KwaZulu-Natal, one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, is the province with the second largest population.

Capital: Pietermaritzburg
Principal languages: isiZulu 82,5%, English12,5%, Afrikaans 1,0%
Population: 11 538 325
Percentage share of the total population: 19,0%
Area: 94 361 km2

Map of South Africa showing KwaZulu Natal

Under the former system of apartheid, or racial separation, Natal province contained the non independent Black state of KwaZulu, which served as the legal homeland of the country’s Zulus. Following the repeal of apartheid and the resorption of KwaZulu in 1994, Natal was renamed KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition to the magnificent coastline, there is the sweeping savanna in the east, and the majestic Drakensberg mountain range in the west that offers some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

KwaZulu-Natal, formerly Natal, is a province of South Africa. It occupies the southeastern part of the country.

It is bounded to the north by Swaziland and Mozambique, to the east by the Indian Ocean, to the south by Eastern Cape province, to the west by Lesotho and Free State province, and to the northwest by Mpumalanga province.

Within KwaZulu-Natal is an enclave of Eastern Cape province consisting of the eastern portion of the former Griqualand East (around Umzimkulu).

The provincial capital is Pietermaritzburg.

This verdant region includes South Africa’s lush subtropical east coast. Washed by the warm Indian Ocean, it stretches from Port Edward in the south, and northwards to the Mozambique boundary.

A vast sweep of basalt summits and buttresses was formally granted World Heritage status in November 2000 and renamed uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.

Visitors can enter the province through the King Shaka International Airport(link is external) at La Mercy, north of Durban or use the extensive national road network. There are also two major harbours – the port of Durban, which is one the busiest in Africa, and Richards Bay, which is an important coal-export harbour.

There are several tertiary institutions of learning, including the University of KwaZulu- Natal(link is external), University of Zululand, Mangosuthu University of Technology and Durban University of Technology. KwaZulu-Natal is the only province with a monarchy specifically provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.