Tourist Attractions of KwaZulu Natal
Tourist Attractions of South Africa
South Africa is a vast and extremely fascinating country that packs a powerful tourist punch. Few countries can match it for variety and diversity in attractions, activities and cultural groups. From art and history to food and wine, wildlife and nature, nightlife, shopping and even places of worship – there is so much on offer to attract, entice and entertain.
The Western Cape with its mountains and oceans offers scenery that has inspired thousands of descriptions. It has great beaches, World Heritage sites, romantic winelands and museums that celebrate a rich cultural heritage. You can’t talk about a trip to Cape Town without discussing the fabulous cuisine and shopping options that draw tourists time and time again.
Gauteng’s brash exterior belies its depth, uncovered at numerous cultural and historical attractions. Places like Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto feature alongside chi-chi restaurants, funky galleries, shopping malls and fascinating visits to the Cradle of Humankind, where all our stories began.
In Mpumalanga you’ll find a host of nature-related attractions, arts and crafts outlets, country towns, cultural villages and stupendous scenery along the well-known Panorama route. Of course one of the major attractions is the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Limpopo shares this wildlife sanctuary - the size of a small country - and has many of its own nature reserves. It also boasts the fascinating Mapungubwe, where once an ancient kingdom developed a field of influence that spread beyond the continent. Intriguing groups such as the Venda and the Balobedu still practise culturally-rich traditions in the far north of this region.
The North West is all about Sun City, and the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Game Reserves, but don’t forget the mampoer farms and the idiosyncrasies of the Marico, the cultural mélange at Lesedi on the shores of the Hartebeespoort Dam or the little town of Taung where the famous skull of the same name was discovered. From the Margaret Roberts Herbal Farm (De Wildt) to Sol Plaaitje’s house in Mafikeng, there’s much to explore.
Immense skies and enormous spaces characterise the Northern Cape, along with attractions such as the Big Hole in Kimberley, the Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum and the myths and legends as taught by the ancient San. The Augrabies Falls National Park, the Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and the Riemvasmaak community all offer interesting experiences and insights.
KwaZulu-Natal has its own brand of uniqueness when it comes to tourist attractions. Here you can visit a Hare Krishna temple in Durban, pay your respects at the Battlefields in the Midlands, come face to face with Zulu culture and celebrate some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline. Sunny year-round, the province has great places to shop, eat, and discover.
The Eastern Cape is a place of rich heritage and struggle sites. Here historic monuments find their place alongside fun aquariums and beachside establishments. Malaria-free game sanctuaries and numerous nature reserves thrill adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.
Small towns and homegrown hospitality are the distinctive attributes of the Free State. Visit the Basotho Cultural Village on the way to the spectacular Golden Gate National Park, visit the Choet Visser Rugby Museum in Bloemfontein or the Fertility Caves (outside Clarens). Make your way to the fun galleries of Clarens, feast visually on the sandstone sights of Ficksburg and drink in the fascinating history of the provincial capital, Bloemfontein.
Wherever you go around the country, you’re bound to find a fun attraction, a moving museum, a great place to enjoy the local vibes. Enjoy surfing the Nightjar site for the best attractions on offer in each of the provinces.
Articles & Blogs
A Tipsy Tale of Maverick Brewers9:45pm 27 Jul
Words Stephen Smith, pics Stephen Smith and supplied
Our unofficial KwaZulu-Natal Midlands beer route is a day trip that begins in Durban and ends at a warm Midland’s pub with supper and a comfy bed for the night. So designate the driver and head out there.
The Standeaven Brewery
Our day of tasting starts at the Shongweni Farmers Market just 35km from Durban. We arrive in drizzle at about 08h30 to a field of mud, but when we catch sight of The Standeaven Brewery stall there are already a few people standing around, beer in hand. It’s obviously the...
The Factory Café6:30am 12 May
The Factory Café
Think steampunk style, a big warehouse, and some of the trendiest barista’s you’ll ever meet – that’s what The Factory Café in Durban has to offer if you are coffee-shop hunting! They are known for providing a great environment for all types of people; from young, working class “creative” to families, to businessmen. Their range of coffees and teas are served in an aesthetically appealing fashion, which you can discover for yourself when you visit. My favourite thing to order is a Cocoa Gelato, which is essentially a mix of cocoa, milk and ice but...
iwantmycoffee6:30am 14 Apr
Durban’s coffee scene is expanding into a brilliant and booming culture, thanks to coffee shops like ‘iwantmycoffee’ in Umhlanga. ‘iwantmycoffee’ is run by Ard Matthews from the band ‘Just Jinger’ and offers not only a quirky, fun environment with chalk calligraphy scripted on the walls, but also involves a different idea to your usual cute coffee shop. ‘iwantmycoffee’ has its own, in-house run, live online radio station- even offering live music gigs on Sundays which are also aired on radio. The blend of art and coffee at ‘iwantmycoffee’ is a true testament to...
The Chairman- Jazz Lounge6:30am 17 Mar
The Chairman- Jazz Lounge
A recent discovery by a group of friends has led me fall in love with Durban’s rendition of the classic Jazz Lounge. ‘The Chairman’ is found on Mahatma Ghandi road in the centre of Durban. Although not your expected area for an elegant, comforting and charming Jazz Lounge, the atmosphere of ‘The Chairman’ is hard to top. The bustle of the lounge only gets going towards the later evening when Jazz bands and wide mix of people come to sit and drink with friends while being transported in to an era of sophistication and class.
