For a full list of conference centres in Kwa Zulu Natal please click here.
A little history and geography on Kwa Zulu Natal
Kwa Zulu Natal, ‘The Garden Province’ is the lush, green, subtropical region, plum centre in South Africa, often referred to as ‘THE’ holiday destination where many international tourists visit, where many international conferences are hosted in light of the fact that KZN has the largest 5-star conference centre in Africa, namely the International Convention Centre in Durban, as well as several large and accommodating hotel venues with accommodation rooms, in the city and along the South and North Coast, in the Midlands and in the Drakensberg.
From Pongola in the North to Port Edward in the South, a direct route by road is +- 512 km and likewise from Port Edward to van Reenen, west of Durban beyond the Northern Drakensberg. The whole of KZN covers an area of 94,361 square km and shares approximately 7.7% of South Africa.
An interesting fact is that in the west, on the border of KZN and the Free State, the majestic and dramatic Drakensberg mountain range, with many peaks, up to 3000 metres high has been awarded a World Heritage status for its natural beauty and the wealth of San Bushman rock art found in caves, apparently the richest concentration of these in Africa.
KZN has summer rainfall and temperatures in this season that range from close to 40 degrees some days along the coast and in the mountains and plummeting to below zero in the mountains in winter. The Midlands, ‘though drier, can frequently be colder than the Northern Drakensberg.
Durban, one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the world with the busiest harbour in South Africa receives 30-million odd tons of cargo each year. The other harbour in the province, at the top most end of the KZN North Coast is at Richards Bay, largely a coal-export harbour. Richards Bay, over the years has also become one of Kwa Zulu Natal’s busiest and richest industrial towns. A pretty town which has been deliberately designed to preserve the beauty of the coastline and the picturesque setting of the harbour adds a refreshing feel to the what- was-once a little bay-side/ seaside resort.
The fertility of the soil and good rainfall ensure that agriculture remains healthy and productive. Along the coast, the sugar-cane plantations are the mainstay of the province’s agriculture, together with the large production of subtropical fruit in the north and south and dairy and vegetables in the west.
With the Durban International Convention Centre heading up the list of large, professionally managed, purpose designed conference centres in Kwa Zulu Natal, this little province offers a host of conference hotels, North, South and West of Durban, many non-hotel Conference Centres, Guest houses and Boutique hotels – Conference groups are literally ‘Spoilt For Choice’ with the selection of conference venues, exhibition venues, accommodation establishments and leisure activities available.
In Durban, uShaka Marine World, the largest aquarium in Africa and one of the most magnificent in the world (and where the recent ‘Pop-Idols’ auditions was hosted) not only offers visitors to Durban an awesome leisure day-outing, packed with activities but also offers unusual and beautifully appointed conference and event facilities.
In the north there are the Game Reserves, all of which offer conference facilities while in the south along the coast and inland are many resort hotels offering equally good conference venues together with ample accommodation rooms.
Some right on the beach, some at the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg mountains while others still more charming are those along the Midlands Meander between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberg.
Venues one might consider in the province are (amongst many more): –
Alpine Health Resort near Bergville
Cathedral Peak Hotel situated between Bergville and Winterton in the Central Berg
Champagne Sports Resort which nestles in the heart of the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg
And in the Southern Drakensberg, near Underberg, Drakensberg Gardens Hotel.
On the South Coast :
- Protea Hotel Karridene on the outskirts of Durban
- Pumula Beach Hotel at Umzumbe
- Selborne Country Lodge and Golf Estate
- Peermont Mondazur Hotel At Southbroom
On the North Coast:
- Protea Hotel Umhlanga
- Princes Grant Golfing Estate
- The Richards Hotel at Richards Bay
- Shakaland (inland at Eshowe – the original site for the movie ‘Shaka Zulu’)
In the Midlands
- Lythwood Lodge near Lidgeton
- Woodridge Country Estate, near Nottingham Road in the Balgowan Valley
- Granny Mouse Country House on the edge of the Balgowan Valley
and in Pietermaritzburg itself, several excellent city hotels and conference centres, sports clubs and budget venues.
Author: Rosalie Howard
- Conference venues Durban – featuring ICC Durban (venuepages.co.za)
- Peermont Mondazur Hotel KZN South Coast (venuepages.wordpress.com)