KWA ZULU NATAL. SOUTH AFRICA.
THE LAND & CLIMATE
KwaZulu Natal is located on the eastern coast of South Africa and is bordered to the south by the Eastern Cape, to the north by Mozambique and Swaziland, to the west by Lesotho. While most of the area is rural, KZN is also home to the large port city of Durban.
KZN is generally hilly and mountainous, especially along the western border. The land rises from the coast to more than 11,000 feet along the Drakensberg Escarpment. The slope is not gradual; various rocky outcrops render the terrain into steps of undulating land ascending from an elevation of 500 feet (150 metres) along the coastal plain to areas of 2,000 feet (600 metres) and then 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) in the centre of the province, a region known as the Midlands. Beyond the Drakensberg lies the Highveld, or high plateau.
KwaZulu-Natal’s climate varies from subtropical to temperate. Precipitation ranges from more than 50 inches annually along the coast to 30 to 40 inches inland. Temperatures decrease from the frost-free coastal area but still remain warm, ranging in general from highs in the 80's (F) to lows in the 50's (F). In general, summers are hot with occasional rain, while the warm, dry, and sunny winters have made the coast a destination for holiday goers who flock to enjoy the sands and surf of the Indian Ocean.
THE LIFE & CULTURE
KwaZulu-Natal’s people belong to various ethnic groups. Peoples of black African descent, mostly Zulu, make up more than 80% of the population, while Asians (mostly Indian descent) account for about 10%, and whites of (mostly European) less than 10%. Most of the people live near the coast or in the center of the province. The extreme west and northeast are very lightly populated.
Many of the black citizens have retained their cultural identity through their use of the Zulu language and through folklore, ceremony, and customs that reflect a diversity of tribal beliefs. English is known as the 'administrative' language, and is widely spoken by many. Xhosa and Afrikaans are also used in some areas.
THE RELIGIONS & BELIEFS
According to a 2013 study and census, the most common religions in the KZN region are Christianity (76%) and Ancestral Worship/Tribal/Etc (12%). Less than 5% of the region claim Muslim, Hindu, Islam or Atheist/Other beliefs.