Picture: Lynell Bunger on Instagram.
Picture: Lynell Bunger on Instagram.

5 scenic places to explore in KZN

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Sep 26, 2020

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These scenic spots in KwaZulu-Natal are the perfect setting for soaking up the province’s natural beauty whilst exploring everything from the coastline to the wildlife and the hills and valleys in-between.

Take in the views of the Valley of a Thousand Hills

Entrance: Free

Take in the sweeping views at the Valley of a Thousand Hills, a breathtaking component of the Kingdom of the Zulu.

With a number of eateries and historical sites along the way, it’s one of those few excursions that has something for everyone.

The unspoilt nature, wildlife, just amplify the entire experience.

The area is named after the thousands of rolling hills leading to the Umgeni River that flows from the distant Drakensberg Mountains into the inviting Indian Ocean.

Explore nature at the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

Entrance: Free

Tangled branches, wooden walkways that wind through marshy wetland and breathtaking greenery, Umhlanga Lagoon is 26 hectares of nature reserve nestled along the shore of the Indian Ocean.

Perfect for groups of people who love to be outdoors and who enjoy more of a challenge. The reserve is the ideal destination for bird watching, picnicking, trail running and self-guided walks.

Try out their many hiking routes or end your journey with a refreshing dip in the sea by following the route to Umhlanga beach.

On your way, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the blue duiker, the smallest antelope in South Africa.

Traverse a suspension bridge at Oribi Gorge

Cost: R65pp

Surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife, one of the most exhilarating parts of a visit to Lake Eland Game Reserve is getting to walk across their 80m suspension bridge.

The views from that height can be described as awe-inspiring as you get to see the magnificence and grandeur of the Oribi Gorge from a very unique point.

Apart from the restaurants and tea garden, there is also a site for picnics and braaing and the choice of taking a self guided game drive through one of their various routes.

Explore Thompson’s Bay and see the Hole In The Wall

Cost: Free

Thompson's Bay is situated on the North Coast of Durban.

The stretch of beach is tucked behind holiday homes and resorts that fall between Ballito and Shaka's Rock setting the scene for possibly one of the most stunning beaches.

One of the main attractions, apart from the tidal pool and scenery, is the Hole in the Wall. Pathways wind around the rocky terrain, leading you to the natural wonder which has an especially wonderful view at sunrise.

Discover the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Cost:

Adults: R28

Children (under the age of 16): R16

Vehicle entry charge: R29

Community Levy: R5 per person

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iSimangaliso Wetland Park 🐋😎 iSimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly known as Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, was declared as South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The park was renamed in 2007 with the new name meaning ‘a miracle’ or ‘something wondrous’ in Zulu. • iSimangaliso Wetland Park is situated on the East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in the beautiful region known as the Elephant Coast. The park is made up of 10 distinct areas known as the 10 Jewels. • The park is South Africa’s third-largest protected area with 280km of coastline. The park covers the area from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of Lake St. Lucia Estuary. • The reason the park was proclaimed a world heritage site is the rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems, and natural beauty that occurs in a relatively small area. The park has a great variety of ecosystems such as coral reefs, sandy beaches, subtropical dune forests, savannas, and wetlands. • A highlight for many guests is the tracking of Loggerhead and Leatherback Turtles on the beaches during the summer where turtle hatchlings can be seen making their way to the Indian Ocean. For our virtual road trips covering each province, please visit our Facebook page, where we’ll be following the Nkosi family exploring KwaZulu-Natal this week. Link in bio. Repost by 1. @kosiforest 2. @my_keyring 3. @valhallaphotography1 4. @wild.blue.science

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iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a huge protected area along the coast of KZN.

It stretches 220km from Cape St Lucia to the Mozambique border and is a World Heritage Site.

The area 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.

Gate opening and closing times are from 6am to 6pm.

Reception hours are from 7am to 4pm from Monday to Sunday.

Read the September 2020 IOL Travel digital magazine here.

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