KwaZulu-Natal is located in the southeastern corner of South Africa. The beautiful coastline along the Indian Ocean slowly transitions into the rising topography of the Drakensberg and Lebombo mountains. This region is home to diverse habitats, including lush wetlands, pristine beaches, rich subtropical forests, open grasslands, and montane forests. As diverse as its habitats, KwaZulu-Natal is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures, with strong Zulu, European, and Indian influences. The geographical location of KwaZulu-Natal affords unlimited activities. Whether exploring its wildlife areas in open 4x4, discovering the region’s rich history, scuba diving through vibrant coral reefs, or relaxing on a beach, KwaZulu-Natal offers something for everyone.
Most of KwaZulu-Natal experiences a very mild winter; temperatures and humidity fall during May to mid-September. Throughout the year, the climate remains comfortable along the coast. As you move farther inland, up the escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountains, winters become colder. Where elevations reach over 8,500 feet, temperatures can drop below 30°F, and snow falls occasionally. Summer lasts from October through April, and temperatures are rather comfortable, ranging from the mid-70s to the high 80s. The region receives the majority of its rainfall in the summer when temperatures and humidity increase. January is typically the hottest month of the year, when average temperatures reach into the 90s.
The Big Five—lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros—can be found in most of the region’s private reserves and national parks. KwaZulu-Natal is known for important conservation efforts, bringing the population of southern white rhinos back from the brink of extinction in the 1950s and 60s. The diverse habitats and climate provide excellent birding opportunities. The coastal areas allow for fantastic viewing of sea turtles that use the beaches to lay and hatch their eggs. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean provide incredibly dynamic and rewarding scuba diving and snorkeling experiences.