KwaZulu-Natal’s most recognizable feature is the luxuriant coast line. Each year hundreds and thousands of inland South Africans flock to the East Coast during the annual holiday seasons to bath in the temperate waters of the warm Mozambican current and bask in the sun.Yet on their way, most do not realize that the N3 might be the quickest way to get to the coast, but it is certainly not the most scenic or historic. Names like “Valley of a Thousand Hills” or “Drakensberg” attempt to capture the dumbfounding effect the KZN landscapes have had on past visitors. So great is Natal’s fertile appeal that for hundreds of years thousands of people did not merely traverse her mountains, her plains and her rivers for a holiday, they did so to fight for a place to call home.This is the home of Shaka Zulu, Africa’s most famous warrior king- often called the black Napoleon. This is the land where Boer met Brit in violent battles and these two opposing forces met the military genius of the Zulu at sites like Blood River and Islandlwana. In recent times it is where Mahatma Ghandi saw the atrocities against his own people and took up the call to fight for Human Rights.Today, there exists a battle of a different kind. Authorities are struggling to preserve the unique St Lucia estuary and the marine wonders of the iSimangaliso region. Something they seem to be achieving with the proclamation of our first World Heritage Site and clever eco tourism strategies in the area. While few things beat the sandy sensation of a lazy beach day, KZN is more than a tropical paradise - you get the chance to combine relaxation with remembrance. Image by cathedralpeak.co.zaUseful information & links Capital: PietermaritzburgPopulation: 10,267,300Area: 94,361 km25 Musts1. Forget rushing to the coast, take it easy along the Midlands Meander.2. Dive at the world class Sodwana Bay.3. Abseil down the monolithic Drakensberg.4. Witness the traditional Zulu Reed Dance.5. Visit the historic Blood River battle field.Useful contacts:KZN Tourism T: +27 (0)31 366 7500. E: firstname.lastname@example.org. W: www.zulu.org.zaBattlefield Region Guide Drakensberg Tourism AuthorityMaputalandNorth Coast TourismSouth Coast TourismPietermaritzburg Tourism & Midlands MeanderIsimangaliso WetlandKZN Parks Eating OutThe Corner Post - HowickThe Corner Post Bar & Dining Room is just that: a beautiful bar with a relaxing lounge and dedicated kitchen for bar meals and snacks and a full restaurant with inside dining, a deck for outside dining and a quiet garden dining area.Gigi's Brasserie - DurbanGigi’s Restaurant is an elegant a la carte restaurant. Building on its world-class cuisine, South African flavour orientations have been added to broaden the palate appeal of the menu for the enjoyment of guests alike. His diverse menu recreates classical dishes in a more modern and health orientated fashion.Keg 'n' Galleon - MargateSituated on the Margate Hotel premises, the Keg & Galleon offers a wide variety of meals for the whole family. If you are looking for good quality meals and a great vibe, why not give Keg a try?Hartford House - Mooi RivierThe award-winning restaurant which has been voted No1 in KwaZulu-Natal and among the country's Top 10, serves sumptuous meals either overlooking the magnificent gardens or in the candle-lit dining hall. It has one of only 10 five-star wine lists in South Africa.Bingelela - BergvilleDiscover the homely, rustic Bingelela Restaurant on your trip through the Northern Drakensberg, in a delicious setting amongst 200km’s of mountain ranges. With food that is infused with passion, offering a variety of melt in your mouth succulent seafood dishes through to an unforgettable pizza and pasta selection, you’ll leave Bingelela with a smile and fond memories because this restaurant knows how to serve rib sticking lip smacking food!Visit food24.com for more dining ideas from KZN.