Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa

By Wyatt Johnson

KwaZulu-Natal, located on the east coast of South Africa, is a diverse and captivating province that offers a wealth of incredible tourist attractions. From pristine beaches and lush natural landscapes to vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage, KwaZulu-Natal has something to offer every visitor.

One of the top attractions in KwaZulu-Natal is the Drakensberg Mountain Range, a majestic and awe-inspiring natural wonder. With its towering peaks and dramatic landscapes, it is a haven for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers. The Drakensberg also boasts exceptional biodiversity, with a variety of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.

For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is a must. This renowned game reserve is home to the Big Five – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceroses – as well as a plethora of other fascinating animals and bird species. Safaris in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park offer visitors a chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

The province is also steeped in history and culture, with numerous historical sites and museums to explore. The iconic Battlefields Route takes visitors on a journey through the region’s turbulent past, showcasing the sites of significant battles and the stories of the people who fought in them. The KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg offers a fascinating insight into the province’s natural and cultural history.

From the breathtaking natural wonders to the rich cultural heritage, KwaZulu-Natal is a truly enchanting destination. Whether you are seeking outdoor adventures, wildlife encounters, or a glimpse into the past, this diverse province has it all. Come and explore the top-rated tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal and discover the beauty and charm of this remarkable region.

Durban Beaches

With its warm climate and beautiful coastline, Durban is home to some of the best beaches in South Africa. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, surf, or enjoy water sports, Durban’s beaches have something for everyone.

One of the most famous beaches in Durban is uShaka Beach, located near uShaka Marine World. This beach offers miles of golden sands and warm waters, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. It also has a promenade lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a great spot for a leisurely stroll.

If you’re looking for a beach that’s a bit more secluded, head to Glenashley Beach. This quiet beach is less crowded than some of the others and is known for its stunning views of the Indian Ocean. It’s a great spot for picnicking or taking a leisurely walk along the shore.

For those who enjoy surfing, North Beach is the place to be. This popular surf spot offers consistent waves and is home to several surf schools. Even if you’re not a surfer, North Beach is still a great place to visit with its vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the Golden Mile, a stretch of beachfront promenade.

Beach Location Description
uShaka Beach Near uShaka Marine World A popular beach with golden sands and a promenade lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Glenashley Beach Glenashley A quiet and secluded beach known for its stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
North Beach North Beach, Durban A popular surf spot with consistent waves, vibrant atmosphere, and proximity to the Golden Mile.

uShaka Marine World

uShaka Marine World is one of the top tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Located in Durban, uShaka Marine World is a unique combination of a theme park, aquarium, and water park. It offers visitors a chance to explore the wonders of the ocean and get up close and personal with marine life.

The theme park section of uShaka Marine World is filled with thrilling rides and attractions for all ages. It includes the thrilling water slides, pools, and a lazy river, perfect for cooling off on a hot day. For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, there are also sunbathing areas and beach access.

The highlight of uShaka Marine World is undoubtedly the aquarium. The aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine species, including sharks, dolphins, penguins, and turtles. Visitors can enjoy scheduled dolphin shows and even have the opportunity to swim with these majestic creatures.

uShaka Marine World also offers educational and interactive experiences. The Ocean Walker experience allows visitors to walk on the ocean floor and get a unique perspective on marine life. The Animal Encounter Island gives visitors the chance to interact with animals such as seals and penguins.

In addition to the theme park and aquarium, uShaka Marine World also has a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Visitors can indulge in delicious seafood, browse for souvenirs, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a marine enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, uShaka Marine World has something for everyone. It is a must-visit attraction that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all visitors.

Location Opening Hours Admission Fee
1 King Shaka Avenue, Point, Durban, 4001 Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm Adults: ZAR 179, Children (3-12 years): ZAR 139

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

The park covers an area of approximately 960 square kilometers and is divided into two sections – the Hluhluwe and iMfolozi sections. The Hluhluwe section is known for its rolling hills, scenic views, and diverse vegetation, while the iMfolozi section is characterized by its wide-open savannahs, riverine forests, and plentiful wildlife.

