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The 9 Best Small Towns in KwaZulu-Natal
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The 9 Best Small Towns in KwaZulu-Natal

What’s so great about the small towns in KwaZulu-Natal? Well, first of all there’s a lot to be said for small-town living. People love the experience, even if it’s only for a weekend, or a few days. And secondly, KwaZulu-Natal has some of the best subtropical all-year-practically-summer weather that makes a stay in any of the towns below, a seriously good option all year round. Here is our list of 9 best small towns in KwaZulu-Natal... Nottingham Road Think green rolling Drakensberg foothills, fly-fishing dams, sheep farms, historical sites, a Victorian country tavern, a rustic brew...
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The Inanda Heritage Route – A Must Do
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The Inanda Heritage Route – A Must Do

To explore a wealth of information on the rich history and culture of Durban's Inanda, so little of which has been recorded in the annuls of history, take the Inanda Heritage Route. Just outside Durban is a generous, green valley through which sprawls the township of the same name. Inanda (eNanda), which is isiZulu for 'a pleasant place', is also known as the Freedom Valley, and for good reason. It is where the seeds of the country's liberation were planted; a valley imbued in history that explores both sung and unsung African heroes. Inanda is where Gandhi built his Phoenix settlemen...
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20 Best Secret Scenic Spots In KwaZulu Natal
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20 Best Secret Scenic Spots In KwaZulu Natal

The next in our series on where to find the 'secret' spots not normally advertised by travel brochures for perfect scenic #instagram pics, this one explores KwaZulu Natal. KwaZulu Natal is only just coming of age. Durban, its capital, was voted one of the top 10 of the 52 Places to Go in 2015 by the New York Times, and dubbed by CNN as 'the coolest city in South Africa you've never seen'. It then ranked even higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg on Mercer's 2015 Quality of Living survey. But other than the province's beaches, the Midlands, and the Drakensberg where do you go for incredi...
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Green Durban – 9 Sustainable Sites In The City
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Green Durban – 9 Sustainable Sites In The City

Durban's focus is a lot more green than one thinks and finding sustainable projects, green spaces, heritage sites and businesses with an eco core in Durban is not difficult. The city's major green focus in the build up to the Soccer World Cup 2010, followed by COP17 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted in Durban in November and December 2011), resulted in a green legacy that has done anything but fade from the city's agenda. The good news, for those after a more responsible holiday when in the city of beaches, there is plenty to find and do, beginning with these 9 sustain...
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7 Routes Durban – Great Ways To Explore The City Of Beaches
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7 Routes Durban – Great Ways To Explore The City Of Beaches

Durban, South Africa's second largest coastal city, is known for its Golden Mile beaches and its jogging, surfing, cycling, scuba diving, bodyboarding, dolphin viewing, jet-skiing, shark cage-diving, canoeing, boat cruising, sunbathing lifestyle. As Lonely Planet so aptly puts it: 'Durban is a window into life aquatic'. More often than not, though, it is passed over for the glamour of Johannesburg or the Cosmopolitan vibe of Cape Town. Yet Durban is no longer the poorer cousin. It co-hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup, COP17 in 2011, and in 2022 will be the first African city to host the Co...
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Thousands Of Swallows, Just Outside Durban
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Thousands Of Swallows, Just Outside Durban

Post storm, the sky still leaden and the streets reeking of that just-rained-earth smell so particular to South Africa, we watched hundreds of swallows duck and dive in a display of abandon, on the banks of Lake Victoria (not that Lake Victoria, another one, but more about that later). I fall in love. We are just outside Durban overlooking a wetland in Mount Moreland conservancy where barn swallows from all across Europe overnight in a series of reed beds, coming in to roost at sundown in their thousands... Mount Moreland is one the largest barn swallow roosting sites in South Africa. ...
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Is Durban Worth A Visit – 7 Insider Things To Do in Durban
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Is Durban Worth A Visit – 7 Insider Things To Do in Durban

After the New York Times included Durban at #7 on its list of 52 Places to Go in 2015, and CNN dubbed it 'the coolest city in South Africa you've never seen', it was only time before the city with a Cinderella-complex came of age. Then Mercer released its 2015 Quality of Living survey results and ranked Durban higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg, as the South African city with the highest quality of life. Suddenly the world's attention shifted to the country's east coast. That was over-and-above the global vote of confidence for Durban as one of the New7Wonders Cities – up there with ...
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Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei
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Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei

