Phezulu Safari Park. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

The summer holidays are upon us. The holidays are a time to sit back, relax and explore a particular destination. 

One of the hottest destinations this year is KwaZulu-Natal, gaining its popularity for its authentic safari experiences, culture, food and blue flag beaches. 

If you are planning an itinerary, here are 20 places to check out: 

Phezulu Safari Park: The picturesque park has magnificent views of the world-famous Valley of a 1000 Hills.

Moses Mabhida Stadium: The Adventure Walk to the top of the 106m high arch for breath-taking views of Durban.

The Big Rush Swing: Known as the world’s tallest swing by the Guinness Book of records since May 14, 2011, and a must do activity for all Durban travellers. 

Segway Gliding Tours: Start at Moses Mabhida Stadium and head towards the iconic Durban beachfront. 

Ushaka Marine World: South Africa’s most loved 16-hectare marine theme park is fun for the entire family. 

The Luthuli Museum: A site of international historical significance that celebrates the life and legacy of a human rights champion and recipient of the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli.

Shakaland: Situated just 160kms north of the city of Durban is a living monument to Zulu culture. Travellers can also spend a night there. 

Hot Air Ballooning in the KZN Midlands: Spend an hour or so taking in some of the province’s most glorious panoramic view.

Wild 5 Activities at Oribi Gorge: Experience the longest gorge swing in South Africa (165m) and the longest of its kind in the world. It is just a 2,5-hour drive from Durban. 

Microlighting: About 40 minutes north of Durban, experience the scenic views of the north coast from a birds-view point with regular sightings of dolphins, sharks, whales, turtles, stingrays and numerous other marine life. 

Gondola ride at the Point Waterfront: Did you know that you don’t need to go to the canals of Venice, Italy to experience the magic and romance of a gondola ride? You and your sweetheart (or friend) can enjoy a laid-back gondola ride without travelling flying halfway across the world. 

Mandela Capture Site: This iconic attraction is where Nelson Mandela was ‘captured’ on his return journey to Johannesburg.A must-visit for history lovers. 

Karkloof Canopy Tour: Ziplining canopy tour showcases some of the most beautiful views as you slide from tree to tree.

Lake Eland for the Ziplining: Situated around 2 hours south of Durban is Lake Eland. Known as the longest zipline tour in Africa, travellers are left with an exhilarating experience.

Elephant Coast, Kwazulu-Natal: The Elephant Coast is home to the world-renowned Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It is characterised by untouched wetlands teeming with birdlife, Big Five bush breakaways and beautiful beaches. 

Sani Pass: The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road and the only vehicle route over the Drakensberg escarpment and into the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. It is the gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’ scenic route that links the spectacular scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park: It stretches 220kms from Cape St Lucia to the Mozambique border and is a World Heritage Site. It is dominated by Lake St Lucia and St Lucia Estuary with its network of coastal lakes, dunes, subtropical forests, swamps and wetland systems that are a haven for indigenous fauna and flora.

King Shaka Memorial: Take a trip to King Shaka Memorial centre that delves into the history of King Shaka. 

Moonlit Horseback beach rides: Watch the sunset and the moonrise on the beach while horseback riding. You will enjoy a magical adventure on a 12km horse trail bathed in the light of the moon.

Inanda Heritage Route and KwaMuhle Museum: The Inanda Heritage Route takes in some of the most important historical sites of Durban. Winding its way through the Inanda Valley, it provides a critical snapshot of South African history.