Things to do in KwaZulu-Natal

Our most recommended things to do in KwaZulu-Natal

Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

1. Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

This tour will take you on an unforgettable trip around Durban. Durban Harbor is the biggest and busiest harbor in the southern hemisphere. The harbor tours are especially educational for kids, as the boat takes them to points of interest in Africa’s largest harbor and shows them the route through which ships enter the harbor, discharge cargo, and exit. The skipper will teach the passengers about the port and its operation. If the weather conditions are favourable, the boat may go further out from the shore. The skipper is in close contact with the passengers and will give you a comprehensive guided tour. The trip will either take you down the Maydon Wharf Channel or to the City and Cor Container terminal.

Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

2. Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

Spend a day touring Durban from a vantage point on the Indian Ocean. Check out the sights and look out for pods of dolphins along the route. Pass by enormous container and cruise ships at the port. See the beautiful beachfront from a new perspective out on the water, and Wilson's Wharf; a lovely hidden gem filled with restaurants and entertainment. Enjoy protection from the sun with a semi-covered boat so you can see the sights comfortably.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

3. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

4. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

Experience the rolling hills of the Savannah grasslands and a magical African sunrise. Sit back and relax while your ranger takes you to the best areas within the park. With trained eyes and years of experience, your ranger will undoubtedly deliver some magnificent sightings. Learn more about this fascinating park and the incredible history of when King Shaka used the lower Umfolozi as his personal hunting grounds or how the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park single-handedly saved the rhinos from near extinction. The park is home not only to the African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) but also includes cheetahs, wild dogs, and many more. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at one of the numerous scenic picnic areas within the park. The tour concludes with a drop off at the Nyalazi Gate or alternatively, drop off back at your accommodation in St. Lucia.

Durban: Canal Cruise

5. Durban: Canal Cruise

Marvel at the iconic Durban skyline from a unique perspective on a 30 minutes circular journey around Durban point canals. Relax aboard a luxury pontoon boat, which features comfortable luxury seating and a professional tour guide. Pass by Durban’s historic and impressive attractions from the comfort of your boat. Cruise and sail through the canals and take in a unique atmosphere. See historic, impressive, like uShaka and Ithala Trade Centre. Enjoy a relaxing way to do sightseeing in Durban and escape the traffic noise and congestion. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cooling river breeze and see the city from many points that offer perfect photo opportunities.

Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

6. Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

7. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town and heads to Hermanus. Follow the scenic coastal road to Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, and the place where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy a paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. Visit the famous Knysna Heads viewing point, overlooking the Knysna estuary. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park offers hikes of varying lengths including a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including buffalo, lions, rhinos, warthogs and many more. After an exciting morning on safari, we drive back to the Garden Route where we overnight in Wilderness/Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along the seaside cliffs, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town in the early evening.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

8. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

Durban: Half Day City Tour

9. Durban: Half Day City Tour

The 4-hour tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel, and you’ll then embark on a scenic tour of Durban to see a variety of landmarks that highlight the city's diverse history and culture. On Victoria Street you’ll see traditional Zulu attire and traditional healers offering different kinds of umothi (Zulu medicines). This is a popular area for local residents to meet for shopping and lunch. After, your tour guide will show you around the exterior of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and explain its history, use and significance. You will be given time to go to the sky platform by an elevator called the Sky Car for an additional fee. The tour also includes a visit to uShaka Marine World’s Village Walk on the famous Golden Mile Beachfront on Durban’s or Tambo parade. There you will be given time to shop and have lunch. Visit the Kwa-Muhle Museum and learn about the history of apartheid in Durban. It also houses a very interesting HIV / Aids exhibition which educates the public on the South African HIV/ Aids situation. Relax at the Botanical Garden and listen to the lovely melodies of different species of birds. Admire the many varieties of South African flowers as well. Afterwards you’ll be taken on a drive to the Durban’s City Hall, Durban Harbour and Umgeni Hindu temple. This is where your tour ends, and you will be transferred back to your hotel.

St. Lucia: Cape Vidal Snorkeling Adventure

10. St. Lucia: Cape Vidal Snorkeling Adventure

Meet your friendly instructors in Cape Vidal, just an hour drive through iSimangaliso Wetland Park from St. Lucia. The park is a protected area that runs along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Provice, and is home to an abundance of hippos, crocodiles, penguins, flamingos, elephants, giraffes, and leopards, spanning across the various landscapes. The adventure begins with a safety briefing on the beach and time to get kitted out with all the snorkel gear. Next, head into the water for a 1 to 1.5-hour exploration of Cape Vidal’s underwater world. Follow your instructor as you go in search of marine life, with the opportunity to see stingrays, octopus, butterfly fish, sturgeon fish, and many more. By the end of the trip, you will have spotted around 50 different species of fish. Back on dry land, warm up with a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate as you page through the fascinating fish ID book to point out what you have seen.

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 987 reviews

Such a good tour - so worth it! We had Wendy as our guide who was totally phenomenal - I can’t recommend her enough. She was so knowledgable and upbeat and organised, it made everything so easy and interesting. The views were stunning, the activities interesting, the food tasty, the hostels clean and secure - I can’t recommend enough!

What an enjoyable experience! The music was a bit loud, but the skipper was funny, taught us so much and made the 30 minutes fantastic. I definitely recommend this ride if you want a quick adventure with the fam ❤️

We had great day,our Tour guide Siyabonga oh what a humble, discipline,well mannered guy, values his clients.Good news I'm coming back with my friends this weekend

The boat accommodated about 14 in total. It was such a wonderful experience. Nice music and we learned a lot from the guide offered by the boat driver

The experience was beautiful. Mind blowing especially for our 8 year old. The drive was quite nice and friendly.