|KwaZulu Natal, South Africa|
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|
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
(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
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