One of the main attractions of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is its population of white and black rhinos, which were on the brink of extinction in the early 20th century. Thanks to conservation efforts, the park now has a successful rhino breeding program and is a stronghold for these endangered animals.

In addition to rhinos, visitors to the park can also spot a variety of other wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, hippos, and crocodiles. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 340 bird species recorded within its boundaries, including the iconic African fish eagle.

For those who want to explore the park, there are several options available. Guided game drives, walking safaris, and self-drive routes are all popular choices. The park also offers picnic spots, camping facilities, and luxurious lodges for overnight stays.

Overall, a visit to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is an incredible experience for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and conservation efforts, it is truly a gem of KwaZulu-Natal.

Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountains are a stunning mountain range in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. They stretch for approximately 1,000 kilometers and are part of the larger Drakensberg escarpment. The name “Drakensberg” translates to “Dragon Mountains” in Afrikaans, and they get their name due to the rugged and dramatic peaks that resemble the spines of a dragon.

The Drakensberg Mountains offer a variety of activities and attractions for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The range is a hiker’s paradise, with numerous well-marked trails that range from easy walks to challenging treks. The impressive landscapes and breathtaking vistas make hiking in the Drakensberg an unforgettable experience.

One of the highlights of the Drakensberg Mountains is the Royal Natal National Park, which boasts the iconic Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre is a massive cliff face that spans approximately five kilometers and reaches a height of over 3,000 meters. This natural wonder offers incredible views and is a popular spot for rock climbing.

The Drakensberg is rich in cultural heritage, and it is home to the San people who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. The San left behind a treasure trove of rock art, and many of these ancient rock paintings can be found in caves and shelters throughout the mountains. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects these valuable cultural and natural resources.

In addition to hiking and exploring the rich cultural history, the Drakensberg also offers opportunities for bird watching, horseback riding, fishing, and even skiing in the winter months. The stunning beauty and diverse range of activities make the Drakensberg Mountains a must-visit destination for travelers to KwaZulu-Natal.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Covering a vast area of approximately 3,280 square kilometers, it is one of the largest and most diverse wetland parks in Africa.

The park is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, including lakes, swamps, coastal dunes, mangrove forests, and coral reefs. This incredible diversity of habitats supports an equally diverse range of plant and animal species.

Visitors to iSimangaliso Wetland Park can enjoy a range of activities, including boat safaris, game drives, snorkeling, and bird watching. The park is also home to several endangered species, including the black rhino, African wild dog, and leatherback turtle.

One of the park’s main attractions is Lake St. Lucia, the largest estuarine system in Africa. Here, visitors can take boat trips to see hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and fish eagles.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers a unique combination of wildlife, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Its diverse landscapes and ecosystems make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander is a popular tourist route in KwaZulu-Natal that winds through the picturesque countryside, offering visitors a chance to explore a diverse range of attractions. The route is known for its arts and crafts, outdoor activities, and stunning natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

One of the main highlights of the Midlands Meander is its arts and crafts scene. The region is home to a vibrant community of artists and craftsmen, who produce a wide variety of handcrafted goods. Visitors can explore numerous galleries, studios, and workshops, where they can watch artisans at work and purchase unique souvenirs. Whether it’s pottery, woodwork, or ceramics, there is something to suit every taste.

In addition to its arts and crafts, the Midlands Meander offers plenty of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking and birdwatching in the scenic nature reserves, or try their hand at fly fishing in the crystal-clear rivers. The area is also known for its excellent opportunities for horse riding, with numerous stables offering guided horseback tours through the countryside.

For those looking to relax and unwind, the Midlands Meander offers a range of charming cafes, restaurants, and spas. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the many farm-to-table eateries, which showcase locally sourced ingredients and traditional South African cuisine. Alternatively, they can indulge in a pampering spa treatment, such as a massage or facial, to rejuvenate their body and mind.

