KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s largest provinces, and is located south of Mozambique in the east of the country. The warm Indian Ocean and tropical plant life and weather will quickly help you get rid of any inhibitions. Durban, or ‘Durbs’, as the locals (who are mostly surfers or body-boarders) like to call it, is the province’s main city and transport hub. To the north of Durban, you’ll find some excellent national parks and game reserves, such as Phinda and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, an unusual park with its hilly landscape, making for great viewing of the famous Big Five.
Another park worthy of mentioning in that region is The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, the third largest wilderness area in the country, and declared a World Heritage Site because of its important eco-systems. Crocs, hippos, fish eagles and sharks are just some of the creatures sharing Lake St Lucia.
The most popular diving spots in South Africa for scuba diving are at Cape Vidal and Sodwana Bay. These are unbelievably pristine beaches.
Between the awe-striking Drakensberg Mountains and KwaZulu-Natal’s coastal playground, you’ll find a region where the memories of yesterday’s heroes are still being kept alive by live storytelling and marked location. It’s known as the Natal Midlands, and is the place of the Battlefields, where Zulus, Boer, and English came together and made bloody history. Unsurprisingly, it was called the Battle of Blood River, a war where thousands of Zulus died due to the Boers’ overwhelming firepower, with their blood turning the river into a deep-red pool.
Even though this history is extremely sombre, it’s quite an experience being on the receiving end of this vivid storytelling, which takes place at the scene of those historic events. Ironically, many people have found this to be a very uplifting experience, in the sense that the entire endeavour is very powerful and overwhelming, leaving one with a new kind of enthusiasm and appreciation for life and, of course, South African history.