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. \u201cIt is a less-explored region of the country, where visitors can immerse themselves in the traditions of the isiZulu people,\u201d says Brent Dickson, Director of Dream Hotels & Resorts \u201cWith endless rolling hills, historic battlefields, beautiful lakes and wildlife-rich game reserves, Zululand ties in perfectly with the slow tourism movement, a philosophy of travelling with patience, taking the time to explore and engage in one\u2019s surroundings fully,\u201d he adds. Dream Hotels & Resorts has made a significant investment in this region over time, with three properties in their family of hotels and resorts, including Nibela Lake Lodge in St Lucia (Isimangaliso Wetland Park), Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa overlooking Lake Jozini (Pongolapoort Dam) and, the latest addition to the group\u2019s portfolio, Royal Thonga Safari Lodge, situated in Tembe Elephant Park. Explore Route 66 Many places within South Africa are jam-packed with heritage routes, and Zululand is no different. The Zululand Heritage Route 66 traces the oldest trade route travelled by early transport riders, missionaries, soldiers, and settlers. It starts at the Dokodweni toll plaza on the N2 north of Durban and climbs inland, linking the towns of Gingindlovu, Eshowe (Zululand\u2019s oldest town and one-time capital), Melmoth, Ulundi, Nongoma (seat of the current Zulu monarch) and Pongola. \u201cThe route is exceptionally scenic, taking travellers past sugar cane fields and rolling hills that are dotted with traditional settlements and ubiquitous goats. It is a destination that can easily be explored at your own pace,\u201d Dickson explains. Visitors 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. Lakes and reserves What also makes Zululand a favourable destination for local visitors is that it is completely malaria-free. It boasts all the members of the Big Five in the game reserves of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Phinda, Mkuze, Tembe Elephant Park and Itala. \u201cIt\u2019s a local destination where you can move at the pace of nature, and where the focus of the holiday is the pure pleasure of travelling,\u201d Dickson maintains. At Tembe Elephant Park, visitors can witness some of Africa\u2019s large tuskers and embark on day trips to Kosi Bay. The beach is one of the few places in the country to track leatherback and loggerhead turtles when they come ashore to lay their eggs from October to February. Jozini Dam on the Pongola River also provides a rather dramatic doorway into Mozambique. Together with Lake Sibaya and Lake St Lucia, it forms part of the three main lake destinations to visit within the region. \u201cThe surrounding reserves of Jozini forms a protected area of more than 30,000 hectares. It\u2019s a game-viewing by boat and tiger-fishing mecca that flies very much under the radar from tourists,\u201d adds Dickson. Aside from Route 66, visitors can also self-drive along the N2 through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site home to crocodiles, hippos and flamingos, as well as the rare Pel\u2019s fishing owl, and South Africa\u2019s only breeding population of pink-backed pelicans. \u201cWith so much to see in this region, Zululand is another fantastic option for South African families' year-end break, when they can take even more time to discover this enigmatic destination.\u201d \u201cVisiting Zululand around 24 September is significant, particularly as the Heritage Day holiday was first celebrated here when it was still known as \u2018Shaka Day\u2019,\u201d Dickson explains.