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Zululand in 30 ways

Article from the August 2013 issue of Country Life Magazine.

Zululand… A place where beauty will stun your senses and your spirit will be enthralled by wonder.

Around Zululand in 30 Ways

1. Discover real Africa in the unspoiled wilderness of Zululand. Less than two hours drive from Durban and you enter a unique world of savage splendour and untamed eco-tourism experiences. Where else can you walk with the animals, game view the big five, spot an overwhelming profusion of bird-life, enter the fascinating world of Zulu Culture and enjoy the endless beaches?

2. Explore Mtunzini’s extensive mangrove swamps, palm and fern groves, which create an atmosphere of ecological serenity.

3. The bird-life, in Mtunzini, is prolific with over 365 species – these include the Palmnut Vulture, which is South Africa’s rarest breeding bird of prey. Their breeding grounds are the Raffia Palms.

4. Explore Ongoye Forest which is a dream location for bird watchers, hikers, mountain bikers, botanists and nature lovers with breathtaking views and scenery.

5. There is some enjoyable rock climbing to be had on granite domes and slabs in the oNgoye Forest Reserve.

6. Get an insider’s view into the contemporary cultural life of a Zulu community. A new, unique and truly authentic South African experience is offered by the Ubunye Co-operative which is situated in a small rural community of Mzimeia, just outside of Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal.

7. Visit one of South Africa’s most delightful towns, Eshowe, which is situated on a hill with views of the surrounding countryside. Steeped in history and culture, it’s a place that must be explored.

8. Experience the world of butterflies, stroll through a tropical forest in a custom made dome with butterflies flitting around your head…a totally unique experience now opened in Eshowe.

Dlinza Forest 9. Make a trip to the Dlinza Forest, probably Eshowe’s most unusual feature. Close to the centre of town you can be surrounded by the dense vegetation of this tropical escape. An added feature is their aerial Boardwalk – the first of its kind in Southern Africa.

10.  Experience first  hand the fascinating rituals, the intriquing customs and beliefs that form the fabric of Zulu life with a local tour operator.

11. Visit the Empangeni Museum, which boasts regular temporary exhibitions and is also home to a fascinating display of Zulu heritage art as well as the Harrison Collection, which chronicles the sugar farmers in the region.

12. Book into the Thula Thula, a unique eco-safari destination and wildlife sanctuary as well as the oldest private game reserve in Kwazulu Natal.

13. Visit the Heatonville Adventure Park, where you can have a fun filled day combating in paintball wars, enjoying the scenic mountain biking trails or quad biking.

14. Visit Zululand’s ultimate entertainment destination, the Tusk Umfolozi Casino in Empangeni which offers entertainment for both adults and children.

15. The beaches in Richards Bay are a fisherman’s paradise and offers wonderful opportunities for the bait collecting and angling enthusiasts.

16. Wine and dine on seafood sensations at one of the many seafood taverns and restaurants at the coastal towns.

17. Experience Esikhaleni and the ways of the modern Zulu by arranging a guided tour through the township. Visits include cultural sites, historical monuments and taverns.

18. Zululand boasts some particularly fine golf courses. In fact, the only difficulty the avid player is likely to experience is choosing between them.

19. The Small Craft Waterfront (a.k.a Tuzi Gazi) in Richards Bay is an ideal playground for water sports enthusiasts.

20. The Zulu treasure their heritage and visitors to the area are able to select gifts and souvenirs of their stay from a wide range of Zulu beadwork, woodcarvings, pottery and basketry.

The beach at Mtunzini is breathtaking. Vistas of smooth golden sand stretch as far as the eye can see, lapped by warm blue waves and bounded with high-forested sand dunes.21. The beach at Mtunzini is breathtaking. Vistas of smooth golden sand stretch as far as the eye can see, lapped by warm blue waves and bounded with high-forested sand dunes.

22. For a really rustic holiday – bird watching, photography, game viewing, hiking – book in at the Ongoye Forest Camp which boasts a 3 bedroom eco-friendly house. Tour the Ongoye forest on a mountain bike which can be hired from the local community.

23. Explore the Zululand Heritage Route – Route 66, which is filled with myth, history and legend.

24. Book conducted game/bird walks or popular night drives at a local game reserve. The night drives afford interesting glimpses of the nocturnal species seldom if ever seen during the day.

25. A self-guided trail through the echoing glades of one of the Forests of Zululand takes you abruptly into a world far removed from the harsh concrete jungle.

26. There are a number of craft making groups throughout the region where items can be purchased and you also experience an interesting insight into the traditional lifestyle of the Zulu people.

27. There is some enjoyable rock climbing to be had on granite domes and slabs in the oNgoye Forest Reserve. The climbing is on granite and is totally different from the usual sandstone crags that are so familiar to KZN climbers. There are two climbable boulders close to the camp and a granite slab on the escarpment facing the sea.

Empangeni Museum28. With 600 species recorded, the Zululand Birding Route is Southern Africa’s BIRDING HOTSPOT! A network of 14 self-drive routes offer a range of great birding localities that will thrill the most seasoned birder.

29. The Nkandla Forest is one of the most outstanding examples of surviving mist belt forest in South Africa.

30. A visit to Reptile City is a must where you can have a close encounter with cunning crocodiles, slithering snakes and other intriguing reptiles. 

For further information, please contact:

uThunguiu District Municipality Tourism Section “Zululand Coast”

Tel: 035 789 2500

Fax: 035 789 8176

E-mailWebsite

More info on the area of Zululand More info on the KwaZulu-Natal area



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