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Vacation to sunny South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal

Story by: Roxanne Howle     Date: 14 June 2022    Image by: Canva | Herbert Frei

7 minutes reading time South Africa

Natal was run by a British colony and the name Natal means Christmas; this name was given to the province by a Portuguese explorer who came upon the Durban coastline on Christmas day in 1497.

KwaZulu and Natal merged in 1994 and became the province as we know it today, KwaZulu-Natal.

Durban Bunny Chow, South Africa

Food

Food in South Africa has quite a few different influences. One of the very famous dishes in South Africa is a Potjie, this dish was bought into the country by Dutch settlers. Other influences include Indonesian and Indian cuisine.

South African dishes:

  • Durban Bunny Chow: Funnily enough this dish has nothing to do with a rabbit. It’s curry stuffed in half a loaf of hollowed-out bread. The curry can be made with mutton, beef, chicken, beans, or vegetables.
  • Potjie: This dish takes a long time to cook, about 6-7 hours. It is made up of different colorful vegetables, meat, and rice. The best place to have this is right at home. Get a Potjie pot and a group of family or friends and have a Potjie. The recipe is very simple and very easily adjusted to your preference. This dish is the best for a social event.
  • Braai: Pretty much every weekend or when the Rugby game is one, most South Africans will Braai. A braai is like a BBQ, the difference is that a braai isn’t cooked on gas, but with charcoal & wood. The name braai comes from Dutch influence meaning “grill”.
  • Malva pudding: Malva pudding is a tasty South African dessert. It has a kind of Spongy texture, and a sweet sauce is poured over it when it comes out of the oven. This dessert is served hot, often with custard or ice cream. You can find malva pudding at almost any restaurant in South Africa.
  • Koeksisters: Koeksisters are an amazing treat if you’re craving something sweet. This sweet treat is a deep-fired batter soaked in a sweet syrup. You can find koeksisters in any bakery in South Africa.
  • Biltong: You will see the majority of South Africans snacking on Biltong. Biltong is dried meat and a South African’s favorite snack. You will see Biltong stands in every shopping mall in South Africa.

Restaurant Recommendations:

  • Roma revolving: This restaurant is located on the top of Durban. Roma revolving is a beautiful Italian Art themed revolving restaurant. The highlight of this restaurant (besides the food of course) is that you have an amazing view of Durban from all sides since the restaurant rotates.
  • The Cargo Hold: The Cargo Hold is in Durban at Ushaka. This restaurant is in an old ship, underwater. The food here is amazing. While you’re enjoying your meal you can admire the fish and sharks swimming around next to you.
  • Cane Cutters: Cane Cutters are the best choice if you’re looking to eat local. This restaurant is known for its Bunny chows.
  • Spur: Spur is the perfect restaurant for a family. They have cool Playgrounds and games for children. Spur is also a great choice if you’re looking for a nice juicy steak. This restaurant is Native American themed.
  • Steers: Steers is a South African fast-food restaurant. Which is the perfect place when you’re looking for a quick bite. The burgers, ribs, and fries here are super tasty.
  • The Waffle Hut: This is a famous restaurant on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, they have a variety of different mouth-watering waffles, sweet and savory. This restaurant is right by the beach, so you can enjoy your unique waffle with a view of the beautiful Indian Ocean.

Isandlwana in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Tourist attractions:

  • Isandlwana: This is a place of history where you can see the battlegrounds of the British army against the Zulu tribe. There is also a graveyard dedicated to the fallen soldiers and a museum showing what happened during the battle.
  • Oribi gorge: This is the perfect place if you’re an adrenalin junkie. They have bungy jumping, a big swing, water rafting, abseiling, and many more adventure activities.

Phe Zulu, South Africa

Durban area

  • Phe Zulu: Phe Zulu is a great place to visit if you want an insight into the Zulu culture. Here you will be able to see the traditional Zulu huts. During the day they have a Zulu show, where part of the Zulu Culture will be presented to you. At Phe Zulu, there is also a reptile park with different snakes and crocodiles. If you’re feeling adventurous and brave you can also book to have lunch in the Crocodile enclosure.
  • Durban Harbour: Durban Harbour is filled with different restaurants with very tasty food and drinks. There are also lots of miniature stores and boat tours. If you’re interested there is also a boat museum nearby.
  • Ushaka: Ushaka is full of many different activities, parks, shows, shops, and restaurants. There is an aquarium, a huge water park, a children’s playground and so much more.
  • Durban botanical gardens: The botanical gardens are a place of beauty and are very peaceful. If you’re looking to have a nice pick-nick surrounded by nature this is the perfect spot. If you’re visiting Durban around Christmas time, they have a spectacular light show on.
  • Mitchell Park: Mitchell Park is the perfect place for a family, it’s full of birds and other animals. Lovely pick nick spots and beautiful walking trails.
  • Giba gorge: This place is perfect for hiking and mountain biking.

Hluhluwe, South Africa

Hluhluwe area

  • DumaZulu: Here will you get to enjoy traditional Zulu dancing and a traditional Zulu lunch.
  • Game reserves: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is a big 5 game reserve in Hluhluwe, there are 2 tours available here a half day and a full day tour.
  • Elephant interactions: The Elephant interactions is in northern Zulu land, here you will hear the heartfelt stories of 2 beautiful elephants and will be able to interact with them.
  • Cheetah rehabilitation: This tour shows you the different wild cats in South Africa and explains to you what they do here and why.
  • Wetlands: Here there are different boat tours where you can see hippos & crocodiles.

KwaZulu-Natal Hotels

Accommodations

Natal- Spa | For a Spa holiday
This resort has a hotel, camping, or self-catering option. There are a few heated pools for relaxation and a super tube. There are different spa options and a restaurant with great food.

Happy Wanderers | A Beach holiday
This resort has wooden lodges, camping, and self-catering chalets. All accommodation is located right on the beach. There are 2 pools, a playground for kids, a bar in the shape of a boat, a small shop, and a restaurant. Every Saturday there is a big bonfire on the beach for guests to enjoy.

Durban Tropicana Hotel | A City holiday
This hotel has a self-catering or non-self-catering option. It is located behind Durban beachfront and has a beautiful restaurant and an amazing view of the ocean.

Bushlands Game Lodge | A Wildlife holiday
This resort has the option of self-catering or non-self-catering accommodation. It is the best if you’re love nature and wildlife. The resort has animals such as zebra, giraffe and buck running around freely. There are 2 pools, a viewing deck overlooking the watering hole and walking trails.

Mtunzini Forest Lodge | A fishing & beach holiday
If you love fishing, then this place is for you. Here they have amazing fishing spots a playground and a pool. The accommodation is self-catering. Within walking distance there is a beautiful beach.

Best Airlines to travel on:

  • Emiratis
  • Qatar airways
  • British airways
  • Turkish airways

These Airlines are comfortable and affordable and have great customer service.

Tips for traveling to South Africa

South Africa is an amazing and beautiful country to visit, but the crime rate is high so here are some tips to have an enjoyable and safe holiday.

  • Don’t walk around with expensive jewelry.
  • Rent a Car.
  • Stay in the resort, or place of activity, don’t go walking around outside the facility late at night.
  • Most places accept cards, but not all, so I would advise you to carry a small amount of cash around with you.
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