KwaZulu-Natal offers the perfect places to unwind this summer. Among them is uMhlanga.

There is hope for people who have not planned their festive season break. KwaZulu-Natal is one of those provinces that offers travellers the beach, the countryside and the mountains. 

Here are 5 areas you should consider visiting when in KwaZulu-Natal:

uMhlanga

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve.

One of the biggest tourism drivers in the province, uMhlanga offers a range of hotels and activities for all ages. It is also home to one of the best beaches in Durban.

Where to stay:

*Oyster Box Hotel: Located at 2 Lighthouse Road, uMhlanga Rocks. Call 031 514 5000

*Beverly Hills: Located at 1 Lighthouse Road, uMhlanga Rocks. Call 031 561 2211

*The Capital Pearls: Located at  6 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga. Call 031 945 0000

Things to do: Fitness fanatics will love Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, a 26 hectares nature reserve on the shore of the Indian Ocean in Umhlanga. Travellers should also visit Gateway Theatre of shopping, one of KwaZulu-Natal’s largest malls, for a little retail therapy and family fun.

Ballito

Sugar Rush Park has a Jump Park for children and their parents.

Ballito is about 40 kilometres north of Durban and known as a holiday spot in the province. It forms part of the KwaDukuza Local Municipality and iLembe District Municipality.

Where to stay:

*Fairmont Zimbali Resort: Located at  Fairmont Estate, Zimbali. Call 032 538 5000


*Salt Rock Hotel: Located at  59 Basil Hulett Dr, Salt Rock. Call 032 525 5025


Things to do: Sugar Rush Park in  Esenembe Road offers trails, animal interactions, a jump park and even a spa for the moms.  Also arrange a visit to Cappeny Estates, the only commercial strawberry farm in Ballito. The 17-hectare farm, nestled between the rolling hills of iLembe and the Indian Ocean, has one of the best scones with strawberry jam tastings.  

South Coast

Mac Banana in Munster.

The South Coast has built a reputation for being a getaway for all ages with its pristine beaches and water sports. Whether you choose Port Edward or Port Stepstone, travellers will be enthralled.


Where to stay:

*The Wild Coast Sun: Located at Main Bizana Road, Bizana, Port Edward. Call 039 305 9111


*San Lameer Resort Hotel and Spa: Located at Lower South Coast Rd, Sanlameer, Southbroom. Call 039 313 0011.

Things to do: The Red Desert, known as the world’s smallest desert, is located at the Red Desert Nature Reserve in Port Edward. The 200-metre site is known as the world’s smallest desert. Mac Banana in Munster is the perfect place for adventure seekers. Fun for the entire family, it offers zip line, paintball, archery and a butterfly dome tour.


Hluhluwe

Hluhluwe River Lodge.

Hluhluwe, known for their Big 5 filled with the Big 5 and scenic views, is just three hours from Durban. Situated between iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park on the banks of the Hluhluwe River, travellers will be spoilt for choice at the range of activities on offer.


Where to stay:

* Hluhluwe River Lodge: Located at  Sub 21 of lot h104, Hluhluwe. Call: 035 562 0246.

* Anew Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris: Located at 104 Main Road. Call 035 562 4000.

Things to do:  Enjoy Big 5 sightings at Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, known as the oldest proclaimed natural park in Africa. It consists of 96,000 hectares of wildlife, plants and birdlife. Just an hour drive from Hluhluwe is St Lucia. Ideal for a day outing, travellers can go on a forest walk at False Bay Park or a midday boat cruise within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. A guide will provide an insightful talk about Africa’s largest estuarine system and the animals that live in it.

Drakensberg

The Drakensberg is known for its peaceful escape. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

The Drakensberg mountains range forms the border between KwaZulu Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Its towering peaks offer dramatic views of the mountains and lush sceneries.

Where to stay:

*Aha Alpine Heath Resort: Located at  D119, Jagersrust in Northern Drakensberg. Call 036 438 6484

*Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort: Located at Drakensberg Gardens Road in Underberg. Call  031 337 4222


Things to do: From hiking, nature walks to adventure, Drakensberg offers a range of activities for everyone. One of the most popular activities is the Drakensberg Canopy Tour, situated in an indigenous forest of the Central Drakensberg. It boasts Africa’s first elevated rock face walkway.