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The official name for the KwaZulu-Natal town of Stanger is KwaDukuza meaning ‘place of the lost person’ in Zulu. The town lies along the Hlimbitwa River and is a few kilometres inland of the east coast of South Africa.
Stanger is an important cultural centre for the Zulu people as it was once a capital established by Shaka, the warrior king who built up a formidable army and was the inventor of the short spear used for close combat fighting. He was murdered here in 1828 and Zulus arrive en masse on the 22nd of September to commemorate Shaka Day. Stanger also has a large Indian community, mostly descendants of indentured immigrants sent here to work the cane fields in the 1860s.
Stanger is a modern town with all amenities, an excellent road network and within easy reach of the bustling city of Durban and other seaside villages and towns hugging the Indian Ocean coastline.
Top 6 reasons to visit Stanger
1. Walk around town to get a picture of king Shaka’s once mighty capital where over 2000 beehive huts occupied the land. The royal hut is believed to have been at the centre of Stanger, visit the indaba (meeting) tree and stop at the memorial where he was murdered and subsequently buried.
2. The Stanger paper mill has an effluent lake that attracts a diverse range of birdlife. Relax in the bird hide where it’s claimed that birders are able to spot at least 30 species per hour. The lake is part of the well-managed Blythedale Conservancy.
3. Visit the wonderful sandy beaches along this stretch of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. The nearest Blue Flag appointed beach is Westbrook where lifeguards patrol the beach and shark nets are in place for safe swimming.
4. The 104ha Harold Johnson Nature Reserve overlooks the Tugela River estuary and is renowned for the large number of butterfly species found in the reserve. An interesting hike is the Remedies and Rituals Trail that passes labelled plants and trees used for traditional muti (medicine).
5. Visit the Luthuli Museum that honours South Africa’s second Nobel Prize laureate and the first to be awarded a peace prize. The museum encompasses Chief Albert Luthuli’s house, the gravesite and church where his body lay in state.
6. Enjoy a round of golf on the award-winning 18-hole course at Prince’s Grant Golf Estate. This exclusive estate has other entertainment available to those less interested in swinging clubs.
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport, 40km from Stanger. Boss Car Hire is based in in the town and there are several car agencies at King Shaka airport to hire a vehicle, or simply order a rental online. Boss Car Hire also offers a metered taxi service for travel in and around the town.
Did you know?
The Stanger paper mill uses a waste product called bagasse to produce paper, rather than using traditional wood. Bagasse is the fibre pulp that remains after extracting sugar from cane stalks. It’s a sustainable resource, as sugar cane regrows rapidly.
Near to Stanger is a late iron-age village that dates to around 1500. A tribe known as the Lala people occupied the village.
Sugar has been commercially grown in Stanger since the 1840s.