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KwaZulu Natal

The province of KwaZulu Natal is home to a multitude of attractions, with something to suit every taste, budget and relaxation requirement. Having formerly been an independent homeland, the kingdom of the Zulu, the province is touched by this great nations culture. But with many immigrants, this has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination, with different cultural experiences on offer … MORE \ Discover KwaZulu Natal \ or to find a place to stay in this Province, visit KwaZulu Natal Accommodation or KwaZulu Natal Hotels on SA-Venues.com. (Popular regions include Durban, Unhlanga and the Drakensberg).

Thursday, 10 September 2015

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 Durban’s Indian townships, Phoenix and Chatsworth, in a whirl of African colour and noise.

The city of many street-name-changes is full of surprisingly diverse tourist attractions. Our list of 10 must-do’s is a good place to start. Continued

Friday, 28 August 2015

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 north coast (Ballito, Salt Rock and Sheffield areas).

Here are 4 of the best snorkeling spots on Durbans Coast… Continued

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

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 forest rests on a 2 000 year-old sand dune. Sounds old enough but Hawaan, by contrast, stands sturdy on a sand dune that is 18 000 years old. It’s mind-boggling to think that something that old still exists… Continued

Friday, 21 August 2015

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 volunteer their time to take visitors through this green space.

A truly worthwhile experience, the Honorary Officers share a wealth of knowledge about the critters, crabs, birds and trees that collectively make up this wholly unique ecosystem. Continued

Thursday, 20 August 2015

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)… Continued

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

If There’s One Thing You Do In Durban – The 9 Markets of Warwick Tour

Everyone knows the Victoria Street Market in Durban’s inner-city. Its vibrantly painted building looks more like the palace of a Maharajah than a market. It lies on the edge of Bertha Mkhize Street (formerly Victoria Street); the site of a market since 1910.

Victoria Market is a predominantly Indian spice and flea market fused with north African curios, art and jewellery, fresh fish, Chinese wholesale goods and everything and anything in-between. It is a ‘safe’ option for tourists overwhelmed by the noise and inner-city turbulence that happens just outside the building, on one of Durban’s busiest street corners – Warwick Junction.

Some 460 000 commuters pass through Warwick Junction on any given day. There are 23 taxi ranks, 19 bus terminals and two major train stations in the near vicinity. It’s no wonder the average tourist’s eyes widen at the thought of venturing beyond the relative safety of the Victoria Market.

But the Markets of Warwick tour does just that… ] Continued

Monday, 3 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in KwaZulu Natal

The coastal province of KwaZulu Natal has just about everything – historical battlefields, architecture and memorials, first world shopping malls, Victorian-cottage shabby-chic suburban living, tribal settlements in rural areas, towering basalt mountains, warm seas, world-class wetlands, wildlife game reserves, hiking and snorkelling opportunities, vibrant markets, an annual sardine run, and a strong Indian, Zulu and colonial influence.

It isn’t short of rustic beauty either, and the top 10 natural attractions in KwaZulu Natal are a good place to start… Continued

Friday, 24 July 2015

8 Fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – Making Travel Easy

There is no better way to get a feel for a place than from the seat of your car, the open road before you; nothing to do, nowhere to be but exactly where you are, exploring and appreciating the scene as it unfolds before you.

The scenic beauty and rich history of KwaZulu Natal needs little introduction, but choosing just how best to explore it does. Here are 10 fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – to make travel easy… Continued

Thursday, 28 May 2015

10 Far-Flung Karoo Towns For Fabulous Festivals

If you’ve ever looked at a map of the Karoo (the Groot and Klein Karoo) you may have noticed that it occupies a huge chunk of central South Africa.

It stretches from Alexander Bay on the West Coast, encompassing the bulk of the Northern Cape, all the way to the Free State towns of Smithfield and Cookhouse on the Karoo’s eastern boundaries, whilst its southern borders are dotted with Route 62’s well-known towns from Robertson through to Uniondale.

Its towns read like a list of who’s who of the Platteland – Loeriesfontein, Van Wyksvlei, Prieska, Putsonderwater, Philippolis, Bitterfontein, Koffiefontein and Kuboes.

With so many towns to choose from, just where in the Karoo does one go? In this, the first of a series of blogs on the Karoo, we bring you 10 Far-Flung Karoo Towns For Fabulous Festivals... Continued

Monday, 16 March 2015

Durban’s Top 10 Foodie and Lifestyle Markets

Durban is brimming over with food and lifestyle markets. Craft and flea markets, farmers’ and organic food markets, indoor markets, open-air markets – whatever your preference. They manage to combine live music, foodies, crafters and enthusiasts in a way that keeps the locals coming back for more.

In Durban and want to know which markets to go to – here are the city’s top 10 … Continued

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit

A day or two after waving our Christmas guests goodbye (with a sigh of relief on my part), we decided that a bit of exploring was in order. Friends had told us about the small but worthwhile Amatikulu Nature Reserve which is a mere 25 minute drive from our house. So, we packed a picnic of sorts and headed in the direction of Amatikulu … Continued

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Wonders of Mtunzini

In December, while we had a bit of free time we decided to try and see a bit of our local area … our journey took us to the coastal town of Mtunzini which is located just 90 minutes drive north of Durban. The word Mtunzini is derived from the Zulu word emthunzini which means ‘a place in the shade’ and in the history of this coastal town it refers more to the place under the milkwood trees near the Mlalazi River.

Overlooking the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini is a lovely coastal town, well known for its status as a conservancy and also for being a town with a safe, clean and peaceful environment. As had already spent the morning exploring the Amatikulu Nature Reserve we were in need of lunch when we arrived in Mtunzini and stopped for a quick bite to eat at The Clay Oven Restaurant. Continued

Friday, 30 January 2015

Greytown and Tranquili-Tea

A few weeks ago a friend and I took a trip from where we farm in Kearsney to the town of Greytown. I must admit, I had driven through Greytown on my way to the Natal Midlands many times before but had never taken the time to stop and see what the town has to offer.

The landscape is for one is completely different; here the hills are covered in green forests compared to the sugar-cane fields that makeup the Kearsney landscape. The climate is wonderful too; on the day we visited it was beautifully cool and misty … in fact the drive home on the windy R74 took much longer than anticipated due to the misty, wet conditions (it’s not always easy to see a cow wandering across the road in the mist!) Continued

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Exceptional Bakery and Deli is popular with the local crowd

I’ve discovered somewhere that is fast becoming my favourite coffee spot. Located in the village of Umhlali, The Exceptional Bakery and Deli has only been open for six short weeks but is quickly gaining popularity with the local crowd.

What makes this venue so attractive is its premises … slap bang in the middle of the Karibu Nursery! There are a number of tables on a raised and covered deck area which overlooks the majority of the nursery area and there is certainly something tranquil about sipping a cup of Illy coffee while gazing out over rows of bobbing Agapanthus or bright daisies… Continued

Monday, 10 November 2014

Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake

When I used to live in Cape Town, one of my favorite things to do during the summer months was to pack a picnic and, with tickets in hand, head to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a Sunday concert.

The Durban Botanic Gardens have not disappointed, with the Old Mutual Music at the Lake series currently taking place. The concerts take place throughout the year and are centered around the beautiful lake in the gardens. There are approximately 5000 tickets per performance with different pricing options depending on how close to the stage one would like to sit… Continued