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Kwa-Zulu Natal- “Home of the Zulu Nation

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Swankie Mafoko

Giving shelter and nothing but all year round summer to approximately 10.2 million people, what is referred to as the ‘garden province’ is a subtropical region of lush and well-watered valleys, washed by the warm Indian Ocean.

With what can be considered as one of South Africa’s most treasured, well-known and richest histories, it is no doubt that Kwa-Zulu Natal is home to many continently recognised tourist attractions. Zulu wars, Shaka, Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift, Colenso, Ladysmith, Dundee, Churchill, Blood River, Cetshwayo, Boers … these are some of the terms which are associated with the internationally renowned KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields area of South Africa. Many famous military strategists including Shaka Zulu, Winston Churchill and Mahatma Ghandi were all part of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields. The wind sighs and whispers the secrets and sorrows of great battles, made visible by lone forts and small graveyards on these undulating landscapes ringed with rocky outcrops.

In a country with 11 official languages Kwa-zulu Natal can proudly bereferred to as the “home of the Zulu nation”. The landscapes of the province also form part of the backdropand setting of one of South Africa’s currently most watched telenovelas- “Isibaya”.

This region is the birthplace of many notable figures in South Africa. The list consists of our current president Jacob Zuma, Pixleyka Isaka Seme (founder of the African National Congress and the first Black lawyer in South Africa), Television personality- Minnie Dlamini, well-known former idols winner-Khaya Mthethwa, Grammy award winning group- Ladysmith Black Mambazoas well as, Isibaya’s leading lady- Nomzamo Mbatha.

For one looking to explore the terrains of Kwa-Zulu Natal, choosing where togo would be a very hard choice considering just how many wonderful attractions and breath taking views there are to take in. A good place to start would definitely be Durban, Kwa-Zulu’s largest city. Not only is Durban home to the most favoured beaches in KZN, but it is also the host of South Africa’s largest marathon- The Comrades Marathon. The mouthwatering bunny chow’s roots are also those that can be traced to Durban, alongside the spicy and hot “Durban Curry”, loved so much by the masses that Maggie two minute noodles had to include the flavour in their range.

In the very heart of the city is Victoria Street Market.This vibrant market has been operating since 1870, making it the oldest market in Durban, and it welcomes visitors into a world of colour and spices. Durban has the largest Indian community outside of India, and this market offers a great opportunity to experience this rich culture. Here you can buy silk saris, baskets, jewellery, spices and more.

The Moses Mabhida stadium is also fast becoming one of South Africa’s most preferred stadium.The Soccer World Cup gave Durban an impressive and unique stadium, creating a beautiful addition to the Durban skyline. The stadium’s roof with its two arches across the roof is inspired by the South African National Flag. If there isn’t a game on, visitors to the stadium can enjoy walks across one of the legs offering beautiful panoramic views of the city, or take the Skycar up the arches to the highest point in the stadium for amazing 360⁰ views of Durban. For the more adventurous, lies the option to jump off one of the arches and do what it is called the ‘big swing’.

AlongsideDurban’s many attractions, is KZN’s Midmar Dam. Midmar Dam, is famous for the Midmar Mile, which is the world’s largest open water swimming event which attracts over 16 000 competitors each year.The dam has a substantiate number of braai facilities, shaded by enormous trees along the banks of the dam, making it a great day outing for the family. The dam is home to a number of animals including zebra, hartebeest and blesbok, as well as a thriving carp and bass.

KZN is the perfect place for people seeking serenity, and to be surrounded by breath-taking and peaceful mountains. For the population of people interested in genuine cultural experiences, as well as indulging in the most unique foods available in the country, the only place one would possibly refer them to is Kwa-Zulu Natal. The beauty of this province is not to be missed neither is it to be underrated.

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