28 Best Tourist Attractions in KZN

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The KwaZulu-Natal province, or KZN, is South Africa’s second most populous province. This province offers something for everyone, whether you like watersports or are interested in South Africa’s history. KZN has several world heritage sites, national parks, beautiful beaches, rolling hills and sunny weather. Learn more about this diverse province and the many tourist attractions in KZN in this article. 

Map of the tourist attractions in KZN

This map shows the location of the tourist attractions in KwaZulu-Natal to help you plan your trip to this province:

How to Explore The Tourist Attractions in KZN

The best way to explore the KwaZulu-Natal province is by car. Click here to rent a car. Alternatively, there are many tours available in this province.

Top tourist attractions in KZN

Here you can read more about the top attractions in KwaZulu-National with a brief description of its location and what it entails.  

uShaka Marine World

uShaka Marine World is a theme park in Durban’s Golden Mile. Here you can find a range of attractions to keep families busy, and you can easily spend a whole day here. 

You can learn more about penguins, seals and dolphins in regular shows and presentations at SeaWorld. You can also find the largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere here. It features underground viewing galleries for more than 500 meters. If you want to interact with some sea animals, you can do it here! You can meet a dolphin, do a shark dive, or feed the fish or rays.

uShaka Marine World
uShaka Marine World

Another attraction at uShaka Marine World is Wet n Wild. You can find adventurous water slides and pools to cool down in here. At Kids World, there are plenty of things to do for children. Some of the fun activities include

  • Splish-Splash Sprinkler Island with treasure chests, gum pole cool-offs and splitting turtles.
  • Little Frys, where kids can be creative and create art by sticking items together and making them fancy with flitter.
  • Africa’s largest jungle gym with twisting and turning slides, mazes, stairways and tunnels. 

Another attraction at uShaka Marine World is Dangerous Creatures in the Village Walk. This attraction features snakes and other reptiles. While on the Village Walk, explore the shops in the area. There are many restaurant options there for families to choose from. With its free entrance, you may also participate in beach activities on the uShaka beach. 

If you’re flying to Durban, you may want to read this guide on the King Shaka International Airport.

Tourist Attractions in KZN Pin 2

The Chimp & Zee’s Beginner Rope Adventure is a fun activity for families. You can enjoy two zip lines over Rocky Reef and the turtle enclosures. This activity caters to small kids and intermediate visitors – you’ll always be safe here.

Durban Botanic Gardens

Another Durban attraction is the Durban Botanic Gardens. The Gardens were established in 1849 and are known as Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden. It is also Durban’s oldest public institution. The garden covers 15 hectares. You can find extensive collections of cycads, orchids and palms here. Some of the attractions in the Durban Botanic Garden include:

Durban Botanic Garden
Photo by Martie Bloem on Unsplash
  • Orchid House: Ernest Thorpe, the garden’s curator from 1950-1975, started the orchid collection. There are more than 8000 plants in the orchid collection. The public can only view flowering exotic and indigenous orchids. 
  • Sunken Garden: The Sunken Garden is an English-style garden and one of the Gardens’ most romantic spots. It features a variety of annuals and perennials. 
  • Butterfly Habitat Garden: The Butterfly Habitat Garden is newly developed to raise awareness of the local butterfly population. It has been landscaped around a dome-like structure. The plant selection aims to attract butterflies and caterpillars. 
  • Heritage Trees: Many of the trees here are over 100 years old. The heritage trees include the jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), planted in 1885, the oldest in the country, and the Lychee (Litchi chinensis) tree was planted in 1880.

The entrance to the Durban Botanic Gardens is free. You can phone the park to arrange for a personalised walking tour. The tea garden is under construction, but you can find coffee from the Gourmet Coffee cart at the visitors’ complex.

KwaZulu-Natal Museum

The KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Durban aims to improve understanding of the history of humanity in south-eastern Africa. It is the largest national museum in KwaZulu-Natal. The museum opened in 1904 and has some of South Africa’s most important heritage collections. The collections feature regional archaeology, European settler history, African cultural products, seashells, and other forms of animal life. 

The museum is popular with children because of its interactive exhibits. Some of its popular collections include the marine and dinosaur sections. The museum also hosts exciting events, such as a night at the museum for Halloween!

Learn about Durban’s weather and what to wear when you visit this city.

The Victoria Market

The Victoria Market building has a pink and pastel stucco exterior. Locals call it The Vic. It is an indoor market with more than 150 vendors. You can find anything here, including pots, fish, fruit, vegetables, clothes and trinkets. You can also find Indian handicrafts here because of the large Indian population in Durban.

Did you know – Durban has the largest population of Indians outside of Asia!

Golden Mile

Durban Golden Mile - tourist attraction in KZN
Image by Liesel Muhl from Pixabay

The Golden Mile is probably the most popular area for first-time visitors to Durban. Along the Golden Mile, you can find a swimming beach, public pools and other forms of entertainment. There are food stalls, bike rentals and a small town (mini town) to visit. A popular walk is from the Sun Coast Casino complex to Ushaka Marine World – the whole route is next to the beach. Take note, shopkeepers in the area consider the streets behind the Golden Mile dangerous – avoid them if you can. 

