You will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of KwaZulu-Natal while volunteering for the Durban Green Corridor. Go on a safari at the Hluhluwe Game Reserve and discover african wildlife or visit the world heritage site at the Drakensberg National Park for a hiking trip. You will see that there are plenty of opportunities to travel within KwaZulu-Natal, the Zulu Kingdom of South Africa.
Drakensberge Heritage Site
The Drakensberg National Park is one of the must visit heritage sites of South Africa. The park encompasses South Africa’s highest mountain range. This is the place to exercise the body and fuel it up with fresh crisp air. Hike, rock climb or fish- This is one of the places where you can be free to do anything you want it is magical.
Though the inhabitants have long disappeared from the area, they left a lasting mark of their stories in the form of art, explore the cave walls that have ancient paintings that tell the history of the land that date back to almost 4000 years ago.
If you are one that appreciates history and the evolution of life then the Drakensberg Park is a destination for you to explore and enjoy.
Oribi Gorge & the South coast
The spectacularly beautiful Oribi Gorge on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast is a haven for adventurists, bird lovers, photographers and nature-lovers alike
With a crazy 250 recorded bird species, small mammals such as bushbuck, reedbuck, blue duiker and grey duiker live in the gorge. Access to the gorge is by means of self-guided trails or an amble along the cliff edge.
When it comes to abseiling in South Africa, few sites can match the rush offered by Oribi Gorge's Wild Abseil. At 110 meters high, it is one of the world's premier natural commercial abseils. It doesn’t end there; Oribi also has a wild swing which is no for the faint hearted. The Wild Swing is one of the most popular big swings in South Africa and the highest in the world. It entails a heart-stopping leap off the top of the waterfall and swinging more than 100 meters to the gorge below.
Hluhluwe Umfolozi National Park
Among South Africa's largest game reserves, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is one of the best places in the country in which to see the endangered rhino. The reserve has both black and white rhino, along with other members of the Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
It falls under the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (a provincial conservation body) and is divided into two distinct areas. ‘The northern Hluhluwe region of the reserve is forested and mountainous, markedly different to the undulating open savannah common to the southern Imfolozi region. This habitat attracts over 340 bird species, including the endangered bateleur eagle and ground hornbill.
Aside from black and white rhino, elephant, too, are plentiful here and many visitors to the park are astounded by the close encounter with the world's largest land animal, on a reserve road or at a waterhole.
Lesotho "Kingdom in the sky"
Lesotho is a hidden paradise of beautiful mountain ranges, mighty peaks and breathtaking waterfalls. Completely landlocked by South Africa and only a 6hrs drive from Durban, the country has a remarkably peaceful history and certainly a different feel compared to South Africa. Lesotho is the highest country in the world, as its lowest point is on 1400m and thus the highest lowest point in the world.
If you get excited about fun outdoor activities, you will immediately fall in love with the “Kingdom in the Sky”. Besides hiking, horses and donkeys are a main way of transport on the countryside, which makes the local, sturdy but good-natured Basotho pony the ideal partner to explore the untouched landscape, even if you haven't been on a horse before.
Semonkong, an traditional village about 2 hrs from the capital Maseru, means “The Place of Smoke” due to the steam of the impressive 192m high Maletsunyane Falls. It's the home of the highest single-drop Abseiling location in the world. Around the waterfall you'll find beautiful hiking trails and in the evening, the hilarious Donkey Pub Crawl offered at Semonkong Lodge is a must-do to party with the locals and get a proper impression of the village life.
Hiking to the Qiloane Falls, about 1.5hrs drive from Maseru, makes another exciting day trip in an absolutely non-touristy and breathtaking environment, crowned by a natural infinity pool on top of the waterfall that rewards those who take the steep natural path with a swim.
The Nature Reserve of Bokong or the Sani Pass (accessible from Kwa-Zulu Natal, SA) are further destinations with endless outdoor activities and pure nature experiences.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
iSimangaliso means “miracle” in Zulu and that's just the right description for the 332 000 hectares of park that contain three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old coastal dunes. Endless beaches stretch over 220km from Maphelane all the way north to the Mozambican border, and can be explored together with dunes, forests, lakes and wildlife in well signed self-drives or guided tours. Several camps in the park give the opportunity for overnight stays in a beautiful environment, offering camping, self catering or catered lodges. Cape Vidal offers some of the most beautiful beaches and is easily reachable with any vehicle. The more adventurous should take their 4x4 vehicle to Kosi Bay, which lies in the very north of the park, to find a remote and lonely paradise, comprising an estuary with four lakes, extraordinary snorkelling opportunities and one of the world’s top fly-fishing destinations.
St Lucia, which is located close to the southern entrance to the park, is also a good base to explore the Western and Eastern areas of the park or to book a guided tour.
Isimangaliso was listed as South Africa's first World Heritage Site in 1999 recognising its immense beauty and unique diversity. Nelson Mandela once boasted about this diversity saying: “iSimangaliso must be the only place on the globe where the oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale).”
Explore the beautiful Midlands
The Midlands Meander is a route situated between the city of Pietermaritzburg and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site.
The Midlands Meander extends over 80km between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River with breath taking sites and scenery along the way. The beautiful countryside will replenish the soul, body and mind.
The Midlands Meander began in 1985 when several potters and weavers came together to create an arts and crafts route through the region. Today more than 150 talented and creative individuals showcase to visitors their rural environs, furniture, rugs, pottery, stained glass, leatherwork, kites, quilts, hammocks, ceramics, decor, wind chimes, weavers, bistros, restaurants, B&Bs, lodges, guest houses and much more.
For the active visitor the Midlands Meander is ideal for horse riding, hiking, tubing, swimming, biking, canopy tours, quad biking and fishing.
Aisit to the Midlands should include a relaxing stroll through the areas beautiful forests and picturesque villages, sampling home-made cheeses and locally brewed beer and wine. Art lovers will enjoy watching locals creating uniquely African pieces and relish the opportunity to buy a few art works to take back home.