Route 56 is a surprisingly well-maintained, provincial route that links Middleburg in the Eastern Cape, with Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. On the map it looks as though someone has taken a crayon and drawn a squiggly line east, north east through the country. Marketed as the 'shortest route' between the Western Cape and Durban, the route's main leverage is that it is a viable alternative to the N2 through the Transkei. It passes through the mountain country of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal connecting Molteno, Maclear and Kokstad. Calling it 'short' is a little misl...
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10 Natural Attractions In The Natal Midlands
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10 Natural Attractions In The Natal Midlands

As the name suggests the Midlands lie in the middle of KwaZulu Natal, in that part of the province that lies beyond Pietermaritzburg but before the Drakensberg Mountains. Much of this area is now popularised by the Midlands Meander - a self-drive arts, crafts, eateries and farmstay route that is a retreat for holiday makers. It is best done with some advance research, and a Midlands Meander guide (available at most stores en route) in hand to uncover the real treats and first-rate spots. The Midlands is quintessential country living - green hills, forests, waterfalls, the foothills of th...
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10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015
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10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015

There is a definite shift towards buying local (if you hadn't already noticed the number of foodie and artisan craft markets that have mushroomed in your neighbourhood). Never more so than at Christmas. For no matter how easy the Internet makes buying gadgets, there is nothing like buying your gifts, and food, from the local community. Not only is it ethical to support local business, but it also keeps our communities strong. The bonuses for you include: artisan crafters and food providers sell one-off gifts and offers that nobody else will have, you're supporting South African entrep...
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The Durban Experience – 10 Must-Do’s In Durbs-By-The-Sea
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The Durban Experience – 10 Must-Do’s In Durbs-By-The-Sea

South Africa's third-largest city, Durban, is also arguably the country's most laidback centre (although Port Elizabeth gives it a run for its money), by virtue of its sauna-like summer heat, and beach-centred culture (if slops and shorts are your idea of attire, then you're in the right place). Yet the city is not all about its beaches, Golden Mile, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and uShaka Marine World. Although these are a drawcard in their own right Durban moves to the drumbeat of its cultural heritage, involving visitors in tours that venture into the heart of the inner-city and two of Durb...
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Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast
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Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast

The best thing about Durban is its warm seas. Durban's 'all year round summer' translates into sea temperatures, even in winter, that hover around 20 degrees Celsius. Even Durban's summer sea temperatures are more akin to a bath than the sea, and you can spend hours in the water without feeling the cold. If this weren't enough of an invitation (bearing in mind that you may need to live in the sea between January and March as the city's humidity can get unbearable), the clarity of the water and the phenomenal sea life also make Durban the perfect place to snorkel, particularly along the n...
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Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It
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Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It

Jocelyn Sutherland's hands are full of litter when she meets us at the gate to Hawaan Forest. She's incensed by the dumping of bougainvillea on the edge of the forest's perimeter fence, and by the litter. 'Hardly any one local knows about this magnificent forest, ' she shares by way of greeting, 'it is visitors to Durban who want to know more about it, not the locals.' We've met just off the M4 at Umhlanga, one of Durban's more privileged neighbourhoods on the north coast. The M4 divides the green forest belt in two, yet there couldn't be two more divergent forests. Across the M4 the for...
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5 Reasons To Visit Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves (If You Can Wangle A Visit)
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5 Reasons To Visit Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves (If You Can Wangle A Visit)

A visit to Durban's Beachwood Mangroves is not as simple as driving up to the gate and taking a saunter along one of two boardwalk trails through the mangroves, as and when it suits you. Durban has closed ranks and protects this National Monument, one of three last remaining bits of mangrove swamp in and around Durban (the other two are the Isipingo Mangroves and the Bayhead Mangroves), rather fiercely. You will need to join the regular tours, either on the evening of every first Thursday or the third Saturday morning of every month, by the Honorary Officers of KZN Wildlife - who volunte...
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One place you’ve got to visit when in Durban is People’s Park
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One place you’ve got to visit when in Durban is People’s Park

I used to live in Durban. That was long before it became a tourist attraction and all the road names changed. Back then, on weekends, you'd go to the beach. Occasional highlights were Mini Town, or the rides at the Amusement Park on the beachfront (the red chairs on the cablecar are still there, though; I checked). Sometimes you'd head out to Midmar Dam for the day. Durban was a low-key kind of place. But now Durban is a heady mix of old and new, and a tourist mecca of note (I totally get why CNN listed the city as one of the world's 10 most underrated cities)... Take Stamford Hill, f...
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