With its stunning landscapes and diverse range of attractions, the Midlands Meander is a true gem in KwaZulu-Natal. Whether you’re interested in art, outdoor activities, or simply getting away from it all, this scenic route offers something for everyone.

Battlefields Route

The Battlefields Route in KwaZulu-Natal is a historical journey that takes visitors back to the significant battles that shaped South Africa. This route is popular amongst history enthusiasts and those interested in the country’s rich past.

The region of KwaZulu-Natal is known for its role in the Anglo-Zulu War and the Anglo-Boer War, which took place in the late 19th century. The Battlefields Route allows visitors to explore the battlefields, memorials, and museums that commemorate these pivotal events.

One of the most famous battlefields on the route is the Battle of Isandlwana. This battle took place in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Today, visitors can witness the awe-inspiring landscape where the battle occurred and learn about the events that unfolded.

Another significant site on the route is Rorke’s Drift, where a small British garrison successfully defended their position against a Zulu attack in 1879. The museum at Rorke’s Drift provides a detailed account of the battle and showcases artifacts from the time.

The Talana Museum in Dundee is another must-visit attraction on the Battlefields Route. It offers a comprehensive look into the Anglo-Zulu War and the Anglo-Boer War, with exhibits showcasing the weaponry, uniforms, and personal belongings of soldiers who fought in these conflicts.

The Battlefields Route also includes Spioenkop, a battlefield that saw fierce fighting during the Anglo-Boer War. Visitors can explore the trenches and visit the memorial that honors those who lost their lives in the conflict.

For a deeper understanding of the region’s history, guided tours are available along the Battlefields Route. These tours provide expert insights and narratives, enhancing the visitor’s experience and appreciation for the significance of these battlefields.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply fascinated by the past, the Battlefields Route in KwaZulu-Natal offers a unique and educational experience. It provides a window into the conflicts that have shaped South Africa and allows visitors to pay tribute to those who fought and sacrificed their lives.

Tala Game Reserve

The Tala Game Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary located in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. With its diverse range of indigenous flora and fauna, it is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

The reserve spans over 3,000 hectares of pristine bushveld and offers visitors the opportunity to experience the thrill of spotting the famous Big Five animals – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. The reserve is also home to over 380 bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

Tala Game Reserve offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Guided game drives give you the chance to explore the reserve with an experienced ranger, who will provide interesting insights into the local wildlife and their habitats. You can also go on guided walks or horseback rides to get up-close and personal with the animals and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

In addition to its impressive wildlife, Tala Game Reserve boasts stunning landscapes and breathtaking views. Visitors can take in the panoramic scenes from various lookout points and enjoy picnics or sundowners while admiring the beauty of the African wilderness.

For those interested in history and culture, the reserve is also home to archaeological sites and rock paintings that offer a glimpse into the area’s rich past. Visitors can learn about the indigenous Zulu culture and heritage through various interactive exhibits and displays.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous safari experience, a tranquil retreat in nature, or an educational exploration of the region’s history, Tala Game Reserve has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to discover this hidden gem in KwaZulu-Natal.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a world-class sports arena located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and has since become a prominent landmark in the city. The stadium is named after Moses Mabhida, a former Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party.

With a seating capacity of over 54,000, the Moses Mabhida Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in South Africa. Its unique design features a distinctive arch that reaches a height of 106 meters, offering panoramic views of the city and coastline from the SkyCar and SkyWalk attractions.

In addition to hosting football matches, the stadium is versatile and has been used for various sporting events, concerts, and conferences. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including changing rooms, media facilities, and hospitality suites.

Visitors can enjoy thrilling activities such as the Big Swing, where you can experience an adrenaline-pumping 220-meter freefall from the top of the arch. The stadium also offers guided tours that take visitors behind the scenes, allowing them to explore the player’s tunnel, the pitch, and the VIP areas.

Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a unique vantage point to admire the city, the Moses Mabhida Stadium is a must-visit attraction in KwaZulu-Natal. Its iconic architecture, stunning views, and exciting activities make it an unforgettable destination.

