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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal towns


Baynesfield - Afrikaans name: Baynesfield

Looking downstream on the Mlazi River at Baynesfield

Baynesfield

Photo © Steven Herbert

Baynesfield is a tiny village which is situated about 30 km from Pietermaritzburg.

The surrounding countryside is very pleasant and this area is a great place for a day drive from Durban or Pietermaritzburg.

Baynesfield is best known for the nearby Baynesfield Estate. This is a working farm that was left for the benefit of all South Africans by Joseph Baynes. Each year there are three days when the farm is open to the public and a flea-market is held. It is well worth a visit!

The village of Baynesfield

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 128

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Hluhluwe - Afrikaans name: Hluhluwe

A row of shops and banks lines the main road through the village

Hluhluwe

Photo © Steven Herbert

Hluhluwe is a small town situated near to Hluhluwe Game Reserve and False Bay.

Hotels and lodges in the area organise game-viewing safaris into the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. You can be picked up and dropped off at your hotel.

The farms around the town grow most of the pineapples produced in South Africa. Other items produced in the area include sugar cane, cattle and timber.

Hluhluwe weather

HLUHLUWE WEATHER

The name Hluhluwe originates from the Zulu word for the thorny climbing plants found growing along the nearby Hluhluwe River.

References and further reading

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Year Published: 2019 - Page: 123

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 145

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Illovo Beach - Afrikaans name: Illovo Beach

Illovo Beach

Illovo Beach

Photo © Steven Herbert

The coastal village of Illovo Beach lies on the southern bank of the Illovo River.

Illovo Beach weather

ILLOVO BEACH WEATHER

The river, from which the town takes its name, was called iLovo by the Zulu people living in the area. This name stems from their name of mlovo for the trees on the banks of the river.

The village has both residential properties as well as various tourist accommodation including a caravan park.

There is a large plant nursery in the area. It is a popular destination for residents of Durban who want to escape the city for a while. Tasty meals and cake are served on a deck over the restaurant.

References and further reading

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 328

Things ewe never kn'ewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 103

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Mandini - Afrikaans name: Mandini

Mandini shops

Mandini shopping centre

Photo © Steven Herbert

The town of Mandini is set on the north bank of the Thukela River about 10 km before the river reaches the sea. On the south bank of the river is the town of Tugela and the two towns are linked by two bridges.

Mandini weather

MANDINI WEATHER

A variety of factories are located in Mandini of which the biggest is the Sappi plant.

The work opportunities in the town attract a lot of labourers and there is a sprawling township to the west of the town.

Mandini houses

Mandini

Photo © Steven Herbert

Mandini Baptist Church

Emmanuel Baptist Church

Photo © Steven Herbert

Mandini mosque

Mosque in Mandini

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 210

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 142

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New Hanover - Afrikaans name: New Hanover

The main road through New Hanover

Photo by Claire Herbert

New Hanover is a small town situated halfway between Pietermaritzburg and Greytown.

It was founded in 1850. The original German settlers named it after the German city of Hanover.

The surrounding farmlands produce a variety of crops including timber, fruit and grain, but sugarcane is the main one.

New Hanover is not far from Albert Falls Dam.

References and further reading

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 139

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 231

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Richmond - Afrikaans name: Richmond

Main street of Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal

Richmond - KwaZulu-Natal

Photo © Steven Herbert

Richmond is a small town that is situated between Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal.

In 1850 settlers from Richmond in England arrived and established the town which they initially named Beaulieu. These settlers were known as the "Byrne" settlers.

Richmond owes it existence to farming. The surrounding farms produce dairy products, timber, sugarcane and others.

Interesting buildings in the town include the Richmond Museum and the St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

References and further reading

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 116

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 230

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 115

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Rosetta - Afrikaans name: Rosetta

Rosetta in the KZN Midlands

Rosetta in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

Photo © Steven Herbert

Rosetta is a small village nestled between Nottingham Road and Mooi River.

It forms part of the Midlands Meander and has a number of interesting shops, places to eat and accommodation.

The countryside surrounding Rosetta is lush rolling grasslands.

The Drakensberg Mountains are a short drive from the town. The village is situated along the Mooi River and the surrounding area offers good trout and bass fishing.

References and further reading

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 133

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Sea Park - Afrikaans name: Sea Park

Sea Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Sea Park is a village situated on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast between Southport and Umtentweni.

