Historically, the battles fought in the beautiful hills and valleys of northern KZN at the turn of the 19th century, changed the course of South African history and the sites of famous skirmishes that rocked the British Empire, weakened the Boers and broke the mighty Zulu nation are found here. Some of the more famous battlefields are at Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana in Zululand, but there are many other interesting historical sites, museums and monuments throughout the province.
Not many people know that it was in KwaZulu-Natal that Nelson Mandela was finally captured after having been in on the run from the apartheid government. He was later sentenced and spent 27 years in prison. Commemorating this event, is a magnificent memorial, “The Mandela Capture Site”, outside the town of Howick in the Midlands area of the province. It was also in KwaZulu-Natal that Mandela chose to cast his vote in South Africa’s first ever democratic elections. This he did at the Ohlanga Institute on the outskirts of Durban.
Some of South Africa’s premier game and marine reserves are situated in KwaZulu-Natal as well as two of the country’s eight magnificent World Heritage sites. Namely iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the Elephant coast, and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park in the mountains to the west of the province are here. Another important game reserve is Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, world famous for the role it has played in preserving Africa’s white rhino populations.