Must see attractions in KwaZulu-Natal

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Elephant Coast

    iSimangaliso Wetland Park

    iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a sprawling, diverse ecosystem comprised of hundreds of kilometres of beaches, lakes, wetlands and forests to explore. The size of the park can be intimidating, but it is well worth taking the time to explore this verdant wonderland from top to bottom.

  • Sights in Northern Berg

    Royal Natal National Park

    Royal Natal National Park is one of the best spots in the entire KZN Wildlife system. The park and its surrounds are full of movie-quality scenery (literally: the 1964 film Zulu was shot here) and so many activities that those looking to take in everything the park has to offer should plan a multi-day stay.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Elephant Coast

    Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

    Hluhluwe-iMfolozi is one of South Africa’s best-known, most evocative parks. Covering 960 sq km, it is best visited in the dry winter months (May to September) as the animals congregate at water sources (the White iMfolozi and Black iMfolozi Rivers flow here), and the normally lush vegetation thins out. However, summer visits can also be very rewarding, especially in the open savannah country areas.

  • Top ChoiceSights in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

    Kosi Bay

    Just south of the border of Mozambique is Kosi Bay, located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The coastal lakes and estuary that make up the area are far enough away from the busy shores further south that it retains a quiet tranquility not found in many beaches in KwaZulu-Natal. Kosi Bay is known for its exceptional snorkelling, but note that stone fish are present here, so protect your feet if walking in the estuary.

  • Top ChoiceSights in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

    Sodwana Bay

    Caught between dense forest and pristine sands you'll find Sodwana Bay, a well-loved vacation destination for locals and tourists alike. Popular activities include guided walking and birding trails, especially along the 5km Mgobozeleni Trail, a route featuring coastal forest and grassland. Serious deep-sea fishing draws many, but scuba diving is king here given the diverse and alluring undersea life in the area.

  • Top ChoiceSights in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

    uMkhuze Game Reserve

    It doesn't have the flashy name recognition of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi or Tembe, but uMkhuze is a hidden gem of a reserve. Lions were introduced in 2014, but even before that visitors came for terrific hyena, rhino and elephant sightings set against dense scrub. The park's claim to fame, however, is the more than 400 bird species that call it home. Birders will tell you it's one of the top birdwatching spots in South Africa.

  • Sights in Dundee

    Talana Heritage Park & Battlefield

    Talana means ‘the shelf where precious items are stored’ – strangely appropriate for this excellent battlefield site turned heritage park. There are memorials, cairns and 27 historic buildings relating to the 1899 Anglo-Boer Battle of Talana (the first Anglo-Boer battle was fought on the site). Spread around these buildings are comprehensive displays on the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer Wars. It's located on the Vryheid road, 1.5km out of town.

  • Sights in Margate, Ramsgate & Southbroom

    Umtamvuna Nature Reserve

    This reserve is on a gorge on the Umtamvuna River (which forms part of the border with Eastern Cape). This beautiful dense forest has great nature walks, with wildflowers in spring, plus mammals and many species of bird. To get there from Port Edward, follow the signs off R61 to Izingolweni and continue for 8km. Pick up a brochure at the reserve’s entrance.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Pietermaritzburg

    KwaZulu-Natal Museum

    This impressive museum has a range of well-curated displays reflecting a diversity of cultures, including settler history, war records, stuffed birds and marine life. The hall of African mammals is particularly stunning, with a huge number of stuffed animals in a relatively small space.

