Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa

Zululand

Sawubona - Welcome to Zululand!

NATAL
tourism
For many who visit South Africa, the rolling hills of Zululand with their Zulu kraals and villages is their first real taste of Africa.

Zululand: An Introduction

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From the Tugela River in the South to the borders of Moçambique, the countryside is brimming with Zulu history and culture.

History

The Nguni peoples who moved to the area were attached to their families, loyal to their chiefs and intensely superstitious.

Each outcrop, cave or waterfall still has a legend of dark supernatural forces associated with it. To add to the mystery, the warm, humid winds from the Indian Ocean sweep inland to the hills to form dense mist belts.

Few San (Bushmen) were encountered, although the clicks of their language were absorbed into that of the Zulu.

The Zululand Birding Route comprises over 50% of the bird varieties of South Africa. The route stretches from Babanango to Richards Bay. Guides are available from 1 to 5 days. Contact: zulubird@pixel.co.za.

In addition to Ezemvelo Wildlife administered game and nature reserves, there is a multitude of private reserves and bush camps while the bustling towns of Eshowe, Empangeni and Richards Bay represent the 20th century.

Bounded by Swaziland and Zululand in the west and Mozambique to the north, Maputaland is a largely flat land of game parks, wetlands and marine reserves.

A World Heritage Park

'Maputaland' comes from the Maputo River that flows through the area. In 2000, the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park in Maputaland was granted World Heritage Park status as an area of exceptional beauty. Also in 2000, the 'fossil fish' the coelacanth was found to be living off the coast.



The area was originally under water and has risen only slightly above sea level with the result that the rivers dawdle and meander on their way to the sea and there is a large number of freshwater and brackish lakes and pans.

The many small lakes that form are home to many species of fish, water birds, crocodiles and hippo.  The local inhabitants have developed ingenious traps across the lakes to traps the fish. 

The Tembe Elephant Park contains the last wild elephants in KwaZulu-Natal.

The jewel in the Maputaland crown is the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park (now known as the isiMangaliso Wetlands Park), a world famous tourist destination.

The park is gradually being consolidated with other parks such as Mkuze and Phinda to the north.  Ndumo Game Reserve on the Mozambique border is renowned for its prolific birdlife.

Both the Ndumo and Tembe Game Reserves will shortly be amalgamated with reserves across the border in Mozambique. A corridor (the Futhi corridor) will then be established connecting this complex of reserves with the Maputo Elephant reserve near Maputo city.

Simultaneously, the marine reserve will be extended to the Southern border of Maputo Bay.



   
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