words + images by Kristen Kellogg

From Safari to sand covered beaches and mountainous hikes, the Kwazulu-Natal province screams authenticity. Celebrating the dynamic cultures within it and one of a kind experiences to from local to luxury, Kwazulu-Natal is a must-see for anyone looking to explore a less traveled side of South Africa. Take a tour with me as I share some of the highlights from my recent trip.  


What some call the Undersold CityDurban is known for its cultural richness, extensive beaches, and bustling urban atmosphere. A true South African city in Kwazulu-Natal, I look forward to exploring here again when I have enough time to discover all that Durban has to offer. With limited time, I focused on finding you some beautiful places to stay

If you’re a B + B type of traveler, we found The Cornerway Bed and Breakfast to be lovely, nestled in a little neighborhood of Durban North. There’s a beautiful little pool in the yard and it’s just up the road (you could walk it) from the beach.

If you love luxury, book your stay at The Oyster Box Hotel. Celebrating an affinity for food-culture this five star resort has decadent and indulgent food experiences throughout. From in-house oyster beds to evening indulgences of tea and sweets 6-8pm, you’ll never go hungry wandering these halls.

The Oyster Box is also home to one of the most uniquely designed chef’s tables I’ve ever laid eyes on: a table for ten inside the wine cellar with a glass ceiling so you can see all the action up above.

The Lighthouse Bar overlooks the Indian Ocean- great for sunset cocktails and a cheese board, and since Durban has the single largest population of Indians outside of India, make sure you leave plenty of room to have dinner on the Oceanfront Terrace tasting the wildly delicious Curry Buffet with eleven plus curries nightly.


Drive west from Durban and head out to the Midlands for a few days of serene surroundings. This South African countryside area has milder temps and so many scenic stop offs. Lot’s of farmland and places to stop off for afternoon lunch, cheese tasting, and artists and craftsmen along the Midlands Meander. Nestled in rolling hills an hour and thirty minutes drive from Durban, we loved staying at Granny Mouse Country House. This property has a wine cellar for dining, two pools, and a few paths to wander off for a walk, and the most incredible sunset views.


If you’re looking to be active outdoors, you’ll want to explore The Drakensberg National Park. Be prepared to drive on some not-so-great roads to get there (I recommend an SUV or larger car – there are many potholes and unpaved sections of the road), but once you’ve arrived you the views don’t disappoint. There are all types of hiking routes from a few hours (like we did hiking Giant’s Castle) to multiple day overnight camping trips out here, which I highly suggest if you have the time. One day just  isn’t enough out here.


A ‘once in a lifetime experience’, you can’t leave South Africa without spending time on Safari. Three and a half hours north of Durban, we stayed at one safari lodge, but chose to do game drives with two different companies. I favored the experience we had with And Beyond Safaris at their Phinda Private Game Reserve. Their open roof vehicles really get you up close and personal with the animals. There are several lodge and camp options to choose from, each with a different feel, to choose to stay at.

WILD. Now that I’m home, I finally have some time to cull through my images from the trip and start editing my film. Being within eight feet of this beautiful beast in an open air vehicle was terrifying, exhilarating, and humbling all in one. We went on three game drives @andbeyondsafari while we were on Safari. You’d think after driving twice a day every day you might begin to get used to it, but each day is so vastly different – the animals behaviors, seeing their movements… This lion was the king of the North Pride and was taking some time high above to mate with his lioness. #AndBeyondSafari #VisitSouthAfrica Find more images and video clips from my adventure on my SNAPCHAT ????????kristen_kellogg???????? this morning.

A photo posted by KRISTEN ✈️Now On Nantucket (@borderfreetravels) on

*To Note: Many people book up to a year or more in advance for Safari.

Have any other questions for us on our finds in Kwazulu-Natal? Or want to share a South African experience of your own? We’d love to hear from you below!