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South Africa

DESTINATIONS > Africa > South Africa > Kwazulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province, offers a diverse range of attractions from its beaches and mountains to its savannah populated by big game. It can be action packed, with visits to the towns, central streets, teeming with life, markets and noise, or it can be laid-back, relaxing on some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. With the addition of the surrounding game reserves, home to the Big-5, KwaZulu-Natal is a highly popular destination in South Africa, and is certainly a region of great natural beauty.


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Missy & Harry

Absolutely amazing holiday. Garonga is heaven! We did everything possible and our guide was brilliant and hilarious. I can definitely recommend True Travel for their excellent advice and professionalism – they clearly are very knowledgeable about where they send their clients and made sure we had a worry-free holiday that perfectly suited us. We were particular grateful for the collection off our flight and help onto our transfer in Johannesburg, which included a very nifty queue jump due to their reputation!

Less well known than the nearby Kruger National Park, along with its private reserves, as a safari area, KwaZulu-Natal offers some incredible places to go on safari that combine really well with self-drive trips through the province. Equally, many of the reserves are accessible by air so are easily combined with other parts of the country. 

Indeed, it holds a special place in the history of South African game reserves in that it was here, in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park that Dr Ian Player spearheaded “Operation Rhino” which was at the forefront of saving these magnificent animals from extinction.

Today Hluhluwe remains a popular choice for visitors to to spend some time in, although the private reserves found nearby also do, most notably the outstanding Phinda Private Game Reserve. The game viewing here undoubtedly rivals the offerings in the Kruger in some truly amazing landscapes and there is the chance to get involved in some of the area’s amazing conservation projects so it is a hugely worthwhile place to spend some time for wildlife enthusiasts. 

Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s South Africa was home to some of the most significant battles fought in the history of the British Empire. Starting with the Frontier Wars in the Eastern Cape, the British Army has a long history of glory and tragedy across South Africa and the tales of these battles are amongst the most compelling pieces of history you will ever hear.

Most famous of these battles are those of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu War of 1879, where the British Army was massacred on the “Hill of the Little Hand” by charging Zulu impis before performing one of the most famous defences in British military history at the field hospital of nearby Rorke’s Drift. The stories you hear from the guides are spine-tingling and a definite highlight of any trip to South Africa.

Equally, the stories of the Boer War, most notably the battle of Spioenkop, are also fascinating to hear and longer trips through this region, in the company of specialist guides, can be arranged for those who want the really delve in to the fascinating history of the British Army in South Africa.

Stretching from Durban all the way to Kosi Bay on the border with Mozambique, the coastal region of KwaZulu-Natal, sometimes referred to as the Elephant Coast, is home to a number of lovely places to stay and is a great spot to round off a trip through the wider province.

It should be noted that this isn’t an area where you will find stereotypical Indian Ocean beach resorts, all white sand and gently lapping waves. Rather it is a rugged and wild stretch of coastline, with forests stretching down to the beaches and waves crashing against the shore. It is a great area for diving and snorkelling, as well as boasting a number of beaches where turtles hatch during the summer months.

The beaches around Durban offer an altogether more relaxed and elegant range of places to stay, with Umhlanga Rocks boasting one of South Africa’s most iconic and beloved hotels beneath its lighthouse. A good area for surfing, this is the area to visit if you are looking for a luxurious few days at the end of your trip.

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