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If there’s one thing to love about KwaZulu-Natal, it’s certainly getting to enjoy the warm beaches and many sunny days throughout winter.
That’s what makes KZN the perfect destination for many winter events – especially if you’re the type of person who prefers basking in all things summery – as it provides the ideal weather conditions for all types of events, from major races, to cultural festivals and more.
SEE: 5 Unique KZN experiences you have to try
Whether you want to escape winter in much colder parts of SA or if you just want to experience a slice of east coast sunshine, here are some events worth attending while embarking on your trek through the Zulu Kingdom.
Experience railways of the past with Umgeni Steam Railway which has train rides on the last Sunday of every month.
The activity also raises funds for ongoing and new projects. Crafts, food and refreshments are on sale on the train days.
Where: Train departs Kloof Railway Station at 8:30 and 12:30.
Cost: Adults - R240, children (aged 2-12) / pensioners pay R170.
Sardine Run events
The annual Sardine Run is in full swing along SA's east coast, bringing with it a number of events and festivals for families to enjoy while taking pleasure in witnessing one of the nature's highlights.
Annually, between May and July millions of these fish travel north up the KZN coastline to escape the winter chill. Here are some events along KZN’s south coast worth attending while enjoying this phenomenon:
There’s much to be enjoyed at this festival including the Sardine MTB race and trail run, wine tasting, live music, stalls, a children’s play area, Portuguese-themed stalls, Zulu dancers, a comedy and music evening, an auction to raise funds for a Portuguese monument rebuild, a treasure hunt and many prizes to be won.
When: 6 - 8 July
Where: Mattison Square on R61 just outside Port Edward, KZN.
Info: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sarah on 083 503 5056.
ALSO SEE: KZN enjoying phenomenal 2018 Sardine Run but be alert for sharks, say experts
The Margate Mardi Gras takes place every Wednesday during the school holidays, featuring live music, dancing, stalls and entertainment.
When: 4 July, 11 July.
Where: Main Road, Marine Drive.
Info: Call Corrie at 039 317 2202.
The anticipated classic car show boasts car parades including the featured marque parade, History of My Car Parade, fun and fashion parade, and motorcycle parade. There are also activities that the whole family can enjoy including a tea garden, beer tent, food vendors and children's play area with a jumping castle.
When: 8 July.
Where: Scottburgh High School.
Cost: Adults - R40, pensioners/scholars - R20, children under 12 enter free.
Vodacom Durban July
With the first race run in 1897, The Vodacom Durban July is one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious events.
While horse racing started off being the focus of the event, the race shares the spotlight with the local fashion industry and has grown to be one of the biggest lifestyle events on the country’s social calendar.
This year’s fashion theme is “Time”, so get ready to strut your stuff in those avant-garde garments that reflect the theme and your creativity at this chic KZN event.
Be sure to also explore food and entertainment stalls in between races and enjoy the local music line-up set to entertain at special marquees (which you will need to purchase a ticket for separately). Dress up, turn up and catch the uber-luxurious party vibes at the Durban July.
When: 7 July.
Where: Greyville Racecourse, Durban.
Cost: Entry is R220 per person. Tickets can be purchased from Computicket.
This family event aims to bring peace in the city, featuring top local gospel artists.
When: 13 July.
Where: Esikhawini College.
Cost: Tickets from R180 each. Click here for tickets.
Registration is open for the second edition of the Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) which creates a path to conservation through film by providing a platform for delegates to engage, network and contribute to the industry.
NEWF2018 offers topics to inspire story and spark lively and robust debate, informative panel sessions, case studies and interactive demonstrations. An array of keynote speakers, industry leaders and special guests have been invited
When: 16 - 18 July.
Where: Durban Botanic Gardens.
Cost: For more info email email@example.com or contact Pragna on 064 294 0669.
ALSO SEE: #FindYourEscape at the Gin, Wine and Jazz Festival in Lesotho's Maluti Mountains
DJ Fresh, Shekhina, Tbo Touch, DJ Ganyoni and Khuzani will entertain the crowd at this family-friendly event in celebration of Nelson Mandela. With the theme centred on nation and unity, the event aims to send messages about Madiba’s legacy.
When: 28-29 July.
Where: Umhlathuze Sports Ground, Richards Bay.
Cost: Tickets range from R100 - R500. Click here to book.
The 39th Durban International Film Festival is the one of the biggest film festivals on the continent, set to take place in conjunction with the Durban Film Mart and Talents Durban. If you are a lover of fine art, nouveau films and have an appreciation for creative and provocative cinema, then this is the film festival not to be missed.
When: 19 – 29 July.
Where: Various venues across Durban. Click here for all the venues.
Cost: Click here for more information.