by Speckled Egg Digital Team
The perfect balance of bush and beach, KZN is one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations and it’s easy to see why. It’s arguable whether there exists any other season other than summer in this subtropical province, making it the perfect destination for all-year round adventure. Whether you’re basking in the eternal sunshine or heading into the lush green hills there’s always something for the whole family to enjoy.
Just north of Pietermaritzburg lies this 80km stretch of magnificent views and non-stop adventure. From craft shops to quiet villages, from water sport excitement at Midmar Dam to richly historical sites there is something for everyone. Weavers, potters, woodcrafters, artists, cheese makers, beer brewers and so much more have made the Midlands home and made it the arts and crafts route it is today. Apart from being a craft lovers paradise the midlands boasts the largest concentration of historical battlefields in the world dating back to the Anglo-Boer War so for those history lovers this is the perfect spot to soak up the nostalgia of the 1800s. There’s no need to rush here so take your time to appreciate the views, wander around and savour this exquisite slice of KZN.
Experience the simultaneous thrill and tranquillity of a hot air balloon ride with Drakensberg Ballooning. The take off point is just on the edge of the Drakensberg, inland from Durban, where you’ll meet before sunrise to be briefed before being whisked up into the skies. This has to be the best way to view the splendour of Kwazulu-Natal.
No trip to KZN is complete without a visit to this part of the province. Historically it has been home to the Zulus for generations and celebrates this heritage through the Zulu Cultural Villages where tourists can come to submerge themselves in the rich culture and traditions of the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Traditional dancing, cultural shows and curio shops are all there to be enjoyed by visitors. Additionally the valley is home to Marianhill Monastery established more than a century ago and showcasing some stunning architecture and artworks. Hiking, paragliding and rock climbing are also available at various parks and nature reserves in the area for those seeking adventure.
The oldest game reserve in Africa and one of South Africa’s largest, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is divided into two regions. The north is predominately forest and mountain terrain while the south is typically of the southern Imfolozi region with open savanna. This varied habitat allows for extensive species variation within the game reserve. One of the best spots for viewing the endangered rhino, home to the Big 5, hosting 340 species of birds and many other species of wildlife; Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream.
For those adrenalin junkies Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve is the place to be when visiting KZN. Oribi Gorge is home to the highest swing in the world and those brave enough to leap off of Lehrs Waterfall into a 165 meter gorge can enjoy the thrill of reaching a speed of up to 120km/h on the way down. If that’s not enough Oribi Gorge also has one of the highest abseils in the world where you can enjoy the stunning views of the gorge from a slightly different perspective and if that’s too much for you why not experience the Wild Slide which gives you a slightly more relaxed but just as exhilarating way to experience the gorge, zip line across the top of the gorge and enjoy the best birds eye view of the waterfalls and views below. Apart from thrill-seeking adventures Oribi Gorge also has hiking trails, horse riding, bird watching, river rafting and paintballing on offer.
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