In the 1830s the northern part was the kingdom of Zululand and southern part was briefly a Boer republic called Natalia. In the 1840s the latter became the British Colony of Natal, though Zululand (KwaZulu in Zulu) remained independent until 1879. It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation. Located in the southeast of the country, it borders three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, along with a long shoreline on the Indian Ocean.
Visitors can drive northwards from Durban through the canefields and hills of Zululand to Shakaland to learn about the origins of the Zulu people and walk through a typical Zulu village. Visitors are shown the art of bead making, spear throwing and beer making and can even visit with the Sangoma (witchdoctor). Zulu dancing exhibitions are also popular with visitors.
This area includes Lake St. Lucia, which has been designated a World Heritage Site. The area is home to hippos, crocodiles, Bush Buck, Red duiker, monkeys and a variety of other animals. 367 species of birds are known to be in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, located north of Durban, is the oldest proclaimed park in Africa. It is known for its rich wildlife, being home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino). Due to conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world. Phinda and a number of other private game reserves are also in this area.