This Heritage Day, Dream Hotels & Resorts is encouraging South Africans to explore Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal, which stands as just one of the country\u2019s important historical areas.\n\n\n\n\u201cIt is a less-explored region of\nthe country, where visitors can immerse themselves in the traditions of the isiZulu people,\u201d\nsays Brent Dickson, Director of Dream Hotels & Resorts\n\n\n\n\u201cWith\nendless rolling hills, historic battlefields,\nbeautiful lakes and wildlife-rich game reserves,\nZululand ties in perfectly with the slow tourism movement, a philosophy of travelling with\npatience, taking the time to explore and engage in one\u2019s surroundings fully,\u201d\nhe adds. \n\n\n\nDream Hotels & Resorts has made\na significant investment in this region over time, with three properties\nin their family of hotels and resorts, including Nibela Lake Lodge in St Lucia\n(Isimangaliso Wetland Park), Jozini Tiger Lodge &\nSpa overlooking Lake Jozini (Pongolapoort Dam) and, the latest addition to the\ngroup\u2019s portfolio, Royal Thonga Safari\nLodge, situated in Tembe Elephant Park.\n\n\n\nExplore Route 66 \n\n\n\nMany places within South Africa are\njam-packed with heritage routes, and Zululand is no different.\n\n\n\nThe Zululand Heritage Route 66\ntraces the oldest trade route travelled by early transport riders,\nmissionaries, soldiers, and settlers. It starts at the Dokodweni toll plaza on\nthe N2 north of Durban and climbs inland, linking the towns of Gingindlovu,\nEshowe (Zululand\u2019s oldest town and one-time capital), Melmoth, Ulundi, Nongoma\n(seat of the current Zulu monarch) and Pongola. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u201cThe route is exceptionally scenic,\ntaking travellers past sugar cane fields and rolling hills that are dotted with\ntraditional settlements and ubiquitous goats. It is a destination that can\neasily be explored at your own pace,\u201d\nDickson explains. \n\n\n\nVisitors can learn more about the isiZulu culture with a visit to any one of several traditional villages, namely Shakaland, Veyane Cultural Village, and Dumazulu, with a visit to a sangoma, to taste home-brewed umqombothi, or to watch traditional dancing. \n\n\n\nLakes and reserves\n\n\n\nWhat also makes Zululand a\nfavourable destination for local visitors is that it is completely\nmalaria-free. It boasts all the members of the Big Five in the game reserves of\nHluhluwe-Imfolozi, Phinda, Mkuze, Tembe Elephant Park and Itala.\n\n\n\n\u201cIt\u2019s a local destination where you\ncan move at the pace of nature, and where the focus of the holiday is the pure\npleasure of travelling,\u201d Dickson maintains. \n\n\n\nAt Tembe Elephant Park, visitors\ncan witness some of Africa\u2019s large tuskers and embark on day trips to Kosi Bay.\nThe beach is one of the few places in the country to track leatherback and loggerhead turtles\nwhen they come ashore to lay their eggs from October to February. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nJozini Dam on the Pongola River\nalso provides a rather dramatic doorway into Mozambique. Together with Lake\nSibaya and Lake St Lucia, it forms part of\nthe three main lake destinations to visit within the\nregion. \n\n\n\n\u201cThe surrounding reserves of Jozini forms a protected area of more than 30,000 hectares. It\u2019s\na game-viewing\nby boat and tiger-fishing mecca that flies very much\nunder the radar from tourists,\u201d adds Dickson. \n\n\n\nAside from Route 66, visitors can\nalso self-drive along the N2 through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World\nHeritage Site home to crocodiles, hippos and flamingos, as well as the rare\nPel\u2019s fishing owl, and South Africa\u2019s only breeding population of pink-backed\npelicans.\n\n\n\n\u201cWith so much to see in this region, Zululand is another fantastic\noption for South African families' year-end break, when they can take even more\ntime to discover this enigmatic destination.\u201d\n\n\n\n\u201cVisiting Zululand around 24\nSeptember is significant, particularly as the Heritage Day holiday was first\ncelebrated here when it was still known as \u2018Shaka Day\u2019,\u201d Dickson explains.