South Africa: Kwazulu Natal

By: Natacha Rey

KwaZulu Natal is a province in South Africa. It is called the "Garden Province" and is the home of the Zulu nation. Located in the south-east of the country, it borders three other provinces (Mpumalanga, Free State, and the Eastern Cape), as well as the countries of Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho; and has a shoreline along the Indian Ocean.

KwaZulu Natal has a varied, yet lush climate owing to its diverse and complex topography. The Zululand north coast has the warmest climate and highest humidity. Generally, the coast is subtropical, with the inland regions becoming progressively colder. Durban, on the south coast, has an annual rainfall of approximately 1009mm, with a daytime maximum temperature of 28 degrees Celsius between January and March; and 23 degrees Celsius between June and August.
The Drakensburg can experience heavy winter snow, with light snow occasionally experienced on the highest peaks in summer.

The province is home to the Zulu monarchy, and the majority of the population and language spoken is Zulu. It is also the only province in South Africa that includes in its name, the name of its dominant ethnic group.

Durban is a fast growing metropolitan area and is one of the busiest ports in Africa, with an efficient rail network linking into Southern Africa. The main industry of the province is sugar refining. There is strong agricultural activity with sheep, cattle, fruits, cotton, and pineapples also being raised and grown. There is also a developing KwaZulu Natal wine industry. There are large aluminum smelting plants in Richard's Bay, on the central coast. The Province also produces a considerable amount of timber and coal.

Wildlife and tourism is becoming increasingly important to the economy of KwaZulu Natal.

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