The province of KwaZulu-Natal
is a strong argument both for and against political correctness. The northern
part of the province has traditionally been called Zululand or - in Zulu
- KwaZulu, and the rest of the province was called Natal in the colonial
After 1910 Zululand was simply
incorporated into Natal. Then, during the apartheid era, parts of Natal
were portioned off as the nominally independent homeland of KwaZulu. So
- in 1994, when the homelands were done away with, the whole province reverted
to the composite name of KwaZulu-Natal.
Now either of those names
is pretty easy to handle on its own, but KwaZulu-Natal is a bit of a mouthful
- and try typing it!!! That's why we're going to use the acronym KZN from
There is so much to do in
this immense - and immensely diverse - province. The coast is a sub-tropical
paradise with lovely long beaches, warm water, tangled green vegetation,
awesome surfing and great diving. The major coastal holiday areas - especially
for families - are the North Coast and South Coast.
South Coast is the most northerly extent of the annual Sardine Run and,
further north, the beaches of Maputaland are home to nesting turtles that
can be seen on guided night walks.
There are dozens of world
class golf courses mainly, but not exclusively, along the coast. There
are horse trails through the bush and the battlefields, in the mountains,
along the beaches and skirting the wetlands, as well as a whole host of
other adventure activities.
KZN is renowned as a game
viewing destination and the birding is fantastic. You can choose between
staying in a luxury lodge on a private game reserve or chilling out in
one of the KZN Wildlife parks. Perhaps even do a wilderness walking safari
- you get to walk through the wildest parts of the reserve, trying to avoid
lions and such-like while hoping for a good (but safe) sighting of rhinos,
elephants and other game.
Game Reserve, near the small town of Hluhluwe,
has the highest concentration of rhinos in Africa. If you're reading this
and planning a raid to stock up some far eastern pharmacies and boost your
bank balance - think again. How do you think the population got to that
size? Game guards are armed and seriously protective of the precious wildlife
in their care.
is a range of cultural attractions. As well as the many Zulu cultural villages,
contemporary tours and historical battlefields, KZN is also home to the
largest Indian population outside of India - a fact which has left its
mark on the landscape, the food and the culture of this vibrant province.
Great curry restaurants, markets selling spices and other exotic goods,
and ornate temples and mosques all attest to the influence these dynamic
people have had on the development of city of Durban,
but also further afield in the province.
Midlands, situated roughly between Durban
is characterised by rolling green hills, flowers, pockets of forest and
characterful small villages. It's a joy to explore with its many restaurants,
coffee shops, pretty guest houses, innovative craft outlets, micro breweries,
cheese factories, trout farms and other bucolic pleasures.
is a vast wilderness mountain area that divides the lush, low-lying eastern
coastal plain from the harsher and higher-lying interior. The Berg, as
it is fondly known, is a hiker's paradise and a great pony trekking destination.
Other attractions include small game, birding, flowers, fabulous scenery,
fly fishing, golf and fantastic rock art.
The fact that the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg
is one of South Africa's world heritage sites should give you an idea of
the ecological and recreational value of this enormous mountain range.
Another equally impressive world heritage site, also in KZN, is the iSimangaliso
Wetland Park (now known as iSimangaliso Wetland Park), which conserves
a spectacularly wide range of biomes, including wetlands, dunes, swamp
and coastal forests, rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine
Note: If you are planning
to travel to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal please be aware that this
region is malarial. Consult your doctor or travel clinic for advice
Bed & Breakfasts / Durban Guest
Houses / Durban Hotels / Durban
Self-Catering Holiday Rentals
High up on the east coast,
Durban is South Africa's sub-tropical beach getaway. The city centre overlooks
a long, golden beach that is probably the single most culturally diverse
spot in Africa. Here you will find frolicking families of every hue, busy
executives out for a quick lunchtime jog, teenagers in full breeding plumage,
elegant sari-clad matrons strolling the sand, buff surfers running into
the waves, and bead-bedecked sangomas collecting therapeutic sea water
Map of Durban
Durban is actually all about
the beach. It is home to South Africa's only surfing museum, and is one
of the most surf-friendly cities in the world. Frustrated wage slaves can
look out of their office windows onto awesome breaks - and then shed the
tie and jacket or the high heels and paddle out straight after work. Durban
is the closest seaport to Johannesburg and is also an integral part of
the city. As well as all the usual container docks it has not one,
but two yacht clubs and a great little cultural spot right in the middle
of the harbour - the BAT centre. Short for the Bartle Arts Trust, the BAT
Centre is a hotbed of local visual art and musical creativity mixed in
with some good restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. All overlooking the
small boat harbour so you can sip cappuccino while watching stubby-nosed
tugs coming in to rest after a hard day pushing supertankers around.
