South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal

In South Africa's province KwaZulu-Natal nature enthuasiasts and culture lovers can explore impressive wildlife areas, a colourful culture and vibrant cities. Here you can learn more

Ann-Kathrin
Ann-Kathrin
Travel Guide
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KwaZulu-Natal is a province in the northeast of South Africa. From the megacity of Durban, situated on the Indian Ocean, to the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains – KwaZulu-Natal is home to many of South Africa's most fascinating sights. Last but not least, there are countless national parks and protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal, all of which are characterised by a diverse flora, a species-rich fauna and varied landscapes.

Profile

Name
KwaZulu-Natal

Location
on the East Coast of South Africa

Size
approx. 94,360 km²

Animals
Among others: elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, hyaenas, wild dogs, cheetahs, crocodiles, various antelopes and monkeys, countless bird species, whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast

Best travel time
All year round

Highlights
National parks: iSimangaliso Wetland Park and uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) as well as the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, the vibrant Durban and the charming Pietermaritzburg

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Visiting KwaZulu-Natal

Location, geography and climate

KwaZulu-Natal is 94,360 km² in size and about the same size as Hungary. To the north it borders Swaziland, Mozambique and the province of Mpumalanga, to the south the Eastern Cape, to the west the Free State and Lesotho and to the east the Indian Ocean. Capital of KwaZulu-Natal is Pietermaritzburg, the biggest city is Durban.

The "Garden Province of South Africa" can be divided into three zones: flat coastline, inland hilly landscapes and mountains, more precisely the Drakensberg in the west and the Lebomboberge in the north of the country. The coastal region is particularly characterised by subtropical vegetation and deep gorges, the hilly interior by fertile grasslands and isolated Afromontane forests, the northern regions by savannah and the mountain region predominantly by high mountain steppes.

KwaZulu-Natal's climate is generally warm and humid, whereas it can be relatively dry and cold in the higher inland during the winter months.

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Flora and fauna

KwaZulu-Natal is home to a large number of national parks and nature reserves, which in turn are home to a species-rich fauna and flora. uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park have both been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The latter is the habitat of countless birds and amphibians, but also of various mammals; in uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park you can admire some bird and antelope species as well as countless endemic plant species.

The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park with its diverse vegetation is also home to numerous species. All representatives of the Big Five, cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, antelopes and many other wild animals can be observed here extensively.

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Highlights

KwaZulu-Natal shines especially with its diversity: those who are interested in culture and society get their money's worth as well as nature and outdoor lovers.

Those who want to admire the rich vegetation of KwaZulu-Natal will find the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park an exciting destination, whereas the iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers fascinating water worlds and their local wildlife. In the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, one of the oldest game reserves, the Big Five and countless other animals can be observed with a little luck.
The capital Pietermaritzburg and especially the megacity of Durban offer a broad cultural experience, interesting sights and various leisure options.

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