The beach at Sea Park is its main attraction. It is situated on a great stretch of coast line.

It was founded originally to serve the nearby plantations growing sugar and other crops. Today it is a quiet coastal village that mainly relies on tourism.

There are only a few houses present which are mainly surrounded by coastal bush.

Although Sea Park does not have many facilities it is sufficiently close to Port Shepstone where virtually all facilities are available.

References and further reading

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Shelly Beach - Afrikaans name: Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach

Photo © Steven Herbert

Shelly Beach is sandwiched between Port Shepstone and Margate on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is a popular destination for tourists for a number of reasons. It has a fine beach with the warm Indian Ocean making it possible to swim all year round. It is a good spot for surf and rock fishing, as well as scuba diving.

A wide variety of accommodation is available and there are numerous shops nearby. Port Shepstone and Margate are also just a few kilometres away.

A well-known attraction in the area is the nearby Pure Venom Reptile Park.

References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 194

Country Life - Issue 209 - Author: - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 55

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 211

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 113

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South Port - Afrikaans name: South Port

South Port beach and tidal pool

Photo © Steven Herbert

South Port is a tranquil little village on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It is situated between Hibberdene and Port Shepstone and is one of many seaside villages along that stretch of coastline.

There is a nice beach and tidal swimming pool at South Port which make it a great choice for a family getaway. There is a restaurant at the beach parking area and braai sites under then trees.

At times dolphins and whales can be viewed from the beach.

There are many other beaches, restaurants and other facilities within a half-hour drive.

South Port shops

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

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Tugela - Afrikaans name: Tugela

Tugela town

Tugela

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tugela is a small town on the southern bank of the Thukela (Tugela) River about 10 km from where it flows into the Indian Ocean.

There are two bridges linking Tugela with Mandini which is on the north bank of the river.

References and further reading

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 142

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Tugela Mouth - Afrikaans name: Tugela Mouth

Tugela Mouth

View from Tugela Mouth

Photo © Steven Herbert

The little village of Tugela Mouth sits on a hill on the north bank of the Thukela River. Thukela is the new name of the Tugela River but the name of the town hasn't changed.

Tugela Mouth weather

TUGELA MOUTH WEATHER

The few houses in the village are set amongst the coastal vegetation.

There is a caravan park plus a few other options for accommodation. There are no supermarkets nearby so it is best to take your own provisions.

Activities in the area include bird-watching and fishing. Although Tugela Mouth is situated on the beach swimming in the sea is not recommended as there are no shark nets or lifeguards.

Tugela Mouth shop

Shop at Tugela Mouth

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

go! - Issue 156 - Author: - Year Published: 2019 - Page: 40

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 133

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Umtentweni - Afrikaans name: Umtentweni

Umtentweni

Photo © Steven Herbert

Umtentweni is situated at the mouth of the Mzimkulu River. The residential population of the town is growing steadily and many new houses are going up in the area.

The attraction for holiday makers is the opportunity to spend some time in a quiet village with nearby beaches and other attractions.

Although Umtentweni doesn't have many amenenities Port Shepstone, just across the river, can supply you with most of what is required.

References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 191

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 126

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 332

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 214

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 114

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Umzinto - Afrikaans name: Umzinto

Umzinto's main street is a busy place

Photo © Steven Herbert

The little town of Umzinto is situated 10 km from the coast and a bit south of Scottburgh.

Umzinto weather

UMZINTO WEATHER

Sugar cane is the name of the game around these parts and the town was originally established around a sugar mill.

Although the town has lost some of its main industries over the years, it remains a busy place. Unfortunately the infrastructure in the town has declined over the years.

Not far from Umzinto is Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve. If it is the beach you are looking for then Park Rynie is also nearby.

References and further reading

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 190

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 126

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 332

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 115

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Warner Beach - Afrikaans name: Warner Beach

Warner Beach

Warner Beach

Photo © Steven Herbert

Just south of Amanzimtoti lies the little coastal town of Warner Beach. The town itself extends inland beyond the N2 highway.

Warner Beach weather

WARNER BEACH WEATHER

The town is a popular tourist destination. Durban is only 30 minutes drive north of Warner Beach.

The main attraction in the area is the beach itself. It is a popular surfing and fishing spot.

Warner Beach

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 333

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