Bay is one of the better natural harbours on our coastline. Its narrow
opening is protected by a huge headland, called the Bluff, on one side
and, on the other, a point called Point - granted not the most imaginative
of names, but it's a cool place. Here you'll find another batch of fun
eateries where you could - if you were sufficiently anti-social and quite
strong - pitch a beer bottle onto a passing container ship as it enters
or leaves harbour. Close by is the newly built uShaka Marine World - a
state of the art aquarium, wet playground and shopping mall, where children
of all ages can ooh and aah at the sharks in the predator tank, snorkel
with the fishies (the cute little ones, not the sharks) and contemplate
the moral dilemma of captive animals everywhere as they watch incarcerated
dolphins jumping through hoops for their supper. Nobody said it was a perfect
The whole Point area is the
most interesting part of Durban. At one stage it must have been very fashionable
indeed, but then - well, you know, cities are living things and they grow
and change - it went downhill. A drive along Point Road will reward you
with the sight of row upon row of abandoned art deco warehouses and factories
- but not for much longer. Already the developers have set their sights
on this little treasure, and there'll pretty soon be loft-style apartments,
boutique hotels and designer malls. The beachfront is lined with multi-storey
hotels and restaurants, with unashamdely kitsch attraction, like a huge
pool complex and a snake park. Curio sellers line the walkways and dramatically
outfitted rickshaw-wallahs offer rides and photographic opportunities.
The best part about Durban's beachfront, though, is the water temperature.
It's rarely below 20°C, which makes ogling those tanned, buff surfers
just so much more interesting, as they don't wear wetsuits.
Accommodation in Durban itself
is conveniently concentrated along the beachfront or Golden Mile, close
to the Durban central business district. Slick, high rise Durban
hotels with sea views and swimming pools proliferate along this lively
strip. Another area that’s close to the beachfront and CBD with more hotels,
guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and affordable self-catering apartments
and villas are the leafy suburbs of Berea and Morningside, well endowed
with exceptional restaurants and shopping malls. It is highly advisable
to book accommodation in advance during peak season (December and January)
as scores of holiday makers descend upon all the beach locations in Durban.
Durban North is also an extremely popular choice with holiday makers.
Durban is in the middle of
a vast sugar-growing area that was originally worked by indentured labourers
from India, many of whom stayed, started businesses and built homes.
Durban has the largest population of Indians outside of India. There
is a vibrant Eastern feel to the city, a huge spice market, decorative
mosques, fantastic temples and - best of all - great food. You'll find
dozens of good curry restaurants and you just have to try a bunny chow
while you're there. It's a half or quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and
filled with curry. Eaten with the hands in the street, it's an obligatory
There's lots to do in and
around Durban City. Many people just park off on the beach, especially
on the North Coast, or South Coast, both of which are within an hour's
drive of the city, and there are loads of restaurants, some excellent theatre
and music, and wild and funky nightlife.
The surfing is great right
in the city and also up and down the coast. There's some reasonable diving
in Durban Bay but the South Coast has some truly world class spots - and
it's a great place for pretty competent and confident divers during the
annual Sardine Run.
If you spend much time at
all in the sea, you should consider a visit to the Sharks Board in Umhlanga,
just north of the city, where you can learn all about these fascinating
creatures. They're not the bloodthirsty killing machines they're made out
to be in American movies. There are a couple of fun river trips, some nice
abseiling, awesome sport climbing and small game farms not too far off
and the North and South Coasts boast an almost indecent density of championship
Durban's cultural attractions
are perhaps its most appealing diversions. There are Zulu cultural villages
to visit, township tours and visits to mosques or the beautiful Temple
of Understanding, which has an excellent, inexpensive vegetarian restaurant.
Another interesting spot
to visit is Inanda, which was the birthplace of both the Shembe religion
and Natal Native Congress, which later became the African National Congress.
It was also where Mahatma Ghandi, who lived there at the same time these
two other movements were starting, pioneered the concept of Satyagrah,
or passive resistance. Truly, a little crucible of world history.
/ Durban Bed & Breakfasts
/ Durban Guest Houses / Durban
Hotels / Durban Self-Catering Holiday
AND SURROUNDING AREAS - FEATURED HOTELS - KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA
accommodation in Durban and Surrounds, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
accommodation in Durban and Surrounds, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pride Audacia Hotel, Morningside, Durban
Manor, is a beautifully restored old Colonial Mansion. From her silky
wood panelling to her generous veranda’s and landscaped gardens, Audacia
Manor promises a warm welcome to all her guests. From her elevated
location in Morningside on the Berea Audacia Manor, one of the original
Grand Dames of Durban, has been perfectly poised for over 70 years to watch
the port grow from a small settlement to the thriving city it is today.
