
The southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is perhaps the most dramatic and varied in all South Africa. From Big-Five safaris and epic landscapes to city slicking, pristine beaches and a unique tribal culture, it really has it all. The province is perfect for both first-time visitors to South Africa and those looking for something new on their return. And, with British Airways’ brand-new direct flights to Durban, the region’s welcoming hub, there’s never been a better time to visit.
In fact, Durban is a destination in its own right. South Africa’s third-largest city impresses with a thriving arts scene, a spectacular collection of golden beaches and mouth-watering dining, informed by its seaside setting and Indian influence. Indeed, it’s ideal for some white-sands relaxation at the beginning or end of your trip, either side of exploring KwaZulu-Natal’s myriad delights.
The UNESCO-listed Drakensberg is also a special highlight, offering gentle walks and chain-ladder hikes among its soaring peaks. Here, eland pick out paths along sandstone cliffs and vultures soar above crystal-clear rivers. Then there’s the Battlefields region, whose rolling expanses and mist-clad hills are dotted with traditional settlements. It’s the chance to learn about tribal culture and one of the 19th-century’s bloodiest conflicts – the Anglo-Zulu War.
Lastly, in the east, you’ll find Phinda. Run by luxury darlings andBeyond, it’s one of South Africa’s finest private game reserves, offering the chance to spot rhino in the bushveld, entire breeding herds of elephants, and cheetahs teaching their cubs to hunt. And, if you put it all together from Durban to the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal is perfect for a super-scenic road trip.
Our top trip: KwaZulu-Natal Discovery
Taking in all the destinations featured on this page, this curated road trip begins with a relaxing beachfront stay on Durban’s white stands before sweeping up into the awe-inspiring peaks of the Drakensberg. Then, yet more scenic drives will bring you among the unique Anglo-Zulu history of the Battlefields region before ending with Phinda Private Game Reserve, where you’ll enjoy twice-daily game drives. Throughout, you’ll be treated to gourmet dining and stays in luxury lodges.