The Nottingham Road Brewery2:55pm 7 Dec
A hop and a skip from Nottingham Road you’ll find Rawdons Hotel in the heart of the Midlands Meander. Its one of the older hotels in the area and home to The Nottingham Road Brewery who produce a range of delicious boutique beers. The names of their brews are the best: “Pig-eyed Possum Pilsner”, “Tiddly Toad Larger”, and if you buy a case of thirst aid, as they call it, a portion of the profits from their “Pickled Pig Porter” lands in the Project Rhino’s piggy bank. They’ve donated a sweet fortune so far … so drink more beer.
The Nottingham Road Brewery...
Swissland Cheese11:55am 29 Nov
Being in a car with kids is my idea of a nightmare. They usually seem to get ratty and at some stage one of them is going to say, “Are we nearly there yet”? So in my wisdom I’ve learnt to break journeys when travelling with friends and their little ones, and that’s what took me to Swissland Cheese. Apart from their award winning cheeses, you can also buy picnic hampers and bags of nibbles to tempt the goats to eat at Billy Goat Avenue. At 3.30pm it's fun to watch the goats lining up for milking, but remember they’re all on maternity leave from the...
JuMeLi Café2:55pm 16 Nov
I had heard a lot about this thriving little café on the corner of Clark Road and Davenport in Glenwood. One day, on my way home from varsity, I decided to grab a coffee there with a friend. I immediately fell in love with the cute and quirky café not only because of the incredible murals and art displayed on the café walls, but also because of the array of people I found sitting and happily enjoying a coffee there. Perhaps the inviting and intriguing feel of this café is due to its name ‘JuMeLi’, a mash up of the names of the owners’ three children. I’m...
Green With Envy5:55am 6 Nov
There are so many great little spots in Durban to go grab a coffee with friends, and my latest discovery was the gem which is ‘Green with Envy’. Upon arrival my friends and I were in awe by the peaceful miniature rainforest we found ourselves in… the further we explored, the more excited we became about our new refreshing and charming coffee spot. ‘Green with Envy’ not only has a great greenhouse resembling a café, but also a quirky art gallery, small gift shop and a neat nursery. We couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves and laugh away a couple of hours under the trees along with...
The Corner Cafe2:55pm 2 Nov
THE CORNER CAFE
If you’re a bit of a foodie, a supporter of the 'going green' movement and looking for a place that embodies everything that’s Durban, then you need to make your way to the corner of Brand and Cromwell Street. In front of you will be a graffitied wall, heart-shaped decor and one of the friendliest restaurant owners on the East Coast. At The Corner Cafe you are treated to a gourmet menu that changes almost every day 'to keep everyone on their toes'. Everything that is cooked, baked, made or sold is organic and environmentally friendly and the cafe...
Ci Gusta2:55pm 12 Oct
If you have travelled to Italy and tasted real Italian ice-cream, also known as 'gelato', then you would probably have become very disappointed with the ice-cream that South Africa offers. But never fear, because there’s a new ice-cream store in town, and it’s brought gelato to our doorstep. Situated on Florida Road, Ci Gusta has become the new Durban favourite. You will never fail to see families, groups of students, or couples on dates, sitting inside the shop and enjoying their double scoops of the good stuff. If you’re in Durban, make sure you pay Ci Gusta a visit...I...
Bean Green2:55pm 28 Sep
There is nothing quite like the sound of 1970’s vinyl playing in the back ground, while you take a sip of your Flat White. The Bean Green Coffee Company has made a big name for itself in Durban as being one of the “favourite” coffee shops in KZN and that’s not just because they won the Cafe Society award a number of times. Run by a father-daughter duo, the quaint shop on Davenport Road sells coffee made exclusively from Ethiopian beans as well as an array of baked goods. It’s the perfect place to relax with your laptop and blog about how much you have enjoyed your holiday in Durbs. ...
Churchills4:55am 2 Jul
Situated just off Windermere road in the east coast city of Durban; Churchill’s is a great place to enjoy a cup of tea, sipped from antique, china cups and eat” home-grown muffins” served in vintage flower pots.
Every inch of the coffee shop is exciting to look at- with posters from your grandparent’s days hanging from the doors as well as antique furniture, jewellery and kitchenware on display. If you’re really into the old-school, there are even items up for purchase. It’s one of my favourite coffee shops in Durban because it’s affordable, not too far from the...
Grape Crushing Adventures in the Midlands7:00am 20 Mar
I had the luck of being able to attend the annual Grape Crushing Festival that is held by the Stables Wine Estate, located on Nottingham Road in the Midlands. Every year a large number of people attend this festival to celebrate the end of the summer harvest season. I got to stand in a giant container filled with grapes, and “tromp” on them to my hearts delight until they basically turned into wine.
By the end of it I had grape pulp covering me from head to toe, but it was by far one of my favourite experiences in KZN. Afterwards there was a...
Mongoose Cafe7:00am 29 Dec
The Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock, KZN, is home to an animated group of Banded Mongoose. Although feeding is forbidden they scurry between the café’s outside tables scavenging for titbits, playing on the grass or chasing each other in and out of their burrows. Even though these furry creatures are common in KZN’s coastal lowlands this is a chance to enjoy their gregarious antics up close. Situated half an hour from Durban, the Litchi Orchard has a trendy café, a coffee roastery, a nusery and holds Saturday and night markets. Kids can play on the lawn while parents enjoy a coffee....