The guests first view of the estate is of the elegant facade, shuttered
windows thrown open to embrace the warm African sun. Wander down
to the sparking pool and have a refreshing cocktail at the Anderson Sports
Hotel Edward, Durban
on Durban's famous Golden Mile, within five minutes of the city centre,
the Protea Hotel Edward Durban heralds a time of Victorian elegance. This
world-famous hotel has played host to Princes and Presidents, Field Marshals,
millionaires and movie stars since 1911. The Protea Hotel Edward Durban
is well-placed within the Durban golden triangle which links the Suncoast
Casino, Ushaka Marine World and the International Convention Centre (ICC).
The hotel is a springboard from which to explore the rich Zulu culture
and game reserves of KwaZulu Natal. For delicious meals in a relaxed setting,
sample the delights of the 120-seater Brasserie and Terrace Restaurants'
a la carte menu, or tempt your tastebuds with delicious buffet treats.
Hotel Umhlanga, Umhlanga Rocks, near Durban
Rocks, near Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal, evokes a vision of golden beaches,
lush surroundings and the exhilaration of holidaying in an idyllic part
of the world. The 3-Star Protea Hotel Umhlanga is where that vision turns
to reality. Conveniently situated mere minutes from the protected
beach and only 10 minutes away from Durban in the heart of Umhlanga Rocks,
the Protea Hotel Umhlanga offers friendly and comfortable 3-Star accommodation.
Most of the 120 comfortably appointed rooms have sea-views and all are
elegantly and stylishly furnished. Admirably equipped semi self-catering
rooms, as well as facilities for disabled guests, are available at this
3-Star Hotel. This successful and hospitable accommodation option offers
guests all the mod cons as well as some outstanding features.
Hotel Florida Road, Durban
Victorian homes have been splendidly restored to create a hotel of the
utmost class. At Quarters you’ll find nothing but modern sophistication
and old-fashioned hospitality – reminiscent of some of New York’s finest
boutique hotels. Twenty four en-suite bedrooms are decorated in a manner
which reflects the architectural charm of the hotel. Set in a trendy
suburb of Durban, on Florida Road, which is the dining hub of the city,
this first-class hotel sets the trend of the area. Simple, stylish
cuisine offered daily with guests having a choice of dining in the conservatory
style indoor restaurant, or al fresco in the quaint outdoor courtyard.
The intimate bar offers a wide beverage selection and an acclaimed wine
Royal Palm Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, near Durban
Palm is situated in the centre of Palm Boulevard directly opposite the
Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Umhlanga Ridge. Gateway theatre of shopping
is the largest shopping complex in the southern Hemisphere with upmarket
retail outlets including banks, shops, entertainment, cinemas, and a hotel
and conference centre. The development is close to the Umhlanga Hospital
and La Lucia Office Estate. Umhlanga New Town Centre will be a mixed-use
hub to be developed around a series of squares, parks & boulevards,
surrounding the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. It is a vibrant environment
where people live, work, shop and play; a medium density, user-friendly
environment that will revolutionise the way people will live in the Umhlanga
New Town Centre. Royal Palm enjoys the finest position on the Palm
Boulevard and the new Piazza, which will incorporate a fountain, beautiful
The Riverside Hotel, Durban North
Situated above the Umgeni
River in Durban North, The Riverside Hotel has unparalleled views across
a magnificent green belt, and offers 169 unique rooms with all the comforts
associated with a four star hotel, as well as a complete kitchenette.
There is easy access to Durban's Central Business District and two minutes
from the Northern Freeway leading to Umhlanga Rocks and the Dolphin Coast.
Kings Park Rugby, Soccer and Swimming Stadiums are literally across the
river as are Durban Country Club and Windsor Park Golf Course, which is
nature at its best in the late afternoon. Accommodation: 169
rooms (400 people)
Royal Hotel, Durban
Royal Hotel's principle of uncompromising service and unfailing hospitality
has always been a cornerstone in it's 150 years of existence. During these
years it has been this ethos that has carried it from strength to strength
through a colourful and, at times, tumultous evolution. At The Royal
we believe that the real ingredient of lasting hotel excellence cannot
be bought. This is because it is service that makes the difference and
high standards first have to be cultivated and then continuously refined.
It is this commitment that has made us one of the foremost hotels in the
world. With six unique restaurants and a choice of three upmarket
cocktail venues, The Royal offers something for every taste - from the
casual to the superlative.