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Kwa-Zulu Natal has always come off as the Western Cape’s poorer cousin when it comes to tourist appeal. This is because most people are unaware of everything this beautiful province has to offer. A holiday to Kwa-Zulu Natal can be just as soul-satisfying as a holiday to the Western Cape. The added advantage of travelling in Kwa-Zulu Natal is that it is a far cheaper holiday than the Western Cape. Flights, accommodation, travelling expenses, entertainment and food are much more reasonable. In essence, you are getting a similar holiday experience at a reduced rate. In addition to this Kwa-Zulu Natal has extremely mild winters and the beaches are warm throughout the year –  so if you are travelling from Johannesburg or the Cape in winter you can escape the dreary winter there to experience some good old Durban warmth and hospitality. Here are some of KZN’s most charming tourist finds:

Point Waterfront, Durban City and Umhlanga

The Point Waterfront, a newly renovated precinct on the Durban Beachfront is a good day trip on your way to stay in the lovely seaside village of Umhlanga. It has a warm beach, picturesque canals to walk along and Ushaka Marine World, a world-class water park and aquarium. This is a perfect day out for kids and adults alike. You can stop on your way to Ushaka at the Durban harbour which is close by and have a look at one of Africa’s busiest ports. Book your transport from Durban airport to Durban harbour and then onto Ushaka Marine World. Here you can spend the day frolicking on water slides, watch a Dolphin and Seal show, visit the aquarium and complete an adventure trail above the park. The park offers many more activities for children and adults as well as the Village Walk, a charming African themed mall with restaurants and shops.  From there you can go and stay in Umhlanga, a seaside village just north of Durban that has rated hotels on a pristine beach. The world famous 5 star Oyster Box Hotel is on this stretch of beach as well as the glamorous new Pearls of Umhlanga resort. Both have attractive dining options for all palates. While you are staying close to Durban you can visit Moses Mabhida stadium. At the stadium take a ride on the Sky Car for under R100 and get a breathtaking view of the entire city and a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean right through to the Durban Harbour. If you are fit and brave enough challenge yourself to the adventure walk and take the long walk up the Moses Mabhida stairs right to the top or you can even soar with the Big Rush Big Swing high above the stadium right through to the middle. The Big Swing is the biggest swing in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. The distance from Durban airport to Umhlanga is about 18 km. Durban airport taxi costs and Durban cab rates are dependent on the shuttle service you use so do your homework before you travel. Tourists often get taken for a ride (pun intended).

Midlands Meander 

The Midlands Meander is a well-known tourist route that has gained popularity for having good food, good accommodation and wonderful places to visit. The meander is 80km and begins about 70km out of Pietermaritzburg. It is best to get transport between Durban and Pietermaritzburg then hire a car to travel the route. On your journey back you can easily get an airport shuttle from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. There are also shuttle services in Pietermaritzburg that can do the route for you which will save you the drive. That way you can enjoy the stunning scenery. JRR Tolkien, author of the famous book Lord of the Rings grew up in the Midlands and much of the stunning scenery described in the books are based on his childhood landscape. If you can remember the beautiful scenery from the Lord of the Rings trilogy then you can imagine just how beautiful the Midlands landscape is. The Midlands Meander is perfect for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. There are so many gorgeous places to visit on the route that it’s hard to single out anything.

Ballito and the KZN North Coast

Once a tiny little village, this area has grown into a charming seaside town.

The town is host to some lovely local markets. The Litchi Orchard Night market is one of the most popular in the area. It is hosted twice a month at the Litchi Orchard farm and offers live music, artisanal food, fresh produce and crafts. Another great visit is the Sugar Rush market, every Saturday morning at Sugar Rush Park, Collisheen Estate. Aside from the wonderful craft and food on sale, the area is made for family outings. The kids can enjoy a lovely play area, open spaces and a tractor ride. There is also a jump park and laser tag adventure park on the estate. The beautiful forest adjoining the estate has an MTB bike trail and hosts regular park runs for locals and tourists. Alongside Collisheen Estate are a number of other farms that are worth a visit including Rain Game Farm, Cappeny Estate (a strawberry farm that hosts a strawberry festival in season) and Clubventure a ziplining and adventure farm on the same route.

The area also has Flag Animal Farm, truly one of the best places you can visit with your kids. They can interact with animals, watch cows being milked, play in two well-equipped play sheds and take tractor and pony rides. There are covered areas for picnics as well as lovely play areas and jungle gyms throughout the farm. The best part? Entrance is R60 per person!

The area is serviced by well-tenanted shopping malls and the Lifestyle Centre at the entrance of the town is foodie heaven. Offering fine-dining, artisanal eateries and an atmospheric Food market all in one space makes for a wonderful outing. The airport shuttle to Ballito can easily take you here. Ballito is a short distance away from King Shaka International Airport and there are shuttles from Durban airport to Ballito. The KZN shuttle services operate every day.

This post is brought to you by CK Travel and Tours. We are dedicated to giving our clients the best service at the most reasonable rates. We offer airport pickups in Durban, Durban shuttle services and Durban transfers. We have a dedicated King Shaka airport shuttle that is professional and reliable. Our Airport shuttle bus Durban is available for shuttle services from Durban airport to anywhere in KZN. For more information contact CK Travel and Tours airport shuttle Durban contact number: (031) 5061090