KwaZulu-Natal is divided into 3 different regions; the lowland, the central and the coastal region. The lowlands include the coastline of the Indian Ocean and the coastal region boasts steep ravines, subtropical thickets and an amazing Afromontane forest.
The central region is known as the ‘Natal Midlands’ and includes the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebomo Mountains in the North. With these coastal regions and these incredible mountains, KwaZulu-Natal proves to be a diverse South African safari destination.
In 1497, 25th December (Christmas Day), Vasco da Gama saw the coast of KwaZulu-Natal (the first sighting), since it was on Christmas Day and he was Portuguese – he named this area after the Portuguese word for Christmas which is ‘Natal’. Only in 1994 was the area renamed to ‘KwaZulu-Natal’ with the inclusion of the homeland of the KwaZulu which means ‘Place of Zulu’….
Durban (the biggest city in KwaZulu-Natal) is categorized into 2 sides; North Durban and South Durban. The North Coast (north Durban) includes; Umhlanga, Salt Rock and Balito; and the South Coast (south Durban) includes; Margate, Port Shepstone, Port Edward and Scottburgh. Durban is also one of the few selected areas to boast a blue-flag beach along its coast!
An interesting phenomenon in KwaZulu Natal is the ‘sardine run’, also known as the migration of the ‘greatest shoal on earth’ from the southern most tip of Africa all the way to the Eastern Cape. Along the route, they pass next to the narrow coastal area of KwaZulu-Natal which is close to the shoreline. From this coastal region the sardines are visible and many actually wash up ashore. The ‘sardine run’ stretches for many kilometres and is followed by predators; game fish, sharks, dolphins and seagulls.
KwaZulu-Natal’s climate ranges from subtropical to tropical. The closer you get to Mozambique the more tropical the weather is – humid and warm in the summers (November to March). It is less hot in the inland…
Have a look at our South African safaris that include the KwaZulu-Natal area below. There are also other South African attractions beneath that you might want to visit on your South African Safari.