Valley of a Thousand Hills

The Valley of a Thousand Hills is a breathtakingly beautiful region in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The name is derived from the rolling hills that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a stunning panoramic view.

Located just outside of Durban, the Valley of a Thousand Hills is a popular tourist destination for its natural scenery and cultural attractions. It is home to several traditional Zulu villages, where visitors can immerse themselves in the rich Zulu culture and learn about the history and traditions of the Zulu people.

One of the highlights of the Valley of a Thousand Hills is the Phezulu Cultural Village. Here, visitors can experience traditional Zulu dancing, taste authentic Zulu cuisine, and learn about Zulu crafts and artifacts.

The Valley of a Thousand Hills is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are several hiking and biking trails that wind through the hills, offering stunning views and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The Umgeni River, which runs through the valley, is a popular spot for canoeing and fishing.

In addition to its natural and cultural attractions, the Valley of a Thousand Hills is also home to the famous Comrades Marathon. This grueling ultramarathon attracts participants from around the world, who challenge themselves to complete the 90-kilometer course through the hills.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Zulu culture, enjoy outdoor adventure, or simply soak in the breathtaking scenery, the Valley of a Thousand Hills is a must-visit destination in KwaZulu-Natal.

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is an iconic landmark in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It holds great historical significance as it was the location where Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary, was arrested on August 5, 1962.

This site serves as a memorial to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, celebrating his courage, determination, and his fight against apartheid. It has become a popular tourist attraction in KwaZulu-Natal, drawing visitors from all over the world to learn about the history of the struggle for freedom in South Africa.

The centerpiece of the Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a powerful sculpture that captures the moment of Mandela’s arrest. The sculpture is made up of steel columns that create an illusion of Mandela’s face when viewed from a certain angle. It was created by artist Marco Cianfanelli and unveiled in 2012, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s capture.

Visitors to the site can walk along the path that Mandela took on the day of his arrest, marked by 50 steel columns that represent the 50th anniversary. As they walk, they can reflect on the significance of this historic event and the impact Mandela had on South Africa and the world.

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site also features an exhibition center, which provides visitors with more information about Mandela’s life and the struggle against apartheid. The center showcases photographs, documents, and personal artifacts, offering a comprehensive insight into Mandela’s journey and the history of apartheid.

For those interested in learning more about South Africa’s history and Nelson Mandela’s role in the fight for freedom, a visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a must. It is a place of reflection, inspiration, and a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s greatest leaders.

Oribi Gorge

Oribi Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It offers visitors an incredible opportunity to appreciate the region’s stunning landscapes and enjoy various outdoor activities.

Stretching approximately 27 kilometers long and up to 400 meters deep, Oribi Gorge is a magnificent spectacle of rugged cliffs, lush forests, and sparkling waterfalls. The gorge is carved by the Umzimkulwana River, creating a dramatic landscape that attracts nature lovers, adventure seekers, and photographers from around the world.

Visitors to Oribi Gorge can embark on exhilarating activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining. The abundance of well-maintained trails allows visitors to explore the gorge’s diverse flora and fauna while admiring the panoramic views from various vantage points.

Thrill-seekers will find the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve to be a paradise for adventure sports. The suspension bridge, affectionately known as “The Gorge Swing,” lets visitors experience an adrenaline rush as they swing across the gorge, suspended 165 meters above the ground. For those who prefer a more controlled descent, abseiling down the gorge is also available.

Oribi Gorge is also home to an impressive array of wildlife, including the critically endangered Oribi antelope after which the gorge is named. Visitors may spot other species such as monkeys, baboons, and a variety of bird species while exploring the area.

Overall, a visit to Oribi Gorge is a must for anyone seeking an unforgettable adventure in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty and thrilling activities, it’s easy to see why this destination is one of the top-rated tourist attractions in the region.

Midlands Liberty Mall

The Midlands Liberty Mall is a popular shopping destination in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Located in the scenic Midlands region, the mall offers an impressive selection of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment venues.