Durban City Hall

Durban City Hall is a beautiful historic building in Durban’s city centre. It was built in 1910 in a neo-Baroque style. The building has sculptures representing art, literacy, commerce, unity and industry. You can find the Durban Art Gallery and Natural Science Museum inside the city hall.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban
Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a soccer stadium in Durban. It is known for its Big Rush Big Swing, which has been considered the world’s tallest swing according to the Guinness Book of Records since 14 May 2011. You can also take the SkyCar ride to the stadium’s arch or the 500 steps to the sky platform on the Adventure Walk. 

Shongweni Farmers Market

The Shongweni Farmers Market is the perfect place for a family breakfast picnic. The stalls sell baked goods, organic cheeses, bread and fancier fare, such as terrines and rillettes. If you like foreign foods, try the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialities, ranging from baklava to falafel. Sometimes there is live music on a Saturday morning. 

Splash Waterworld

A visit to Splash Waterworld will make your children so happy! It is near the Amanzimtoti Beach. They have a variety of water activities, including super tubes, water sprays and a Kamikaze speed slide. You can have a leisurely braai (barbecue) while enjoying the water slides. 

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site
Photo by Magda Ehlers: https://www.pexels.com/photo/metal-sculpture-at-the-nelson-mandela-capture-site-in-howick-kwazulu-natal-south-africa-9686054/

They arrested Nelson Mandela on 5 August 1962, just outside Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. He then spent 27 years in prison. The Nelson Mandela Capture Site captures this historical moment with a visitor centre and a world-renowned sculpture. On the property, you’ll find a café, museum and restrooms. A visit to this site is a must if you have an interest in South Africa’s history. 

Sani Pass

View of Sani Pass - one of the tourist attractions in KZN
Photo by Mark Potterton on Unsplash

Another of South Africa’s spectacular drives is Sani Pass, which connects the South African and Lesotho borders. The Pass is approximately 8 kilometres long. It is a rough and rocky road, and it is best to take a 4×4 vehicle for the trip. Depending on the driver and speed, it takes about 5 hours to complete a return trip, with 3 hours going up and two hours coming down. When you get to the top at the Lesotho border, visit the pub on the Lesotho side of the border. At the top, you will have stunning views of the surrounding area. For this one, you need your passport – make sure you can enter Lesotho before you go!

Here are some tours to Sani Pass:

Royal Natal National Park

The Royal Natal National Park is one of South Africa’s many national parks. It is famous for its amphitheatre, a rock wall approximately five km long and 500 metres high. Above the amphitheatre is the Mont-aux-Sources mountain peak, where the Orange River begins its long journey to the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the Tugela River cascades down to the face of the amphitheatre; the Tugela waterfall is the second-highest waterfall in the world. 

Royal Natal National Park
Photo by Rémi Prévost on Unsplash

Hiking is a popular activity in the Royal Natal National Park. There is a network of hiking trails, from leisurely walks to challenging hikes. Another activity in the Park is trout fishing in the Mahai and Thukela rivers. Visitors can picnic and swim in the mountain streams in summer. Horse riding is another popular activity in the park. There are many accommodation options if you want to spend a few days exploring this beautiful park. 

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

You can find the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of South Africa’s National parks, in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal. The park is a sub-tropical paradise with elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, crocodiles and hippos. The beaches are stunning, especially Mission Rocks Beach and Cape Vidal

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Photo by Martie Bloem on Unsplash

The park is large, and you will need several days to explore it fully. You can do whale watching, birdwatching, kayaking, go on a turtle tour, snorkel or dive, go deep sea diving or do a game drive at the park. There are many accommodation options here. The best way to get here is by car, but many tours are available from Durban to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. 

Tour options to iSimangaliso are:

Saint Lucia Estuary

This estuary is part of the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. You can do some activities here, including hiking, fishing, boat tours and a crocodile centre. A must-do here is the estuary boat ride, where the guide explains the history of the estuary and details about the animals in the estuary. You can experience an abundance of wildlife here, including hippos and flamingos. 

PheZulu Safari Park

PheZulu Safari Park - learn about Zulu culture
Image by Ron Porter from Pixabay

You can find the PheZulu Safari Park in Botha’s Hill, about 35 km from Durban. There are magnificent views of the Valley of 1000 Hills from here. Other activities on offer include game drives through the Phezulu Conservation Area, watching the crocodiles, hiking, doing a Segway tour or experiencing a variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes in the Reptile Park. You can visit the cultural centre to watch and watch Zulu dancing while learning about traditional Zulu life. 

