KwaZulu Natal to Cape L’Agulhas 27-01-23 to 11-02-23

The province of KwaZulu Natal is mainly a coastal province well known for its beautiful beaches along its long shoreline along the Indian ocean. It is also known for its mountains and rich savannah, home to many wild animals, notably Lions and white and black Rhino. It is also known as the garden province. It shares borders with Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho. KwaZulu means “place of the Zulu” in the natural tongue of the Zulu. Natal was another province that joined with KwaZulu in 1994. This is a province that has it all. Flat dry savannahs, mountains, beautiful sandy beaches and teeming wildlife reserves to rival Kruger. A tropical rich vegetation filled Elephant Coast. This area is hot and humid on the coast with regular low-lying mist banks or haze out to sea. Rambling towns bustling with African life and markets and the fiercely proud Zulu’s, proud of their culture and proud of South Africa. This is a fantastic region steeped in heritage and history.

KwaZulu Natal

The border crossing back into South Africa from Eswatini was quick and hassle free. Since I didn’t get my carnet stamped out on entering Eswatini I didn’t need to get it stamped back in again. I love this country and the African Vibe…. Life is much simpler. I stopped in a town called Mkuze in the Simangaliso wetlands to get a drink and eat. It was getting a bit late, so I searched the area for hotels…. Aunty Google maps to the rescue. Found a nice little lodge that was nearby and decided to stay there. Turned out to be a really good choice ‘cos the people there started to give me tips on where to go… I carry a little notebook and pen permanently in my pocket and when people start giving me tips I write them down. Then with the help of a map or google maps I plan a new route based on local info. This always proves to be the best way of doing things. That’s why you always have to be prepared to throw your plan out the window and to change. I never prebook hotels or campings simply because I chop and change my destinations too much and that is part of the fun.

Fruitmarket St Lucia

After a good night’s sleep, it was on to a town called St. Lucia. This was a little gem. It is not officially in the Simangaliso wetlands, but it is a super place to base yourself. The main street used to be a walkway for the Hippos who came out of the river at night to graze. It doesn’t happen so much nowadays, but you have to be careful at night, they can stray into the quieter streets behind. They look clumsy but they can run at speeds of 40 km per hour, they are dangerous. The main street is the life of the town. It is lined with bars, hotels, and restaurants.

McKenzie street St. Lucia

I decided to do a game drive here.  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is situated here and has the big 5. It is also a reasonably priced safari park. I wasn’t disappointed, believe me. I was picked up at 5 in the morning and then an hour drive to the entrance of the reserve. Breakfast was a picnic in an enclosed area. We were behind bars and not the animals. You are not allowed to step out of the jeep or to hang your hands outside of it.

Safari mobile

I saw Elephants, Rhinos, warthogs, zebra, antelopes and lions. Also, I have to admit to seeing loads of animals that I don’t know the name of. The drive also included lunch, the inevitable Braai, once again in the enclosure.



Mating lions


Weaver birds

Old elephant

African buffalo


The next day I took a river boat cruise to watch the hippos. Unfortunately, my battery in the camera died, and I didn’t have my spare with me. I missed photographing a lot of really nice brightly colored birds. Also managed to do some nice hiking on the beach.   


Baby hippo!

Beach of St. Lucia

Next stop was another wetlands park in Mtunzini. Stayed two nights here and wanted to hike some trails and also the beach. I was first gonna camp but there was a lot of rain and really high humidity. It was a pity because there were wild animals roaming the camp site, two zebras were watching me as I examined the sites.

Deer at camping site Mtunzini

Zebras at the camping site

I took a chalet instead and I was glad of it. Nighttime and morning were rain without fail. Once again, I spent the day hiking some trails in the Umlalazi Nature Reserve. At nighttime around the chalet loads of animals would wander around. The water around the beach is a breeding ground for the Zambezi sharks so it is not a good place to go swimming. The rare South African Palm-nut vulture also can be spotted here. This is a really small park, but it has a rich diversity of bird life.

