Development is on former sugar cane lands and as you travel you see increasing sweeps of Green Gold covering rolling hills. The Mauritian and British colonists who made this area their home, built lovely farm homesteads and to help cultivate the cane, brought in indentured labour from India. At the end of their tenure, the labourers were given a choice of a ticket back to India or a plot of land here. Most stayed and this was the start of a thriving and productive Natal Indian population and KZN’s love of curry!
Dotted in between residential and holiday accommodation are truly wonderful beaches. Some are so unspoilt that one feels they have just been discovered. Coastal forest birdlife is good and looking out to sea, there are dolphin, sometimes whales and further North, turtles. Northwards, resorts become more scattered and the beaches more beautiful, some with lagoons or tidal pools for calm, safe bathing.
Across the mighty Tugela River, is Zululand where tribes were pushed southwards ahead of King Shaka’s bloody path and either killed or assimilated into the Zulu nation. There are game reserves here and along the Elephant Coast towards the border, including South Africa’s oldest, Huhluhwe, with the Big Five, and masses of other wildlife. A short way west are the Zulu landmarks.
Near St Lucia is the beautiful iSimangaliso Wetland, a UNESCO World Heritage site with varied landscapes teeming with a diversity of bird, animal and marine life.
So this is the canvas for Saunter 6. Our meander gives you the rare opportunity to visit these art and craft studios by appointment. The studios are often in lovely settings, giving you a sense of the lifestyle here. They fall mainly between La Lucia and Mtunzini and the distance is just 116 kms or 1 hour 15 minutes without stops. That is the beauty of The Saunter, nothing is too far away from the start point!
See how these talented people produce their beautiful art or craft. We include traditional Zulu crafters, potters, a muralist, jewellers, a furniture maker and painters who use, watercolour, oils and charcoal. There are yummy food places with delicious artisan breads, ice creams, craft drinks and more. We list good places to see birds and wildlife, to swim, walk and exercise. There are Zulu cultural places, exceptional galleries, some amazing family activities and a couple of bucket list spots.
We recommend just a handful of ‘not to be missed’ places to eat and a few special places to stay, including an original sugar farm home.
This North Coast list is not published yet, but here are some of our artists and 2 amazing galleries, so you can start sauntering northwards.