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7. KWAZULU-NATAL

7. KWAZULU-NATAL

KWAZULU-NATAL
94,361 km2 (36,433 sq mi)

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Shouldering the warm Indian Ocean in the east, at around 92,100 km2in area, Kwazulu Natal is roughly the size of Portugal. Since Vasco Da Gama spotted the coast of the region on Christmas Day 1497, it was named Natal  which is a Portuguese word for Christmas. However, it is the exploits of the Zulu warrior king, Shaka kaSenzangakhona, from which the history and character of the province is steeped. The beginnings of a nation that held sway over the portion of southern Africa between the Phongolo and Mzimkhulu Rivers were testament to his statesmanship and vigor. As of 2012, the Ingonyama Trust, of which the current Zulu King is the chairman, owns 32% of the land (approximately 3 million hectares) in KwaZulu-Natal.  This is the 7thlargest province in South Africa, but the second most populous. 87% of those people are of Zulu origin. They live in small towns like Ladysmith and Eshowe. They work in bustling metros like Pietermaritzburg and Durban. For leisure and relaxation they go to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and uKhahlamba  Drakensberg Park, some of the province’s areas of biodiversity of a range of flora and fauna, which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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