Special interest routes in KwaZulu-Natal

A number of special interest trails guiding visitors to places of interest connected with specific themes have recently been created in KwaZulu-Natal. These include the Literary Trail exploring locations connected with the province’s many famous writers including Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Wilbur Smith, Alan Paton, Lewis Nkosi, Mandla Langa, and John van de Ruit; the Freedom Trail promoting icons of the province such as Mahatma Gandhi, John Langalibalele Dube, Alan Paton, Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela; while the Beer Route visits nine small breweries with demonstrations of beer making and beer tasting.

Literary trails
To help promote the province’s contemporary writers and its literary heritage, KwaZulu-Natal Literary Tourism has set up a website with the aim of providing a resource for visitors interested in literary tourism and the places and events associated with fictional texts as well and the lives of their authors. This can include following the route a fictional character follows in a novel visiting locations from a story or tracking down the haunts of a novelist.

Read more about KwaZulu-Natal literary route

Beer Route
A KwaZulu-Natal Beer Route has recently been launched offering visitors a chance to learn more about the world of beer production. The Beer Route visits nine small breweries in the province with demonstrations of the art of beer making, beer tasting and the opportunity to purchase gift packs of the beer.

The nine breweries visited are:

The Congella United National Breweries in Durban; South African Breweries in Prospecton, Durban; Firkin Hophouse Micro Brewery & Pub at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville, Durban; The Nottingham Road Brewery at Rawdons Hotel in the Midlands; Wartburger Brauhaus in Wartburg ; The Ijuba-United National Breweries in Dundee in the Battlefields region; The Shongweni Brewery and the Zululand Brewing Company in Eshowe.

The Freedom Route
The Freedom Route has been initiated by various KwaZulu-Natal tourism stakeholders to promote the freedom related struggles of especially the main freedom icons of this province such as Mahatma Gandhi, John Langalibalele Dube, Alan Paton, Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela and others.

The Freedom Route will take you on a journey into the history of our heroes that have helped shape South Africa into a Rainbow Nation.

The freedom nodes around Durban including the KwaMuhle Museum, Cato Manor and other townships around Durban, the Inands Heritage Route, which includes Mahatma Gandhi's Phoenix Settlement and Dr John Dube's Ohlange Institute, and the Luthuli Museum in Groutville. The freedom nodes around Pietermaritzburg include the Pietermaritzburg Train Station, The Old Prison, Edendala and Mbali routas. the Gandhi Statue, the Alan Paton Centre, Sobantu Township, Manaye Hall and the Nelson Mandela Capture site near Howick.

The Freedom Route will give the tourist an amazing insight into the freedom struggles of the Past, the Present and the Future and will ensure a deep appreciation of all the endeavours and perseverance of the wonderful people of KwaZulu Natal.

1000 Hills Route
The breathtaking Valley of a Thousand Hills is an exciting component of Durban and South Africa's province of KwaZulu-Natal - the Kingdom of the Zulu. The Valley of 1000 Hills is one of those few vacation destinations that has something for everyone. This includes unspoilt nature, wildlife, magnificent scenery, wining and dining, and warm country hospitality just a half an hour's drive from the center of Durban. The area is named after the thousands of hills which tumble down to the mighty Umgeni River, which flows from the distant Drakensberg Mountains to the warm inviting Indian Ocean.

Zululand Birding Route
Zululand Birding Route mission is to promote and develop birding based tourism in KwaZulu-Natal for the benefit of avitourists, communities and birds. ZBR has a spectacular 605 bird species and a wonderful range of destinations where they occur.

It is a treasure trove of specials such as Green Barbet, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Pink-Throated Twinspot, Neergard’s Sunbird and Palmnut Vulture.

The Zululand Birding Route lights this jewel, marketing a service for birder, a natural evolution in response to the rapidly-increasing demand for birding tourism in South Africa by both domestic and international clients. The ZBR makes sure you get your birds and go far beyond the Big Five.

The Zululand Birding Route is helping create a new career path for Black South Africans, though training as birds guides. Individuals are selected for communities neighbouring birding spots for training to become fully accredited. So much more than “just” a birding route, the Zululand Birding Route is an integrated approach to a sustainable environment and responsible tourism, promoting low impact sustainable tourism that benefits a broad range of people in Zululand.

Midlands Meander Route
The Midlands Meander in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, is a collection of arranged routes that offer visitors hospitality in truly beautiful surroundings, outstanding accommodation, conference and wedding facilities, fascinating local events, fabulous restaurants, revitalising outdoor activities and over-the-top adventure sports, historic landmarks, wildlife conservation, and best of all “shop-till-you-drop” unique arts and crafts.

An easy one-hour drive from Durban and on the N3 highway from Johannesburg, there is much to explore and do in the Midlands.

And once you have finished Meandering there is easy access to the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields, the Drakensberg, the coast and the game reserves up the Dolphin Coast.

Read more about Midland Meander route

Places to stay
KwaZulu-Natal has places to stay from bush camps to hotels and lodges to rural accommodation.
Responsible Travel would like to thank Tourism KZN for their sponsorship of this guide
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