The province of KwaZulu Natal was formed in 1994 when the province of Natal and the different areas that had made up the homeland of KwaZulu was combined into one province.
Because of the diverse and complex topography of KwaZulu Natal, the province has a varied climate. In general, the coastal areas are tropical with a progressively colder climate towards the inland regions. Geographically the province is divided into three distinct regions. There is the lowland region along the Indian Ocean coast, the central region in the Natal Midlands and two mountainous areas namely the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebombo Mountains in the north. The Tugela is the largest river in KwaZulu Natal, flowing west to east across the center of the province. The coastline of KwaZulu Natal is dotted with small holiday towns. Superb beaches of world-class quality are to be found along virtually every area of the KwaZulu Natal coastline.
The leading industry in KwaZulu Natal is sugar with dairy, corn, sorghum, sheep, cattle, citrus fruits, cotton, pineapples and bananas also being raised. There is also an emerging wine industry in KwaZulu-Natal and other industries in the province include chemicals, paper, textile, clothing, rubber, fertilizer, oil refineries, tanneries, vehicle assembly and food-processing plants.
Durban is a rapidly growing metropolitan area in KwaZulu Natal. It is one of the busiest ports in Africa and also has a good rail network linking into Southern Africa. Newcastle is the industrial powerhouse of the province with Mittal Steel South Africa situated there. Newcastle has also become the largest producer of chrome chemicals in KwaZulu-Natal. Other large operations include a diamond cutting works, various large engineering concerns, the Natal Portland Cement plant, and the Ingagane Power Station. The textile industry is a significant employer in the Newcastle area, with over a hundred textile factories belonging to Taiwanese and Chinese Industrialists.
Conference Venues in KwaZulu Natal
Complimented with service excellence, the Elephant Lake Hotel, is the perfect venue for conferencing, company functions, workshops and teambuilding. The Elephant Lake Hotel St Lucia is located on the shores of the St Lucia Estuary in the town of St Lucia. The Hotel has a Three Star South African Tourism Grading and boasts 58 luxury, en-suite, air-conditioned rooms, with the majority sharing a westerly view across the St Lucia Estuary. All rooms are equipped with Digital Satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities, hair dryer and full range of bathroom amenities. The Hotels ground floor has 26 rooms all with a private patio’s leading out onto beautiful manicured lawns and a sparkling pool. An upmarket restaurant leads out to the pool patio area. The fully equipped 100 seated conference/function facility is situated on the ground floor.
Conference facilities at The Golden Horse Casino Hotel are modern, offering flexible conference venues with up to date equipment. The Conference Centre adjoins the Scottsville Race Course and the Golden Horse Casino Complex with various venues catering for up to 500 delegates. Set in Pietermaritzburg in the Natal Midlands, 45min from Durban, The Golden Horse Casino & Hotel complex is the only hotel in Africa and one of few in the World boasting both a casino and a turf racecourse making a veritable punter’s paradise providing pulse-racing entertainment and casino gaming amidst, the sport of kings. The four star hotel is a world class stay with unmatched hospitality and 86 large en-suite bedrooms fit for a king, beautifully decorated and equipped with data lines for laptops, telephone, room safes and satellite TV.
The Hampshire Hotel conference meeting rooms can accommodate up to 145 attendees in a variety of configurations. Amenities include cable modem, DVD player, flip chart and markers, modem lines, VCR and whiteboard. The venue also offers event catering and complimentary high–speed wireless Internet access. The Hampshire Hotel offers modern accommodations located by the Famous Dolphin Coast and just 6 miles from the King Shaka Airport. The hotel offers tastefully decorated rooms which are equipped with custom comforters. All rooms include 37-inch LCD TVs and free Wi-Fi internet access and most rooms offer views of the outdoor pool.
The conference facilities at the Durban Manor Hotel & Conference Centre cater for a maximum of up to 200 people in Cinema Style, Cocktail, U-Shape, and School Room & Round Tables. Seven function rooms that accommodate up to 200 people in different set-ups and unique features include entrance hall, coffee shop, dining rooms and bar. These offer a variety of comfortable and well-appointed venues for conferences, weddings, banquets and have been used as film advertisement locations.
The Conference facility at Dragons Peak Mountain Resort can host groups of up to 100 delegates and is equipped with overhead projector, VCR, large TV, White Board, Flipchart, wall to wall Carpets, padded Chairs and Air-conditioning. The venue is situated on, a family owned, 1000 acre wilderness estate set in the shadow of Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle, part of the rugged Drakensberg mountains of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Purchased in 1955 by the Tungay family and developed over three generations, the resort retains its country charm and unspoilt views of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, bordering the prestigious Drakensberg Ukhahlamba World Heritage Site, renowned for both its geographic and cultural significance.
The Protea Hotel Karridene Beach Resort has the latest in conferencing equipment and can accommodate up to 200 delegates. Eight different conferencing rooms can accommodate 2 to 200 delegates in a variety of venues – from basic work areas to boardrooms overlooking the Indian Ocean to dinner dances and banquets for up to 150 guests. Only 20 minutes south of Durban, this modern and luxurious South Coast hotel resort is well-known for its excellent accommodation, wonderful food, friendly hospitality and superior service. Situated between the lagoon and the beach at Illovo, it also boasts an award-winning caravan park. Sporting and recreational activities and nearby facilities include golf, squash and swimming.
Image Source: Jeroen Looyé