kwaZulu natal

KwaZulu-Natal  also referred to as KZN or Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu.

At around 92,100 km2 in area, Kwazulu Natal is roughly the size of Portugal. The province has three different geographic areas. The lowland region along the Indian Ocean coast is extremely narrow in the south, widening in the northern part of the province. The central region is the Natal Midlands, an undulating hilly plateau rising toward the west. Third are the two mountainous areas, the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebombo Mountains in the north. The Drakensberg range forms a solid wall of basalt rising over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) near the Lesotho border, whilst the Lebombo Mountains are ancient granite mountains, forming low parallel ranges running southward from Swaziland. The Tugela River flows west to east across the center of the province and is the region's largest river.

The coastal regions typically have subtropical thickets and deeper ravines, steep slopes host some Afromontane Forest. The midlands have moist grasslands and isolated pockets of Afromontane Forest. The north has a primarily moist savanna habitat, whilst the Drakensberg region hosts mostly alpine grassland.

The province contains rich areas of biodiversity of a range of flora and fauna. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, along with uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park and Ndumo, are wetlands of international importance for migratory species, and are designated as RAMSAR sites. South Africa signed the 1971 RAMSAR Convention to try to conserve and protect important wetlands because of their importance to habitats and numerous species.

The former Eastern Cape enclave of the town of UMzimkhulu and its hinterland have been incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal following the 12th amendment of the Constitution of South Africa. The amendment also made other changes to the southern border of the province.

Climate
Upland savanna near Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal has a varied yet verdant climate thanks to diverse, complex topography. Generally, the coast is subtropical with inland regions becoming progressively colder. Durban on the south coast has an annual rainfall of 1009 mm, with daytime maxima peaking from January to March at 28 °C (82 °F) with a minimum of 21 °C (70 °F), dropping to daytime highs from June to August of 23 °C (73 °F) with a minimum of 11 °C (52 °F). Temperature drops towards the hinterland, with Pietermaritzburg being similar in the summer, but much cooler in the winter. Ladysmith in the Tugela River Valley reaches 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer, but may drop below freezing point on winter evenings. The Drakensberg can experience heavy winter snow, with light snow occasionally experienced on the highest peaks in summer. The Zululand north coast has the warmest climate and highest humidity, supporting many sugar cane farms around Pongola.

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