Walk in the footsteps of famous military strategists – Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha – they were all here before you. The wind sighs and whispers the secrets and sorrows of great battles, made visible by lone forts and small graveyards on these undulating landscapes ringed with rocky outcrops.
The legacy of our Zulu Kingdom’s critical, blood-soaked conflicts today lives peacefully – reconciled in this fascinating region’s myriad Battlefield sites, historic towns, national monuments and museums – and in Head Quarters of the British regiments who make a ‘pilgrimage’ to these fields of bravery and supreme sacrifice.
Why leave all of this to the imagination? Knowledgeable guides will accompany you on tours of the Battlefields, talking you through each battle, debating the strategies used, the numbers who perished and the medals and rewards won by the brave.
If these legends inspire your adventurous spirit, there are more pleasurable ways of appeasing it than in battle. White water rafting down the rapids of the mighty Tugela, sailing on the Chelmsford Dam, and hunting in the designated hunting reserves – this region offers you all of these pursuits.
Expert shoppers will always find a way to practice their skill at tracking down a good bargain, and this area provides the opportunity at any of the large number of factory outlets selling everything from blown glass to pork sausages and baby products.
The Northern and Central Drakensberg area has some of the most beautiful scenery one could ever imagine. The area falls into four valleys, beginning with the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg, through the Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley, then the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre Valley, and finally the Middledale Pass Valley in the Northern Berg. Each of the four valleys has its own kind of beauty and character, and all have spectacular mountain views.
From the massive basalt cliffs of its northern reaches to the soaring sandstone buttresses in the south, the Berg – as it’s popularly known – offers a myriad delights to anyone of any age who needs to ‘get away from it all’. Peace and quiet is the catchphrase amid this unsurpassed grandeur, where the World’s second-highest waterfall tumbles down a series of breathtaking cascades.
From scenic golf courses, sparkling trout fishing dams and quiet picnic spots, to hiking trails, wildlife and extreme adventure routes at adrenalin-pumping altitudes, the Drakensberg has something for everyone to escape the city and get back to nature in truly majestic surroundings.
The Dolphin Coast, an expanse of magnificent beaches and a panorama of waving sugar cane, stretches across the malaria-free North Coast of KwaZulu Natal from Zimbali in the South to the mighty Tugela in the North. The Dolphin Coast consists of the following towns: Zimbali, Ballito, Thompson’s Bay, Shaka’s Rock, Salt Rock, Sheffield Beach, Umhlali, Tinley Manor, Shakaskraal, Blythedale Beach, Zinkwazi and Kwadaduza/Stanger.
Ballito, the heart of the Dolphin Coast, lies nestled between rippling fields of KwaZulu Natal’s famous Green Gold, sugar cane, and is flanked to the east by golden beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Ballito is the Pearl of the Dolphin Coast. The town’s origins date back to 1953, when a group of entrepreneurs began investigating land to develop a township in the Compensation beach area.
Proclaimed a township in 1954, Ballito, whose name was gleaned from a magazine advertisement meaning Little Ball, became a town board in 1966. The town, which reached borough status in 1986, is well known for its superb, safe beaches.
The Dolphin Coast, as it is so aptly named, is the playground of the bottlenose dolphins, which frolic in the waters close to shore and are visible all year round. The dolphins favour this stretch of coastline because of its relatively clear and shallow waters, allowing the dolphins to swim close to shore in order to feed. Whales can also be spotted on their annual migration to Mozambique for the summer.
For the small price of a licence, which can be purchased at the Natal Sharks Board, you can pick your own mussels off the rocks, collect oysters or bring in fresh crayfish from the Indian Ocean. Ballito’s friendly, village atmosphere is a welcome haven from the fast pace of big city life, yet it offers all modern amenities and services to residents and holiday-makers alike.