Known as the Kingdom of the Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal is a melting pot of African, European and Indian cultures. Known as the Kingdom of the Zulu! This province boasts two World Heritage Sites – the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and the Maloti Drakensberg Park. In the 1840's, it became known as the British Colony of Natal, though Zululand (KwaZulu in Zulu) remained independent until 1879. It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation.
The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sighted the coast along what is now Durban on Christmas Day in 1497 and named the country Terra Natalis, after the Portuguese word (“Natal”) for Christmas. The interior of Natal had been occupied since the 16th century by the Nguni branch of the Bantu-speaking peoples.
When the homeland of KwaZulu, which means "Place of the Zulu" was re-incorporated into the Natal province after the end of apartheid in 1994, the province of Natal, which had existed between 1910 and 1994, was renamed KwaZulu-Natal.
Just north of the Dolphin Coast, in a malaria-free area, Zululand extends up to Richard’s Bay along the north coast of KwaZulu Natal and inland into the rural heart of KwaZulu Natal, extending north to Pongola, and including the little towns of Ulundi and Vryheid that lie on the border of the Battlefields Route.
Lying beneath the baking heat of a subtropical sun, Zululand is how many regard KwaZulu Natal in their minds eye - peaceful, green hills, waving grasslands, abundant forests, unhurried lifestyle, and a soil imbued with the strength of the Zulu nation, who fought for this land.
It is thus an area rich in symbolism and tradition, and the age-old Zulu culture remains today, as visitors are invited into the heart of Zulu villages like Shakaland and Dumazulu where one can visit a sangoma, watch a rural wedding ceremony and experience Zulu hospitality. Learn also about Zulu life!
A highlight of the region is undoubtedly the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Park. Set in the heart of Zululand this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka Zulu. Today, Africa's 'Big Five' (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) stalk the flourishing savannah.
Zululand lies on the brink of both the Battlefields Route and Drakensberg, yet this land that is home to tea plantations, cattle farms and pretty little inland towns is also rich in wildlife.
There is an aboudunce of Sugar-Cane farms found in this area, as it has the perfect climate.
There are numerous parks, farms and nature reserves - including the Siyaya Coastal Park, the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, and the Amatikulu Nature Reserve - in an area dedicated to conservation.
The Zululand Birding Route, with over 650 species of birds, offers an incredible diversity of bird species with over 30 local guides and a series of useful brochures and information packs linking the top 70 birding spots in the area on 14 local routes. Dlinza, one of the most beautiful forests of Zululand, lies in the Dlinza Nature Reserve close to Eshowe, one of the finest places to spot birds, hike and see wild fig and African plum trees.
As of the 2001 Census 22.9% of the population in KwaZulu-Natal aged 20 years or more had received no education, while only 4.8% had higher education. KwaZulu Natal has Traditional and Comprehensive Universities:
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
The new University of KwaZulu-Natal unites two major educational institutions in KwaZulu-Natal – the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville. The University of KwaZulu-Natal aims to be a truly South African university, that reflects the society in which it is situated – not only in terms of race, gender and class – but in terms of how it structures its values and priorities and how it responds to social needs. As an institution of higher learning, it is committed to academic excellence, innovation in research and critical engagement with society. With its vision to be the Premier University of African Scholarship, the University of KwaZulu-Natal draws inspiration from an African identity and takes seriously its responsibilities to the development of the African continent.
The University of Zululand (also known as Unizulu) has been designated to serve as the only comprehensive tertiary educational institution north of the uThukela River in KwaZulu-Natal. Its new status is in accordance with South Africa's National Plan for Higher Education aimed at eradicating inequity and costly duplication. As a result, Unizulu offers career-focused programmes as well as a limited number of relevant university degree courses that have been structured with potential employees and employers in mind.
-27° 53' 42", 30° 41' 9.6"