Summer holidays: 5 Unique KZN experiences you have to try

2017-12-12 20:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town – The varied South African landscape provides travellers with a myriad of opportunities for fulfilling holidays.

And while fruit-picking, canopy rides and waterparks are found throughout the country, KwaZulu-Natal is home to a few treats that cannot be found anywhere else in Mzansi.

ALSO SEE: Festive season events in Durban not to be missed

Here are Traveller24’s top 5 unique experiences you have to try when visiting The Zulu Kingdom.

Rickshaw ride

Durban is renowned for its golden beaches and warm waters, with the Golden Mile - a strip of some of the city’s beaches – abuzz with activity.

Apart from strolling along the Mile while enjoying an ice cream and spotting surfers or creative sand sculptures, the Golden Mile is used and loved by joggers, cyclists and people walking their dogs. It is also one of the most popular places to enjoy a proudly South African rickshaw ride.

According to Durban Tourism, the rickshaw was brought to the port city in 1893 by sugar magnate Sir Marshall Campbell from London. The rickshaw was based on the Japanese design and incorporated into a transport system which only had a few cars. It was used to transport people to the Berea and back, as well as for seaside tourists.

“These iconic symbols are very much part of the Durban main beach rickshaw culture,” says Durban Tourism, adding while there are only less than 20 rickshaws left “their pullers are very dedicated to this dying craft”.

You can’t miss the brightly coloured rickshaws – each uniquely hand-crafted - and its pullers who sport extravagant head-dresses made from beads and other traditional decorations.

Where: Golden Mile, Durban.

When: Any day of the week.

Cost: R20.

Eat a ‘real’ bunny chow

Durban, like much of South Africa, boasts many diverse cultures which each bring a medley of their traditions, cuisine and lifestyle that offer unique experiences for locals and visitors.

While the city may be known as the Kingdom of the Zulu, it is also home to a large number of people of Indian origin – in fact SA boasts one of the biggest Indian populations outside of India.

The Indian influence led to the creation of a delectable dish called the bunny chow. This proudly South African dish comprises of a hollowed loaf of bread filled with a choice of mutton curry, beans curry or chicken curry, accompanied with sambles and/or carrot salad. Bunny chows kin Durban are the ‘real deal’ – sticking true its original hot recipe and made in the home of the bunny chow.

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While this can be enjoyed in other parts of the country too, we assure you that you won’t find a bunny chow as intense as you would find in Durban or surrounding areas. KZN’s bunnies provide another level of heat – Nando’s extra hot peri-peri has nothing on this. Of course, you can choose a milder option if you wish, but as a visitor to the city, you can’t not get a bite out of this – it’s like going to Italy and not eating pasta!

There are many places to try out Durban curry bunny chows, but a firm favourite is Cane Cutters in Glenwood, which holds many prestigious titles and awards for making the “best bunny”.

Where: Helen Joseph Road, Durban.

When: Tuesdays to Saturdays – 10:00-19:00, Sundays from 10:00-18:00.

Cost: From R34.90.

Adventure through Karkloof

While canopy tours can be enjoyed throughout the country, Mzansi’s varied landscape provides diverse terrain and backdrops making each experience unique at different venues.

If you like to live on the edge, then a stop at Karkloof Canopy Tours is a must – but preferably not right after you enjoy a bunny chow!

Swing through the forest canopy and take in spectacular views of the surrounding forest, a 20m waterfall, sparkling forest stream and across the expansive Karkloof valley. There is also the chance of seeing abundant bird life and a variety of mammals, including Samango monkeys.

Where: Karkloof Forest Reserve, KZN Midlands.

When: Click here to check availability.

Cost: R650 per person.

Check it out:

Visit a litchi farm

Summer is incomplete without fresh fruit and a litchi farm in Salt Rock, along KZN’s north coast, offers visitors these freshly-picked much-loved summer fruit.

In addition to getting a fresh supply of litchis in season, The Litchi Orchard boasts litchi trees that are around 100 years old, and a night market on the last Friday of every month with an array of food and drinks, as well as live music performances.

Due to the difficulty of harvesting litchis, the farm only offers litchi picking to the public during its festival which takes place from 14 December 2017.

Where: Litchi Farm, Umhlali, Salt Rock

When: 14 December 2017 until “the litchis run out”, 09:00 until 15:00 daily.

Cost: R130 per person covers entrance and picking or eating, as well as a tractor trailer trip into the orchid. Buckets are 1.6 kgs and included in entrance fee. Click here for more information.

Drop down Africa’s highest slide

The Drop Zone at Durban’s uShaka Marine World is the highest water slide in Africa. With an 18-metre drop that is almost perpendicular, it is certainly not for those who fear heights – and remember, one who embraces this slide is not secured with any protective cables or seats!

ALSO SEE: SA's Big 5 adventures for adrenaline junkies

uShaka Marine World says the slides is “guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping and your heart skipping a beat”. It also advises to “Cross your legs, lean back and pray!” and warns about a “Wedgie alert”!

With it holding the prestigious title of highest slide on the entire African continent, how can one not give it a go?

Where: uShaka Marine World’s Wet ‘n Wild section.

When: Click here for rates and times.

Cost: Tickets to enter can be bought on the website or the at the entrance gates. Click here for more information.

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