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KwaZulu-Natal, the so-called Garden State, is the homeland of the Zulu Nation. The province, situated in the eastern part of South Africa, is known for its historical sites, having been a Dutch and British colony, and beautiful nature reserves. The capital of KwaZulu-Natal is the inland city of Pietermaritzburg, but the largest city is Durban, located along the coastline. Both cities can be easily reached through self-drive, the preferred way to get around.
Local transport can be confusing for foreigners, so car hire in KwaZulu-Natal is the best way to get around. Most cities and towns in the province have depots of major international brands such as Avis, but it is worth taking the time to compare car hire before travel as local companies such as Tempest are also a good option.
The main airport is King Shaka International Airport, servicing Durban city and receiving domestic flights from major cities in South Africa. It also connects KwaZulu-Natal internationally to Dubai, Maputo and Lusaka. Visitors coming from Johannesburg can take trains or buses. Those driving from the Eastern Cape can access the province via the N2, while those coming from Johannesburg or any northern city can take the N3.
The speed limit on national highways in South Africa is 75mph (120kph). On secondary roads, it is 60mph (100kph), while on urban streets it is 40mph (60kph). When driving, remember to drive on the left. It is highly advisable to acquire insurance when using car rental in KwaZulu-Natal.
After soaking in the sun in the coastal city of Durban, it is recommended to drive north to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park or south to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Both nature reserves have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites for their beauty and pristine conditions. The capital city of Pietermaritzburg is also worth a visit for its colonial history and architecture.
In South Africa, summer is from December to March and winter is from June to August. Those tourists visiting during the summer may experience some rain in KwaZulu-Natal. However, the climate in the province’s coastal destinations is largely subtropical, meaning these places can be enjoyed throughout the year. Inland regions have similar summer temperatures but are significantly colder in the winter.