KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
KwaZulu Natal's leisure options provide a multitude of choices to keep you endlessly entertained. From the city of Durban you can catch a shuttle to Margate,

at the hub of the South Coast Golf Circuit. When you're not playing

golf, fishing or lying on the beach, you can visit a crocodile farm, a

nature reserve or follow an arts and crafts trail.

A short flight takes you to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, gateway to the Natal Midlands and the charming Drakensberg resorts. No holiday in KwaZulu Natal would be complete without a visit to at least one of the KwaZulu Natal game reserves,

renowned throughout the world. Appropriately enough, the Zulu name for

Durban is Thekwini, meaning The Place Where the Earth and the Ocean

Meet. But apart from an effervescent ocean lined with golden beaches,

KwaZulu Natal's capital city, Durban, offers a subtropical carnival

atmosphere and summer sunshine all year round. From around the globe,

day in, day out, pleasure-seekers converge on the city to play on the

golden, palm-fringed sands. In addition to the attractions of sea, surf

and sport, leisure options encompass an eclectic range.

At excellent one-stop shopping centres, you can buy

anything from photographic equipment to couturier clothes and rare

antiques. Flea markets and craft trails attract leisurely browsers, and

discount stores offer quality merchandise at bargain basement prices.

Within a stone's throw of the city centre, oriental bazaars, fragrant

with spice and incense, offer silks, saris, unusual jewellery and

ornaments. Pubs, discos and action bars are firm favourites.

Umhlanga, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Theatres and concert halls present classical, avant-garde and ethnic

programmes, and art galleries display works created by the

internationally famous and up-and-coming local talents. KwaZulu Natal's

Restaurants represent every facet of the city's cosmopolitan nature and

cater for every palate and pocket. At the end of the day, what could be

better that strolling on the beach to the rhythm of the waves?

Throughout the year, holiday-makers flock to their

favourite KwaZula Natal coastal haunts to cultivate a tan, ride the

waves, eat, drink and generally have fun. Besides the sweeping beaches

and calm lagoons where surfing, snorkelling, fishing and swimming are enjoyed, you can play golf, bowls and tennis or just soak up the sun. From Durban to Amanzimtoti, Ballito to Umhlanga Rocks, to the rugged Wild Coast,

the highway links popular seaside resorts in rapid succession. The road

snakes through subtropical bush, cane fields and hills garlanded with

hibiscus blooms. North of Durban, the coastline stretching from the

Tugela Mouth to the Umdloti River is aptly known as the Dolphin Coast.

Close inshore, shoals of bottle-nose dolphins gambol in the waves,

providing endless entertainment with their engaging antics.

Arguably the gem of the entire Natal North Coast is the Umhlanga Coastline.

The Umhlanga Coastline offers a combination of quiet village life with

first world amenities and a cosmopolitan buzz. It also offers a

diversity of activities in exotic and magnificent landscapes.

The Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Further north, KwaZulu Natal's game sanctuaries epitomise the best of the African wilderness. This is one of the few places where good game viewing can be enjoyed in close proximity to the pleasures of scuba diving

and deep-sea fishing. Habitats from coastal dune forests to open

bushveld support a wide diversity of wildlife, from the elephant to the

tiny suni. Bird life is equally prolific. Most parks offer peaceful surroundings, comfortable accommodation, game drives, hiking and walking safaris.

The Elephant Coast forms the north-east region of South Africa's unique KwaZulu Natal Province, stretching northward from Lake St Lucia

(a world heritage site), to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique.

The region is so named because it is home to South Africa's largest

herd of indigenous African Elephants.

Between the coastal playgrounds and the majestic Drakensberg, there is an area of gentle pastoral beauty known as the Natal Midlands.

The highway meanders through rolling wooded hills and grassy plains

scattered with towns, villages and hospitable country inns. On lush

farmlands, plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze and game

sanctuaries throughout the region support large numbers and varieties

of wildlife.

Nestling in the valleys, fine hotels and leisure resorts offer accommodation in KwaZulu Natal

and recreational options second to none. Fast-flowing rivers are

frequented by anglers hoping for a record-breaking rainbow trout.

Climbers scale the jagged peaks where eagles and bearded vultures fly;

hikers and horse-riders follow nature trails. The less energetic shrug

off city stress by drinking in the birdsong, the crisp clean air and

the stunning views.

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Set in the heart of Zulu country, the city of Pietermaritzburg

is one of charm and dignity, at its loveliest in spring when masses of

azaleas burst into bloom. When the first Voortrekkers arrived in 1837,

they found a tranquil countryside graced by forests, hills and valleys.

They settled on a fertile tract of land beside the Umsindusi River and

named it after two of their leaders, Gerrit Maritz and Piet Retief. Six

years later, the British upgraded the village to a military garrison

town. Today, numerous Victorian and Edwardian buildings, quaint

pedestrian lanes and other landmarks reflect the substantial British

contribution to the development of the town. And in shady, tree-lined

suburbs, spacious red brick bungalows and upper-crust boarding schools

reinforce the colonial ambience of The Last Outpost of the British

Empire as Maritzburg is affectionately known.

The city of Pietermaritzburg has a wide range of shops, pietermaritzburg hotels

and restaurants, providing the ideal gateway to the exceptional country

inns, recreational resorts and game reserves of the Natal Midlands and

the Drakensberg.