My hike in Umlalazi Nature Reserve

Siyaya Coastal Park

Coast Mtunzini

Then it was time to trade this really nice quiet little retreat in for Durban.

From my balcony in Durban

Durban or little India as it is known here in South Africa, is a major city situated on the coast. I got a hotel on the beach, I got a really good deal on it, it was situated in the Golden Mile. This is an area with really pristine beaches. But I was not here for the beaches or the cultural sights in the city. I was here for one reason and one reason only…. The Bunny Chow. Yes, the Bunny Chow. This is a dish typical of Durban and has nothing to do with a Bunny as in Rabbit. It is the most amazing dish that you could possibly imagine. It is a loaf of bread with the center scooped out and then stuffed with curry. You order it by a half or quarter or even a whole loaf. I love curry and I have travelled a lot in India, but I have never seen a bunny chow.

Bunny Chow

So once the bike was parked and I had changed and showered I ordered an uber and set out for a little hole in the wall restaurant called the “Little Gujarat” This was home to the best veggie bunny in Durban. So, I dressed up in my urban stealth mode… black woolly hat pulled down over my ears, no watch, no jewelry, no bank passes or credit cards, a 100 rand note stuffed down my sock into my shoe and some loose notes scattered over my pockets and my cheapo telephone and it was off to a bit of a sleazy part of town. It was a local area bustling with locals, really colorful, noisy, and full of life and little hole in the wall restaurants. Not one tourist in sight. But I was in urban bunny stealth mode, so I was safe. Walking with a pretend limp and growling at anyone who looked at me. Found the little Dhaba and ordered my first Bunny… A traditional bean curry bunny. OMG was it good. You have to eat it with your hand and fingers. Scooping the curry up with the bread and trying to get it into your mouth without covering your tee shirt or chin. An art form in itself. Okay I have to admit I pigged out on Bunny Chows. In the course of the evening, I ate two bunnies…. The second one was the traditional broad bean bunny… pure bunny heaven.

Two Bunnies!

Durban beach

Then it was time to move on. I wanted to go to the Oribi Gorge. But the weather was really bad. Really hot, rain and high humidity made for tough going. I originally wanted to camp up in the nature park but on arrival the mountains were covered by angry black clouds. Please let me explain about camping in high humidity and rain. Everything gets wet, sleeping bag gets damp. Packing up in the rain means that you have to unpack the tent at the first available opportunity and dry it along with the air mattress and sleeping bag. It’s a hassle. Took a place on the beach in a place called Margate. A nondescript holiday town with the beach front lined by holiday apartments.

On my way to Margate

I rented one of them for two nights and did a day trip up around the gorge. This was really nice, some really nice scenery. Also was treated to two really nice sunrises over the Indian ocean. I also had another culinary first. Flame Grilled skewered Jackfruit with coconut rice. Ate this in a Mozambique restaurant. I have eaten Jack fruit before in India. When it is ripe it is sweet. But before it ripens it is cooked and tastes like a vegetable. It is full of vitamins and goodness. It is only eaten around the area where it grows, mainly Asia. So, it was a surprise to see it here. Still not bad.

Margate beach

Margate beach

Oribi Gorge

Oribi Gorge

Oribi Gorge

Sunrise at Margate, at Indian Ocean

Sunrise at Margate, at Indian Ocean

Then the Elephant Coast turns into the wild coast and KwaZulu Natale turns into the Eastern Cape. I stopped in a town called Port St. Johns. This is a small town on the estuary of the Umzimvubu River. The road to this town is really spectacular. The R61, I lost count of the number of bends but there was a lot. An advert for the local Spar supermarket said it all. “Just 133 more bends until the Spar at St Johns” The last stretch follows the river, and you have to keep paying attention. The speed limit keeps changing and really sharp speed bumps suddenly appear, and traffic police are out with their radar guns. This is a really raw and rugged coastline. It is not for nothing that it is called the wild coast.

Road to Port St. Johns

Road to Port St. John

The Umzimvubu River is a muddy brown color. This is caused by sediments on the river bottom. But the Gorge, known as the Gates of Saint John, where it flows into the sea, is really impressive and a really nice drive. This little town is raw uncut Africa. It is also a dangerous beach as there have been some shark attacks in the last years, also close to shore in shallow water.

