North Coast / Zululand
The North Coast
Has always been popular with those who love adventure and the sun! The fishing is good and of course, the surf! The annual internationally recognized Mr Price Pro-surfing contest, which draws competitors from all over the world, is held in Ballito.
A little more inland, the small village of Mount Moreland is home to a viewing site that was established for the public to come and observe an estimated 3 million barn swallows (some 13% of the world's population) which make their way to this wetland to roost between November and April annually.
Mountain biking through the sugarcane fields and forests can be a great way to take a break or with a few rounds of golf at one of the many excellent North Coast golf courses, many can be considered the best in South Africa.
Many of these places are quiet and peaceful however, during the seasonal influx of vacationers, the many holiday homes, gorgeous beaches, excellent restaurants and nightclubs fill up!
In the rural area of KwaZulu-Natal generally known as Zululand, traditional culture, history and heritage are still very much intact and are ready to be explored. Places such as Shakaland, Dumazulu or Simunye offer a glimpse of lifestyle and traditions that are slowly transforming. Here you can sleep over in a traditional Zulu homestead, sample traditional Zulu cuisine and Nqombothi (Zulu beer). Learn about KZN’s four past Zulu kings, Shaka, Dingane, Mpande and Cetswayo, who ruled from 1816 - 1884, and take a visit to their graves and royal residences which are situated in and around eMakhosini.
There are also many lovely, eccentric small villages. Eshowe has a canopy boardwalk through the Dlinza Forest and enjoy the excellent art and craft centre at Fort Nonqayi. In the little coastal town of Mtunzini, wander through one of the last remaining protected stands of Raffia palms and possibly spot a rare palm nut vulture.
This is the place to go on safari as it is home to some of the country's finest game reserves, such as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, known for its history as it was King Shaka’s private hunting grounds. Beautiful reserves such as Ithala, Amakhosi, Opathe, Thula Thula, Thanda, the Zululand Rhino Reserve and the breathe-taking &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve are also situated in Zululand.
Herds of plains-game grazing under umbrella acacias and antelope skittering across a dusty pan, hippo honking in the waterways, giraffe silhouetted against the setting African sun and the smell of the African bush in the early hours of the morning are typically what one can expect on a visit to Zululand.
Witness some of the prettiest beaches in KwaZulu-Natal by taking the smaller coastal roads, such as the M4, past Sibaya Casino, Umdloti, King Shaka International Airport and the elite Zimbali estate and golf course. This is where you will find the small holiday towns of Ballito,Salt Rock, Umhlali, Tinley Manor, and Zinkwazi, before making your way back onto the freeway and across the enormous John Ross Bridge to the Tugela Mouth where KZN's biggest river, the mighty Tugela, gushes out into the Indian Ocean.