Zululand is located in northern KwaZulu-Natal along the eastern seaboard of South Africa. Thukela River the largest river in the province is the historical southern boundary and crossing it still has the excitement akin to entering a new frontier. The wide sweep of large coastal sugarcane plantations almost immediately makes way for the rolling hills and green folds of grassland and forested valleys so typical of the Zululand landscape. In Zululand modern commercial agriculture makes way for the timeless tableau of African farmsteads, dotted with traditional thatched houses, small patches of crops and cattle grazing on fenceless pastures.
The main N2 coastal Toll road links Durban in the south with Zululand but a number of good alternative routes run parallel and east and west. Generally the Toll Road is the quickest and most practical route but travellers on the slower meandering roads are often rewarded with magnificent scenery and fascinating glimpses of everyday life. Inland motorists have several options when planning a route to Zululand. They can either travel on the N3 to Durban and then drive northwards on the N2 toll road or they can take the N34 via Vryheid and Melmoth with the option of exploring the Battlefields area and Route 66. Motorists from the north can travel southwards on the N2.
Coastal motorists should continue on the N2 which they can exit at the Mandini, Dokodweni or Mtunzini toll plazas.
KwaZulu-Natal Road Reports: 082 239 2500
Zululand is serviced by two airports. In May 2010 the new King Shaka International Airport was opened north of Durban, making air travel very convenient as this is less than 100kms on excellent double carriage highway to Zululand Daily flights are scheduled from all the major cities in South Africa as well as several international centres. Richards Bay is the closest but flights are less regular and the only connection is with OR Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg.
At present SA Express is the only airline flying into Richards Bay. Car hire facilities and tourist information are also well served at both airports.
Designed for the independent backpacking traveller, Baz Bus connects a major network of travel destinations across South Africa, Zululand included. Their 19-seater semi-luxury buses can be boarded or disembarked at any stage of the Baz Bus route. BazBus has buses out of Eshowe (either en route to Swaziland or Durban) daily excluding Saturdays.
Greyhound Bus has daily buses travelling between Gauteng and Richards Bay and Empangeni. Greyhound also has a daily service between Durban and Empangeni. The bus leaves Durban Station at 9am everyday of the week and arrives at the Art and Cultural History Museum in the centre of Empangeni just after midday. It returns daily at 17h35 and arrives at Durban Station at 20h40.
As in other countries there are a few basic precautions visitors should take to ensure their stay is pleasant and as safe as possible. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and the KwaZulu-Natal South African Police Service have issued the following tips:
Do not publicise your valuables, such as cameras, cell phones, jewellery. Always lock them in the boot of your car.
At night, avoid isolated dark places.
Be aware of your surroundings and always know where you are going.
Try to reach your destination before sunset.
Establish how to observe the cultural protocol of a region.
Use registered, qualified guides and get advice from the local tourism office for the best routes to follow.
Always use adequate sun protection cream
Report incidents of loss or theft at your nearest police station.
If using a car with a remote, please double check your vehicle is locked before moving away. Criminals are using remote jammers to prevent vehicles from locking, and then gaining access to your vehicle.
Zululand is the ideal all-year holiday destination. It enjoys a sub-tropical climate and the mean maximum temperature is high throughout the year at about 30°C in January and February and over 25°C for over nine months of the year. Some of the more elevated inland areas tend to be less humid and cooler than the coast. It is a summer rainfall region and the mean annual rainfall can be as high as 1400 mm. The Indian Ocean is warm throughout the year, averaging about 22°C. The warm Mozambique current flows south from the tropics and high energy waves up to several metres in height are typical of this coast.