Muddy waters of Port St. John

The murky waters of Port St. John

Port St. John

Unfortunately, I am on a time schedule. My visa is running out for South Africa and I got to get to Namibia. Also, I am planning a service in for Tiggy moondust. This will be done by Triumph Cape Town. So, I have got to get a move on. Did a 455 km run down the coast to port Alfred. This is a really neat little town with a nice beach and a yacht marina.

On the way to Port Alfred

On the way to Port Alfred

Port Alfred, my view from hotel

Port Alfred

From there it was on to Plettenberg Bay. It was hot and raining, so I had to put my full wet weather gear on… it was a pain because in the heat it becomes claustrophobic. Stopped for a drink on a petrol station and met up with Dean and Selina, a South African-Austrian couple riding a Ducati scrambler and loving every minute of it. Plettenberg Bay was really nice.

Roosterkoek…. or Griddle bread…. delicious

Two happy bikers

Also happy petrol station workers

I was getting tired, and the heat and humidity was getting to me, so stayed two nights there. Also got chance to do a laundry…. Believe me, I needed it. Some local artists make really nice elaborate sand sculptures. See like named photo album. Around this area are a lot of really nice things to do. There is an Elephant sanctuary, the Knysna Elephant Park, where you can interact with the elephants. There is also the Garden Route Wolf Sanctuary. I didn’t visit any of these places unfortunately. There are also some really nice National Parks in the area. I spent the time arranging a service for the bike and walking on the beach.

Beach of Plettenberg Bay

Beach of Plettenberg Bay

Sand sculptures of Plettenberg Bay

Work in progress

Sand sculptures of Plettenberg Bay

On to Cape Town, but first a stop in Cape L’Agulhas, the most southerly tip of Africa. The further south I rode the stronger the wind. I was blown all over the road. It was nearly as bad as in Patagonia but instead of being cold it was really hot. I was kinda thinking that I would just stop here, in the tip, take the photos and go…. But then the African vibe and the sea kicked in and I decided to stay. I first checked the campsite out but there was no shade, and the wind was fierce so opted to rent a chalet.

On the way to Cape L’Agulhas

7 Passes

Cape L’Agulhas has an indescribable beauty. It is the southernmost tip of Africa, it is the point where the two oceans meet, The Indian ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the place where everyone comes to take their picture at the monument.

The picture!

But it is also a place of real natural beauty. No sandy beach but rocky, with green fauna leading down to the shoreline. Boardwalks are set up to protect the delicate eco system. The beach at the tip is really stony and rocks are running out to sea. It makes for a really beautiful sight. There are also some sandy beaches further along. Cape L’Agulhas is the name given to this point by the Portuguese in 1500. They noticed that Magnetic north as shown on the compass needle coincided with true north, so they called it Capo Das Agulhas, Portuguese for the “cape of needles”.

L’Agulhas Coast

Sculptured map of Africa

Rocky beach of L’Agulhas Cape

L’Agulhas Lighthouse

Just along the coast the remains of a wrecked Japanese fishing vessel can be seen “The Meisho Maru No. 38” This fishing vessel ran aground, during a storm on November 16, 1982. All 17 crew members were able to swim to safety.

Sunset with the Meisho Maru No. 38 at Cape L’Agulhas

Next stop will be Cape Town where Tiggy moon dust has been booked into Triumph Cape Town for some TLC…. Tender Loving Care. She will be getting a service and we will be heading up the Western Cape to Namibia. But that’s gonna be the next post. In the meantime, make a nice wee cup of tea and have a look at the like named photo album. So, sitting in your favorite chair, mouse in one hand, cup of tea in the other and a nice big piece of cake in your mouth click and enjoy the sights of KwaZulu Natal on my Facebook page if you like…Facebook; KwaZulu Natal 27-01-23 to Cape L’Agulhas 11-02-23 .

Thank you for following and commenting…. Thank you for sharing this incredible journey with me.