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CLIMATE

Coastal areas enjoy a sub-tropical climate with sunshine year round, although rain storms can occur in summer. The humidity is lower in June and July, making it ideal times to visit. Weather is also warm and sunny for most of the year in the Drakensberg, but in winter night time temperatures can drop below freezing and snowfalls are not uncommon. At Sodwana Bay, a world-class diving destination, conditions are good throughout the year, but best from April through to September. Water temperatures here are usually above 20 degrees Celsius and in summer can reach 29 degrees Celsius. The Midlands is a summer rain fall area with warm, sunny summers and cold winters, with night time temperatures dropping below zero in parts.

SHOPPING

Shopping is an elevated activity in KZN with entire routes dedicated to this pleasure. The Midlands Meander offers a wide variety of arts and crafts including pottery, sculptures and leather-work, ideally interspersed with stops at cosy inns for a taste of country fare and home-made brews with names like 'Pickled Pig' or 'Pie Eyed Possum'. Ethnic Zulu pieces on the beaches, cultural villages and curio centres e.g. the Workshop include intricate bead work, wood carvings, baskets and pottery. In Durban, the choices vary from luxury shopping mall merchandise to downtown Indian markets where you'll find the best curry spices in the country and quality African craft items at the African Art Centre at Tourist Junction. Also visit the Heritage Market in Hillcrest for more local goods.

GETTING THERE

Fly to Durban via Johannesburg or drive down on N3 South.