Tours to Phezulu Cultural Village are:

The Valley of a 1000 Hills

The Valley of 1000 Hills is an area with dense forests with gorges, streams and villages. It is 45 minutes per car from Durban and offers beautiful views. Tours available to the Valley include visiting a Zulu Village, where visitors can learn about Zulu customs and enjoy a Zulu dance ceremony. 

The best tours to the Valley of 1000 Hills are:

African Bird of Prey Sanctuary

African Bird of Prey Sanctuary
Photo by Nigam Machchhar: https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-photography-of-flying-black-falcon-1056104/

The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, also called the African Raptor Centre, specialises in raising awareness and conserving Africa’s indigenous raptors. You can view small and large raptors in a natural setting at the sanctuary. There is a show every day at 10:30 where you can learn more about the raptors and watch them fly. It is an excellent experience to see a falcon stoop onto a lure. You can also view the vulture feeding sessions at midday on weekends and public holidays. 

Cumberland Nature Reserve

Cumberland Nature Reserve is the place for you to go somewhere quiet and peaceful. It is an off-the-beaten-track destination. It features more than 300 bird species, 30 mammal species, and 300 wildflowers, making for beautiful scenery. There are several hiking trails here. There are accommodation options for those interested in overnight stays or longer hikes. 

Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve

You can choose from many activities in Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve. Walk across the suspension bridge to view the beautiful scenery. The gorge offers a variety of wildlife, a zip line over the gorge and an on-site restaurant, the Leopard Rock Café if you get hungry. 


Drakensberg Mountains - a tourist attraction in KZN
Drakensberg Mountains – a tourist attraction in KZN

The Drakensberg Mountain range is one of South Africa’s most beautiful mountain ranges. A large portion of the mountain range lies in KwaZulu-Natal. The mountain views here are spectacular. You can do various adventure activities here, such as skydiving and hiking. There are many accommodation options here, read about our stay at the Goodersons Monks Cowl Resort.

Drakensberg tours:

Dragon Rock Reptile Centre

The Dragon Rock Reptile Centre is in the Drakensberg Mountains in Kwazulu Natal. They strive to educate people about reptiles. Here you can view and learn more about various reptiles, but book a tour as that is the only way to visit the centre.

Reichenau Mission

This Reichenau Mission is one of 22 churches built by the Trappist Monks. They started building the church in 1998, which took four years to complete. The interior of the church has beautiful woodwork. You can visit the church, blacksmith shop and barns. There is a water mill, but it is not functioning. 

Howick Falls

Howick Falls - a tourist attraction in KZN
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Howick Falls is a waterfall in the KwaZulu-Natal province, approximately 63 miles from Durban. It falls 95 metres into a pool before running into a river. The Zulus call the waterfall KwaNogqaza, based on a legend about a giant snake that lives under the falls. 

Wild Waves Water Park

The Wild Waves Water Park is on the property of the Wild Coast Sun. It is a fun place for families, with adventurous rides for thrill-seekers and more leisurely rides for children. Lifeguards make sure everyone is safe. There is a bar and restaurant on-site.

The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

The Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the only park where visitors can see the Big Five in KwaZulu-Natal. It was established in 1895, making it the oldest game park in South Africa (a title it shares with the St Lucia Reserve). The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve has the most white and black rhinos in South Africa. The reserve has been established in the area where the Zulu kings, including Dingiswayo and Shaka, hunted and started conservation initiatives. 

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park
Image by colonell from Pixabay

The reserve covers 96 000 hectares, containing diverse fauna and flora. Visitors can do game drives and self-guided auto trails to learn about the natural history of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game reserve. Guided walks are also available. 

A 40-seater boat on the Hluhluwe dam takes visitors on guided trips twice daily. An experienced guide shows visitors birds and animals while cruising. 

The Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander is north of Pietermaritzburg. It extends from Rietvlei and Currys Post in the east to Dargle Valley and Nottingham Road in the west. The Midlands Meander’s purpose is to provide visitors with an enriching experience with its offering of arts and crafts and outdoor activities. 

In 1985, a group of local artists, potters and weavers created an arts and crafts route, eventually leading to the Midlands Meander’s establishment. Some people call it the ‘arts and crafts route’. On this route, you can find potters, leather workers, artists, box makers, cheese makers, beer brewers and weavers selling wares in this picturesque landscape with magnificent views. 

Other activities in the Midlands Meander include the Midmar Dam for water activities, such as swimming, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing. 

Tours to the Midlands Meander include:

The battlefields region

28 Best Tourist Attractions in KZN

KwaZulu-Natal’s history is filled with numerous battles that shaped British and South African history. The best-known battlefields are Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, where the Zulus beat the British. In the same area, the British and Boers battled in the First Anglo-Boer War. You can see traces of these battles in the form of remnants of graveyards and stone forts. 


KwaZulu-Natal is known for its beaches. Visitors can choose from many stunning beaches, including Umhlanga Main Beach, Thompson’s Bay Beach and Alkantstrand Beach in Richards Bay.

Sabs | South Africa Travel Blog

By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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