The mall boasts a large array of stores, ranging from well-known international brands to local boutiques. Visitors can shop for clothing, accessories, electronics, home goods, and more. The mall also features a variety of restaurants, cafes, and fast-food outlets, providing plenty of options for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

In addition to shopping and dining, the Midlands Liberty Mall offers a range of entertainment options. There is a multi-screen cinema complex, where visitors can catch the latest blockbuster movies. The mall also hosts regular events, such as live music performances, art exhibitions, and seasonal celebrations.

For those traveling with children, the mall provides a dedicated play area, where kids can have fun in a safe and supervised environment. The mall also occasionally organizes special activities and workshops for children, offering interactive and educational experiences.

The Midlands Liberty Mall is conveniently located and easily accessible, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. With its diverse range of stores, dining options, and entertainment venues, it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to shop, eat, or simply relax and enjoy some entertainment, the Midlands Liberty Mall is a must-visit destination in KwaZulu-Natal.

Location 75 Sanctuary Road, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Opening Hours Monday-Saturday: 9am-7pm
Sunday: 9am-5pm
Contact Information Phone: +27 33 392 3787
Email: info@midlandslibertymall.co.za
Website www.midlandslibertymall.co.za

Sani Pass

The Sani Pass is a must-visit attraction in KwaZulu-Natal for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Located in the southern Drakensberg Mountains, it is a rugged mountain road that connects South Africa with Lesotho. This iconic pass offers breathtaking views and a thrilling driving experience.

The Sani Pass is not for the faint-hearted as it is a challenging 4×4 drive with steep gradients, hairpin bends, and unpaved roads. It requires a competent driver and a sturdy vehicle to navigate the treacherous terrain. However, the effort is well worth it as you ascend through scenic landscapes, crystal-clear streams, and lush green valleys.

At an elevation of 2,876 meters, the Sani Pass is the highest road in South Africa and provides access to the “Roof of Africa” pub, which is situated near the Lesotho border. This popular drinking spot offers stunning panoramic views and is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

For those who want to explore further, there are guided hikes available in the area. These hikes take you through Lesotho’s picturesque landscapes and give you the opportunity to interact with local Basotho people and their traditional way of life.

Visiting the Sani Pass is an unforgettable experience and a must-do for any visitor to KwaZulu-Natal. Whether you embark on a thrilling 4×4 drive or opt for a guided hike, you are sure to be captivated by the natural beauty and adventure that this attraction has to offer.

FAQs

What are the top tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal?

There are several top-rated tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal. Some of the popular ones include the Drakensberg Mountains, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and the Battlefields Route.

What can you see and do in the Drakensberg Mountains?

The Drakensberg Mountains offer a range of activities for tourists. You can go hiking and explore the stunning landscapes, visit the Royal Natal National Park and see the Tugela Falls, go rock climbing, visit the Bushman paintings in the caves, or relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

What wildlife can you see in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park?

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is known for its rich wildlife. Visitors have the chance to see the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo), as well as cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and various bird species.

What is the significance of uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park?

uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has great cultural and natural significance. It is home to ancient San rock art, stunning mountain landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna. The park also offers opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and exploring the rich heritage of the area.

What can you do in iSimangaliso Wetland Park?

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a diverse and unique destination. Visitors can enjoy game drives to see hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species, go snorkeling or scuba diving in the coral reefs, visit the St. Lucia Estuary, go fishing, and explore the coastal forests and lakes in the area.

What are some top-rated tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal?

Some top-rated tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal include the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, the Drakensberg Mountains, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the uShaka Marine World, and the Durban Botanic Gardens.

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Wyatt Johnson

Wyatt Johnson, a seasoned travel writer and Miami resident, is the driving force behind captivating pieces at TravelAsker. Unveiling the gems of his vibrant city and its serene beach resorts, his articles showcase an array of family-friendly activities. Leveraging his global insights and experiences as a family man, Wyatt becomes your ideal companion, guiding you through the enchanting delights of Miami and the wonders of Florida.

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