  • Sights in Durban

    Bay of Plenty Beach

    At the heart of the beachfront along Durban's Golden Mile. Popular with sunbathers and beach-sports enthusiasts.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Durban

    Moses Mabhida Stadium

    Durbanites are proud of their state-of-the-art stadium, constructed for the 2010 World Cup. Resembling a giant basket, it seats 56,000 people, and its arch was inspired by the ‘Y’ in the country’s flag. Visitors can head up to the arch in a SkyCar, puff up on foot (550 steps) on an Adventure Walk or plunge off the 106m arch on the giant Big Swing. All options offer great views of Durban.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Durban

    uShaka Marine World

    Divided into areas including Sea World and Wet’n’Wild, uShaka Marine World boasts one of the largest aquariums in the world, the biggest collection of sharks in the southern hemisphere, marine animals and exhibits, a mock-up 1940s steamer wreck featuring two classy restaurants, a shopping centre, and enough freshwater rides to make you seasick. There are various options to 'meet' dolphins, seals and rays, but animal welfare groups suggest such interactions create stress for these creatures.

  • Sights in Central Berg

    Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve

    Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve is known for having some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the Drakensberg. It sits between Royal Natal National Park and Giant's Castle, and the Bell (2930m), the Horns (3005m) and Cleft Peak (3281m) all on proud display. Hikers must register with the park office before setting off on walks; be sure to obtain instructions and times regarding the hikes, including to Cathedral Peak.

  • Sights in Zululand

    Ithala Game Reserve

    Although it's not as well known as other reserves in the province, a trip to Ithala should be on the itinerary of anyone who is looking for spectacular views. There is a nice selection of wildlife to view (the reserve is known for its giraffes) and it contains other points of interest for nature and history buffs, including some of the world's oldest rock formations, as well as spear and axe heads dating back to the Stone Age.

  • Sights in Central Berg

    Monk’s Cowl

    Hikes ranging from a few hours to a few days in length, rock climbing and panoramic views are all on offer at Monk's Cowl. This reserve lies within uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and contains three peaks: Monk’s Cowl (1491m), Champagne Castle (3376m) and Cathkin Peak (3180m).

  • Sights in The Elephant Coast

    Tembe Elephant Park

    Tembe Elephant Park, which sprawls over 300 sq km of dry, sandy coastal forest on the Mozambique border, is home to around 230 big tusker elephants. Not only are the elephants the only ones indigenous to KZN, they are also the largest in the world. The park is owned by the Tembe Tribe and managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. It's near Kosi Bay, not far from the R22, and is well sign-posted.

  • Sights in The Elephant Coast

    Ndumo Game Reserve

    The Ndumo Game Reserve butts up against the border of Mozambique and houses black and white rhinos, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and many antelope species on 100 sq km of quintessential African bush. Birders flock here as the Phongolo and Usutu Rivers and their flood plains are home to an impressive array of species.

  • Sights in iSimangaliso Wetland Park

    Western Shores

    The region northwest of St Lucia Estuary is called the Western Shores, and comprises two stunning lakeside spots, known as Fani’s Island (closed to visitors at the time of research due to drought conditions) and Charters Creek (entrance is off the N2, 18km north of Mtubatuba and 32km south of Hluhluwe), an area of dense coastal forest and grasslands.

  • Sights in Oribi Gorge

    Lake Eland Game Reserve

    The reserve has over 40 species of animal and 200 bird species. You can head off on a self-drive (R60 per person) or a wildlife drive (R250 per person, minimum four people). There is a 4.7km series of zip lines, as well as the alternative Zip eXtreme, which reaches speeds of 160km/h (R450 to R550, including gate entry). A short gorge walk crosses a 130m-high suspension bridge, and fishing and canoeing are possible on the lake if you have the necessary kit (none available for hire). You’ll find the reserve 40km from Port Shepstone; drive 26km along Oribi Flats Rd off the N2.

  • Sights in Eshowe

    Fort Nongqayi Museum Village

    Based around three-turreted Fort Nongqayi, the museum village also includes the Zululand Historical Museum, with artefacts and Victoriana; the excellent Vukani Museum with its Zulu basketry collection; and a missionary chapel. Well worth a look is the small but delightful butterfly house : a walk-in greenhouse where visitors can enjoy indigenous vegetation and hundreds of (mostly local) African butterfly species. You can walk from here to Mpushini Falls (40 minutes return), but note that bilharzia (snail fever) has been reported here.