For those who look forward to vacationing in sunny KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) over the festive period, but dread the thought of jostling for elbow room on crowded beaches or sitting in traffic in the summer heat, rest assured there are plenty more fun and relaxing holiday options just a few hours’ drive from South Africa’s playground.
Here are a few charming KZN attractions that holiday makers can add to their December itinerary…
Bundu-bashing at Sani Pass
Just two hours’ drive from Durban, on the road that connects KZN and Lesotho, lies Sani Pass, a mountain pass that rises 2 876m above sea level. This road is considered one of the most dangerous hairpin roads in the world, and is made for thrilling 4×4 expeditions, as well as enjoying breath-taking views of KZN’s hilly countryside. While the ascent is a gruelling journey and a true test of even the most expert of off-roaders, the view from the top more than makes up for it, and you can even grab a drink and a bite to eat at the Highest Pub in Africa, while looking out over the Underberg and its surrounds.
Take it easy at Shaka’s Rock
If you’re in the mood to do nothing else but lay in the sun, drink cocktails and enjoy a relaxing beach swim without having to deal with crowds of people, Shaka’s Rock is a must. This rocky outcrop, believed to have once been used by the Great Zulu Chief as a lookout point, is now a small residential village with a serene and virtually untouched stretch of sandy beaches that tends to be a lot more peaceful than neighbouring Ballito. Other than drawing smaller crowds of holidaymakers, Shaka’s Rock also features a glittering tidal pool surrounded by picturesque cliffs, and plenty of water sports to keep the whole family entertained.
Indulge in a luxury resort experience in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom
If you’d rather enjoy a relaxing holiday in the comfort of a resort that caters to your every need, look no further than Umfolozi Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort, located just off the N2 highway, inland from Richards Bay. Umfolozi offers comfortable three-star accommodation, gourmet dining and entertainment facilities for the whole family, including exciting casino experiences for adults and loads of activities for children. To top it all off, the resort is adorned in vibrant Zulu-themed décor, making it a uniquely South African resort experience. Umfolozi’s Perfect Date promotion is a great way to spend some quality time with a loved one this December, from just R1 220 per night per room. This offer includes dinner, breakfast and accommodation in a relaxing Classic Room.
Explore the Empangeni Art and Cultural History Museum
An excellent day-trip option, just a short drive from Umfolozi Casino, is the Empangeni Art and Cultural Museum which can be found in the Old Town Hall in Empangeni. The museum features an intriguing range of artistic, cultural and historical artefacts all native to the region, including the work of a number of world-renowned artists – Andrew Verster, Trevor Makoba, Dennis Purvis and Diamond Bozas. There are also a variety of shops and stalls to browse just a few metres away.
Take in majestic views of nature at Mtunzini
Mtunzini, an isiZulu word meaning “place in the shade”, is a charming little coastal town in KZN that offers all the perks of a December holiday in Durban – lovely weather and stunning scenery – without the crowds of holidaymakers. Mtunzini overlooks the Umlalazi River and the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and a great opportunity for nature-lovers to enjoy everything from bird-watching to peaceful morning strolls along the beach.
Explore KZN and enjoy a fun and memorable holiday with family and friends this festive season at Umfolozi Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort, a Peermont resort. Contact 035 787 8200 or book a stay online at: umfolozicasino.co.za.