Outdoor Activities In Kzn – * This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you purchase from them, we will receive a commission at no additional cost.
This KZN guide was created in collaboration with Tourism South Africa. I hope you enjoy this roundup of some of the best things to do in KwaZulu-Natal!
Outdoor Activities In Kzn
Beyond the borders of Durban you will find the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. In the foothills historic battles are fought, while the coast boasts some of the best diving and whale watching in the country.
Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, Group Of Fishermen Catching Fish From Jetty, Fishing, People, Men, Landscape, City, Activity, Leisure, Outdoors Stock Photo
Further down the country you can explore Zululand and experience some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes of South Africa.
I’ve explored different parts of KZN over the years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the province, it’s that it’s the epitome of ‘choose your own adventure’.
Whatever your travel style, whether you’re a foodie, a culture buff, a history buff or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something for you!
Let’s start with my favorites. A visit to the province would unfortunately not be complete without some of the best adventure things to do in KZN on your itinerary.
Kwazulu Natal Attractions
If that thought crossed your mind after reading the title, I’m excited to introduce you to one of South Africa’s gems. The Wetland Park is our first UNESCO World Heritage Site and stretches from Saint Lucia to the Mozambique border.
Over the past decades, iSimangaliso has reintroduced native wildlife to the area, making it a unique safari destination.
On the east coast you will pass herds of buffalo, zebra, rhinoceros and grazing elephants and stop for lunch on the beach at Mission Rocks.
Want to increase your chances of spotting wildlife without the hassle of driving? One of the best things to do in Saint Lucia is a sunset cruise with Heritage Tours.
Kwazulu Natal National Botanical Garden (pietermaritzburg)
Stop before sunset at a view and return to the hotel at dusk, when the creatures of the night begin to move.
Sodwana Bay is one of the best diving destinations in South Africa and one of the places to go in Kazan that you must visit at least once.
Time your trip along the North Shore right and catch sea turtle nesting and hatching season.
Sign up for a midnight cruise with Ofodo Tours and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the endangered rope or leatherback laying their eggs!
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Wake up to a spectacular sunrise over the Tugela Falls (if you’re lucky you might see a cloud reversal) and explore the Amphitheater Plateau to your heart’s content.
You can buy a camping permit at Witsiehoek lodge and although the trip can be done in a day, turning it into an overnight stay is a great introduction to day hiking in the Drakensberg.
Post Scriptum. I am organizing a night trip to Tugela Falls. You can join the waiting list here.
Sunny Pass is a hairy mountain pass with deadly water slides that will take you to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
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You will need a 4×4 and beyond to get over the pass. They won’t let you get on the road without it, and if you manage to slip past it, the chances of your car falling off the road are quite high.
You will pass the border post at the bottom of the pass and again when you reach the top.
12/10 We recommend staying at Sani Lodge Backpackers and watching the sunrise! You will have an impressive bird’s eye view of the spectacular Drakensberg mountains and you can visit the highest pub in the world.
If you’re lucky, you can spot killer whales, sperm whales, pilot whales and humpback whales with calves in one day!
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I don’t have the best balance, which is why I always sweat riding a quad.
For some ATV trails, head over to High Stakes at Cato Ridge. Your instructor will take you on a ride that suits your level and you can test ride the bike.
The Drakensberg is one of those destinations in South Africa that you can visit and always find something spectacular.
Whether you’re hiking the Mnweni High Pass, summiting Mapadi (the highest peak in South Africa) or day hiking, the views will never disappoint.
Umtamvuna Nature Reserve (kwazulu Natal)
But inside the Giant’s Castle (one of the best places to visit in the Drakensberg) you can combine the winding roads of the mountain with its rich history.
Book a rock art tour, venture into the wilderness for an hour, and you’ll soon find 6,000-year-old Khoi San art.
The paintings are beautifully preserved and your guide will teach you the meaning of each figure and its importance to the Khoi San.
It is the oldest national park in South Africa (only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Saint Lucia) and is known for its highly successful rhino conversation project.
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Thanks to the proximity to the beach, you get a fresh tropical game. This is a stark contrast to the scenery you’ll find in the Kruger National Park, making it a unique safari destination in KwaZulu-Natal.
We went on a week trip together and our first stop was a game drive through Island Lake and a walk around giraffe herds.
Here’s what to do in KZN if stuffing your face and drinking your way through the destination is your priority.
Have you ever wondered what makes the perfect cup of joe? Next, head to Beaver Creek Estate, the southernmost coffee estate in the world, and book a coffee tasting tour.
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Under the guidance of Jeff Stopforth, South Africa’s current latte art champion, you will learn how the seeds of the tiny red fruit are transformed into a delicious cup of coffee.
At the end of the tour, you can treat yourself to a bottomless tasting of coffee from local, original and single-origin blends.
The Midland Meander is a foodie’s paradise. You can plan your entire trip around eating along the famous Nottingham Road and your taste buds will never be bored.
Not only is the food delicious, but you can also enjoy all the jewelry for sale and decorations. No matter where you sit, there is something to look at.
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While artisan sakes are the name of the game along Nottingham Road, the food haven has a worthy competitor hot on its heels – The Oak.
Indulge in nougat ice cream, cookies and stock up on a wide variety of delicious flavors such as:
In my opinion, there is no better way to explore the Midlands twist than with a belly full of delicious food and a drink in hand.
If you’re from the UK and a frequent pub patron, you’ve probably heard of Zulu Blonde Beer.
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The brewery is also the smallest on the KZN Beer Trail and deserves a place on the KZN Trail for Beer Enthusiasts.
Want to brush up on your KZN history and learn about Zulu culture? I have bad news, KZN may have too much to offer in one visit.
But if you’re up for the challenge, here’s what to do in KZN for history and cultural goodness.
Imagine if something happened and one of them perished? Imagine how this will change the history not only of South Africa, but of the world.
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Your guide, Raymond (the owner of Spion Cope Lodge), takes you on an insightful tour that recounts all the amazing events that led up to the British going to war with South Africa.
As you learn about the historical significance of the war, you’ll explore the battlefield and see memorials to fallen soldiers buried in unmarked graves.
Inside the fort is the Zululand History Museum, a must-see cultural attraction in Kazan. Your guide will take you through each exhibit and teach you about important events and people who changed the course of history.
There was a white Zulu head! John Robert Dunn had 42 wives, over 100 children, and several of his descendants still live in the area.
The Top 10 Things To Do In Kwazulu Natal
The ghost of eMakhosini is a memorial to the seven fallen Zulu kings buried in the valley below.
While there, you can visit Mgungundlo, the royal residence of King Dingan (the half-brother who murdered King Shaka) and kwaMatiwane, where Pete Ratif and his men were killed and buried.
This, of course, only touches the surface of the road to the battlefields of KZN. Some of the other notable sites include:
Our first democratically elected president drove down the highway on August 5, 1962, pretending to be Cecil Williams’ chauffeur. The apartheid police received a tip that Mandela (who had evaded capture for 17 months) would pass and arrested him.
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Today there is a visitor center and a shape-shifting statue marking the place of his arrest. The museum is beautifully designed and tells the story of Mandela’s life and his 27 years of imprisonment.
In two hours I learned so much about Zulu history and culture and saw how a grassroots initiative like this can have such a powerful impact on a local community.
Eliash uses funds from his tours to help with various projects. For example, he helped build two classrooms from recycled materials, and you can see how much he cares about his home and his work.