KwaZulu-Natal is a stunningly beautiful province with the contrasts between the subtropical coast and the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains in the West if the province. The Indian ocean plays a significant role in the local coastal temperatures. The province is a summer rainfall region with temperatures becoming very hot in the summer on the coast and heavy snowfall in the winter in the mountains. Between these two contrasts, savannah grassland is a dominant feature. 

Pietermaritzburg is the Provincial Capital City, but Durban is a major city which is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world. There are a number of popular coastal towns including, Port Shepstone, Umhlanga Rocks and Margate.

As would be suggested by the name of the province, isiZulu is that dominent language of KwaZulu-Natal. This is followed by English and Afrikaans. The Province has an exceptionally rich cultural diversity, ranging from traditional Zulu to Indian, through to Afrikaans.  

land and wildlife

KwaZulu-Natal is known as the garden province due to fertile soils used to grow a number of subtropical fruit as well as large areas of forest, sugar cane and tea plantations. This is made possible due to the relatively good rain fall of more than 1000mm per annum.  

The province has a total area of 94 361 square kilometres, making it the third smallest of South Africa's provinces.

KwaZulu-Natal is a region, rich in natural habitats, game reserves, conservation areas and vast open mountain ranges. The Royal Natal National Park, forms part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Drakensberg is a region with soaring mountains giving way to spectacular views stretching hundreds of kilometres. Within the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, more than 1000 plant species can be seen as well as three of the world's seven crane bird species. It is also where the richest concentration of San Bushman rock art can be seen in Africa.

2 of South Africa's 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in KwaZulu-Natal. The first being the above mentioned uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park and the second is the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is situated along the subtropic coastline. Moving inlands and upwards towards the Swaziland border, the more typical African savanna can be seen and plays host to a number of game reserves including the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. 

general information

Kwazulu Natal

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Kwazulu-natal: quick facts

  • Provincial Capital City: Pietermaritzburg

  • Languages: 77.8% isiZUlu, 13.2% English

  • Population: 10 267 300 (2011) 

  • Share of SA population: 19.8%

  • Area: 94.361 square kilometres

  • Share of total SA area: 7.7%