Towns and Cities of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Durban beachfront at dusk.
The Province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is made up of several cities, towns and smaller villages. With the major metro being the City of Durban, the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the province. Pietermaritzburg, a smaller city is the provincial capital. Here is a brief overview of some of the cities and towns of KwaZulu-Natal.

Durban

Durban is the hub of business and social activity in the province and is the most rapidly growing urban area in KwaZulu-Natal. The port of Durban is the busiest in Africa with good links to the rest of the continent. Durban has excellent entertainment centers and theatres and boasts the largest shopping mall in the Southern Hermisphere.

The city is known for its beautiful lively beaches and is surrounded by quaint resort towns for quick getaways. Durban is made up of several "sub-towns" and suburbs. Pinetown, The Bluff, Umhlanga, and Westville are all major suburbs that form part of the city of Durban. English is widely spoken and understood and is one of the official languages of the Province. Durban Hotel Accommodation options

Pietermaritzburg

Since 1838 the town of Pietermaritzburg was the Capital of Natal. Today the Provincial Capital of KwaZulu-Natal has grown in size and number. This town sits on one of the great natural wonders of KwaZulu-Natal, The Valley of a Thousand Hills. Pietermaritzburg is an ideal place to stop and rest en route to Drakensburg and the Battlefields.

One of the toughest marathons in the world takes place between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Alternating where the race starts each year. One year you run downhill and the next year, you run uphill. It makes no difference which city you start the race, either way it's a grueling 90km run. Surprisingly, Pietermaritzburg is one of the most Victorian cities in the world.

Howick

This quaint town just outside of Pietermaritzburg is known for its dairy farming, cattle ranching and timber plantations. Here, you will find elite residential homes and retirement villages. Howick is a prosperous place and is ideal for people looking to settle in a quiet town surrounded by vast green lands.

Estcourt

A town with an interesting history of ghosts, trading stations, blacksmiths and an inn, has now developed into a thriving centre for meat products and livestock. The town was named in honor of an Englishman who supported immigrants in the area.

Hluhluwe

Home to the Big Five, Hluhluwe is the tourist point of the northern regions of KwaZulu-Natal. It boast two of the most prominent nature reserves, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park and St Lucia Reserve. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is flocked by tourists each year. This Big Five safari game lodge has luxury tented camps and is KwaZulu-Natal's focal point for exclusive game viewing.

Richards Bay

This bay sits on KwaZulu-Natals fertile South Coast. Richards Bay was originally a holiday town but is now a well developed port. There are direct rail connections for mining exports, particularly coal. Birds are attracted to the area because of the abundance of fish and other sea creatures.

Scottsburgh

Scottsburgh is a popular sunny resort along the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, initially the town was to be used as a bay to export sugar, but this plan was not fruitful as it offered no shelter from rough seas. In 1892, a lighthouse was built in Scottsburgh to mark the abundant shoal of fish in this particular coastline.

Scottsburgh today, is a busy resort town and trading centre. It has fine beaches with strict shark-protected tidal and bathing areas, a breeding farm for crocodiles and small railway and coastal forest bird watching opportunities.

St. Lucia

The Town of St.Lucia is nestled on the mouth of the grand St.Lucia Estuary and is located on the southern most point of St.Lucia Wetlands Park. The town on the whole has not many things to offer the traveler, but is an ideal base to explore a number of adventure activities around the area. Whale-watching, biking, hiking, kayaking and wildlife safari tours are all enough to make your stay in the town of St.Lucia more than worthwhile!

Umhlanga Rocks

It is debatable whether or not Umhlanga is a town on her own or forms part of the city of Durban. Be that as it may. Umhlanga Rocks is 20 kilometres from the city centre of Durban. It is a well-known sea-side town/suburb with elite residential homes and prominent business offices. Some of KwaZulu-Natal's most beautiful beaches and holiday accommodation in Umhlanga can be found here. The area is famous amongst surfers and water sports enthusiasts. And is home to the largest shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere, The Gateway Theatre of Shopping.
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