Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beautiful South Africa, a Place Kids Would Love

Recently we were on a six week sojourn in South Africa and we can say it was a truly remarkable trip. The primary objective was to visit our three grandchildren who were also on vacation in Waterfall, Hillcrest, a small village about half an hour drive inland from Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The village is nestled among the Midland Hills, is very green and enjoys a temperate climate--not like the humidity of Durban.

In this region there are stud farms, dairy farms and chicken farms as the pastures are a lush green and not unlike the hills you find in Ireland. Nearby Hillcrest you'll be enchanted by the Valley of the Thousand Hills and thus named because of the countless steep hills--a place well worth visiting. This is not only home to the Zulus but also many craftsmen and artists who now live there as it is becoming a great tourist attraction.

A few miles rising up inland towards Pietermarizburg, you will discover a delightful place called Botha's Hill and this is where the Zulu's perform their traditional dances. See pictures here of these wonderful dancers we captured.

Zulu Dancers, Natal
Zulu Chief Dancing
Behind these dancers notice the Valley of the Thousand Hills; this is approximately 20 odd miles from Durban. These hills are alive with traditional Zulu homesteads, this area is called Botha's Hill where you get spectacular views of these hills. Nearby are artists studios, craft shops, restaurants, coffee shop, quaint pubs and B&B's. The grandkids love to watch the Zulus dancing.

We then toured on to Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, to a safari park about three hours drive north of Durban following the coast line to a safari park called Bayete Zulu. This is situated almost on the Swaziland border. It is "small" by the average safari lodge in the area at approximately 22,000 ha. This is what the kids really loved because of the abundance of wild animals. Lots of pictures below of these lovely creatures even though we only saw the big four, the big cats are missing in this specific area.

Rambo at Bayete Zulu Safari
On their way home

A unique feature of these giants are the tusks, Rambo, this one on the left was very tame and lifted tourists up with his trunk. He did not complain about the overweight tourists.

A ride on the tusk and a dentist

He thinks we're being nosy

Bayete Lodge is privately owned and consider the reserve to the most densely stocked and ecologically balanced in northern Natal. The reserve consists of a varied landscape of mountains, open plains and dense woodlands. The diversity of flora and high carrying capacity make this an animal paradise. We enjoyed at stay here so much we will be back again next year.


  1. i was planning to go for a holiday vacation with my family and kids, one of my friends referred me this .... really amazing, I got a real interest to have a visit to Cape Town, I think the tribal dance, beautiful animals and other natural beauties of South Africa will enthrall us ...

  2. Thank you for your comment - RSA is truly beautiful and well worth visiting - you will never forget once you've been there!