The garden province of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal is a subtropical region of lush and well-watered valleys, washed by the warm Indian Ocean. One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, the province stretches from Port Edward in the south to the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique to the north.
Its western part is marked by the dramatic Drakensberg mountain range, with several peaks well over 3 000 metres. The range has been awarded World Heritage status for its dramatic natural beauty and the wealth of San Bushman rock art found in its caves – the richest concentration on the continent of Africa.
Between the mountains and the humid, subtropical coastline is savannah grassland, but there are also areas of indigenous forest along the coast. The largest of its many rivers is the Thugela.
It is a summer rainfall area, with a climate that ranges from extremely hot along the coast in summer, to heavy snow on the mountains in winter. The Midlands are drier than the coast and can be very cold in winter.
Durban is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the world. Its harbour is one of the busiest in South Africa and one of the 10 largest in the world. Richards Bay is an important coal-export harbour.
The capital of KwaZulu-Natal is Pietermaritzburg. The province has several popular coastal holiday resorts, such as Port Shepstone, Umhlanga Rocks and Margate. In the interior, Newcastle is well-known for steel production and coal-mining, Estcourt for meat processing, and Ladysmith and Richmond for mixed agriculture. The KwaZulu- Natal coastal belt yields sugar cane, wood, oranges, bananas, mangoes and other tropical fruit